Back to the Southwest

My previous painting was of our Kitchen Garden, including our resident Cardinals, Mr. and Mrs. Chippers. They were here this morning. The garden looks a little different right now; with a few freezes on the way I’ve had to move most of the containers into our little makeshift greenhouse. I’m going to transplant Bluebonnets into the remaining pots where they will overwinter and then bloom in the spring.

It’s back to Santa Fe. My collector originally saw this painting at my Annual Labor Day Event at the Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery. It had sold, so he and his wife asked if I would do a commission to celebrate their 31st anniversary! I begin by drawing up the basic structure in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.  You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

A cross with a red heart hangs beside the gate. The heart is washed in with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. My hand is braced against the mahl stick, steadying it as I delineate the symbol of Love.

A wicker basket is filled with HOT Chiles. They are washed in with the same mix as the heart. Then I come back with a clean brush and “Lift Off” some of the color to make the highlights on the individual peppers.

After painting the background with mixes of White + Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange, the courtyard wall is constructed. The Adobe is mixtures in different proportions of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Pthalo Blue + a little Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. More MUD is added into the shadow colors.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Red Gate.

That’s all for this session. Hope you’ll come back again to follow the progress of this piece. But before I go I have a really good question from one of my readers to answer…….

Zoe asked, “Mikki, you often mention that you save your colors from previous painting sessions. Could you please describe the process you follow? Also, for how long can you save them? Thanks in advance!”

A picture of my palette is shown above. It’s cleaned up from the painting session today and ready for me to start fresh. Notice the paint lined up on the left, this is what I’m saving. When cleaning my palette I use my painting knife to make globs of the colors I want to save, then line them up neatly on the left. They will remain usable for several days. Long enough to finish this piece. If I wanted to save them longer I could smoosh the globs against the sides of a plastic cup or yogurt container and cover them with water. They would last about a week to 10 days using this method. Hope this helps. And always feel free to ask questions, I appreciate them and it will probably help someone else! The primary goal of my blog is to help fellow artists! Hugs,


One Response to “Back to the Southwest”

  1. Zoe Says:

    Thanks for the detailed answer! Very helpful!

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