Archive for May, 2018

Mountain Laurels, Flowers and the Masked Rider!

May 31, 2018

We begin painting with the background. Even though in reality there are buildings behind the “Masked Rider” sculpture I’m planting trees in the distant. This provides a nice backdrop that isn’t busy and distracting. We want HOBO to be the “STAR”! I carefully work around the drawing of the sculpture with mixes in different combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Please keep in mind as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to view them larger.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the fragrant Mountain Laurels

Now the Mountain Laurels are complete I begin working on the bronze sculpture using mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + a little MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White.

I brace my left hand against the unpainted portion of the canvas, then rest my right one on it. This steadies my hand so I’m able to delineate the details of the horse and rider. A fine liner brush is used for the tiny brushwork.

This post is a composite of several day’s work. It took me almost a full day to paint the “Masked Rider”! WHEW, that little guy is complicated.

Now for the Knock Out Roses. I use mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Deep to make a rich red. I don’t want it too bright or warm because HOBO will have a Cadmium Red bandana with the Texas Tech logo around his neck.

So the Roses are highlighted with a mix of Alizarin Crimson + White. The flowers in the sun become a cooler, pinkish red that falls into the distance. This will also accentuate the brilliance of the red bandana and the Indian Blanket Flowers in front of the Roses.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting Indian Blanket Flowers Part 1

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting Indian Blanket Flowers Part 2

I decided to add a few Bluebonnets in with the Indian Blanket Flowers and HOBO’s bandana has been blocked in. Now you can see how the Roses drop back. This is a good example of the simple rule that helps to give the impression of distance in a painting: Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Recede. The same theory is applied to the lawn, notice how the grass is made bluer, or cooler, toward the back. The greens become warmer and more yellow as I come toward the front of the painting.

The foreground is painted in shadow to make the light illuminating HOBO appear even brighter. That’s all for this session. I do hope you’ll come back and visit our studio for the next one! HUGS,

A New Pet Portrait

May 29, 2018

Starting a new commission today, a portrait of a beautiful pup! He’d been in my collector’s family for many, many years and unfortunately went to puppy heaven last month. So Amanda asked me to paint HOBO’s portrait as a surprise for her husband. He is also a huge Texas Tech fan so she had a special request, include the “Masked Rider” sculpture that is on the campus. Here’s my sketch.

The basic plan is lightly drawn on the canvas in pencil. Then I begin sketching the composition on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Print outs of HOBO and the sculpture are taped to my easel, making them easy to refer to.

Resting against the mahl stick steadies my hand as I draw HOBO’s wide “Smile”!

The “Masked Rider” is next. I’m also braced against the mahl stick here, it’s just out of the picture. Please remember as you go through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

HOBO had a few favorite toys, “Princess” and “Wolfie”, that we’re incorporating.

It’s always fun to add such personal touches to a portrait.

The plan is drawn up and we’ll begin painting in our next session. I do hope you come follow along!

If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

 

Take a Moment to Pause Today and Give Thanks!

May 28, 2018

memorial day 2016

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”
— General George S. Patton
Please remember on this Memorial Day … We are the Home of the Free BECAUSE of the brave!

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. From the first patriots who died resisting the British crown, to those who have given the last measure of devotion in the War on Terror, every American generation has paid a steep price to preserve liberty. It’s important that we remember those brave individuals to whom we owe so much. I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all of the brave men and women serving in the military. We appreciate not only the sacrifices they have made but also that of their families. Moms and Dads, Husbands and Wives, Brothers, Sisters and Children. So many have suffered and given their lives so we can be safe in this great country. By the Grace of God we are fortunate enough to have been born in the United States. Pause a moment today to remember all of the extra special people who died for OUR Freedom.

 

2016-5-28 Sissie on railing

Little Sissie says, “Please don’t forget take a minute to remember all of those who gave their lives for our country!” Our sweet purr-baby is so glad to be an American, as am I. With prayers that you have a safe and Happy Memorial Day! HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

http://www.senkarik.com

Cornucopia of Color

May 26, 2018

The model for the barn is also from Floresville. This quaint one was just down the road from our home. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Barn

The wildflower field is blocked in with a jumble of color. Mixes of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White are used in the back, near the barn. Moving forward I use Magenta + White, Magenta + Alizarin Crimson + White and Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light + White.

The Cactus in the foreground will act as a dark foil for the brilliant color behind. Mixtures of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + a bit of Cadmium Orange + White and Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are used for the oval pads.

I begin adding Coreopsis interspersed among the red-orange Indian Paintbrush. Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange and pure Cadmium Yellow Medium are used for the cheery flowers. The foliage is a brighter green mixed with different combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

The Indian Paintbrush are highlighted with Cadmium Red Light + White and Cadmium Orange + White.

The dark centers of the Coreopsis are made of MUD + a little bit of Liquin.

Cobalt Blue Bluebonnets nestle at the base of the Cactus.

Then White “Bonnets” are added to these beautiful blossoms that are our Texas State Flower.

Cornucopia of Color    15.5″ x 19.5″

The last step is to accentuate the petals of the yellow Coreopsis that are illuminated by the sun. There is nothing like Spring in Texas. Don’t you just want to hike across that field and enjoy the flowers dancing in the gentle breeze? Have a wonderful Memorial Day. And please don’t forget to honor all the men and women in the military who make sacrifices for OUR FREEDOM! With BIG HUGS,

Texas Sky

May 24, 2018

From the canals of Venice to the great state of Texas and the heart of the hill country! Better yet, we’re going to be painting the awesome wildflowers we see here in the spring. But first, let’s get the basic plan sketched up on the canvas. I use a brush dipped in a thin mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin to draw the composition. The large area of the tree was washed in with a combination of mostly Liquin + a little bit of MUD.

We’re all sketched up and ready to begin painting. The field will be covered with flowers in every shade of the rainbow. I’m into rainbows right now. Don’t know if you’ve been watching American Idol but I started loving little Maddie Poppe the moment I heard her sing the rainbow song! Then, when she started “Brand New Key” I about fell out of my chair, that was one of my favorite songs in high school! I’m so glad she won. And her duet with Caleb Lee Hutchinson of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was delightful! You never know, they may be the next Johnny Cash and June Carter!

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Sky

“Painting Forward” from the sky the most distant hills are made with a mix of White + Ultramarine Blue + a touch of MUD. Then the closest bluff is covered with a jumble of various combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD + White.

Distant Oaks are painted with those same mixes + additional Ultramarine Blue. Bracing against the mahl stick steadies my hand as I draw in the trunks.

The model for the Live Oak Tree by the barn is this majestic one that grew next to our home in Floresville. When we lived there several years ago a tree expert told us it was over 300 years old. WOW, can you imagine the stories that tree could tell? Sure wish it could talk.

Here I use combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + a little Ultramarine Blue + some Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. The darker areas have more Ultramarine Blue added in.

The massive trunks and limbs are made of MUD + Cadmium Orange + White.

We’ll have a barn raising in our next session, complete with a video! Hope you come watch. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

 

 

Sunset Serenade

May 22, 2018

Now we’re planting Geraniums in those containers resting on the base of the fountain. I had originally planned Pink Petunias here but realized I needed the dark value the deep red provides. This accentuates the sun warmed promenade in the background.

The water cascading out of the fountain is painted with mixes of White + Ultramarine Blue. I gently pull the fully loaded brush down, letting it skip over the lumps and bumps of the thick paint of the Geraniums behind. The broken brushstrokes help to give the impression of moving water.

Now, I’ll just plant my Pink Petunias in the foreground container. They are made with mixtures of Permanent Rose + White. Deep centers are indicated with a mix of Magenta + Liquin. You may click on the image to take a closer look.

More Geraniums take up residence in the terra cotta pots lining the upper plant shelf. Some of the delicate vine that was growing in with the Jasmine over the arch, as well as some Sweet Potato Vine, is added into the containers.

I’ve saved my color from the other parts of the courtyard wall. Now I cover the area below the plant shelf. This will allow me to paint the large leaves of the Giant Bird of Paradise Plant wet-into-wet.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Giant Bird of Paradise Plants

I decided not to add the Bird of Paradise flowers, they would be too crowded by the other blossoming plants I’m putting here. Soft violet Angelonia and Geraniums fill this container. The Angelonia is blocked in with White + Dioxazine Purple, White + Ultramarine Blue and White + Pthalo Blue.

I’m going to plant some more Sweet Potato Vine with the Geraniums and Angelonia. The heart shaped leaves bring another subtle hint of romance to the piece.

African Daisies fill the lower left corner. The rich combinations of Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange add a POP of warm color in the foreground. This helps to make the cool colors in the distance, GO BACK!

Sunset Serenade     30 inches by 36 inches

Reflections of evening lights and colors bursting across the Venetian sky, dance to the “Sunset Serenade”!

UPDATE!

As I was packing “Sunset Serenade” for shipping I realized that blue stripes on the awning would make it a better painting. Blue is the complementary color of the oranges in the sky, so by having blue stripes the sky appears richer and warmer. The moral of this story is; always be looking at your work with a critical eye. AND, if something needs more work, even if the art is in the box, take it out and make the change. I know from experience that if you don’t, every time you think of or see that piece you’ll wish you had! So here is the new, improved version:

“Sunset Serenade” close up with blue awning

“Sunset Serenade” final version

Thank you for ALL of your wonderful comments! You are the BEST! With LOTS of Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Sun Warmed Promenade

May 21, 2018

Now that the water and cityscape are complete I concentrate on the promenade lining the canal. A couple walks, hand in hand, silhouetted in the distance. Very little detail is made because I want them to disappear into the background. A romantic surprise for the viewer to discover upon closer examination of the painting.

The setting sun warms the ancient pavers directly behind the flower pots sitting on the base of the fountain. The entire surface of the promenade and courtyard floor are covered with thick strokes of combinations of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. A lot of texture is used to give the impression of rough bricks.

Curved perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush dipped in a mix of MUD + Liquin. If you would like to enlarge this, or any of the other images in my post, just click on the picture.

Additional stokes of Ultramarine Blue + White and Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are made toward the back edge of the promenade. This helps to give the appearance the floor is receding, following a simple rule that helps give depth in a painting. Cool colors (blues) go back, Warm colors come forward. I continue to delineate the pavers, bringing more detail to those in the foreground.

The painting, attached to cardboard, is taken off the easel and placed bottom up on the back of a desk chair to paint the lower edge. The top edge of the backing board is braced against my desktop printer so the painting doesn’t slip and fall. That would be disastrous! Since the piece is painted in a gallery wrap style, this method makes it much easier to handle and ship the wet painting. If you would like to see how I attach the canvas to the backing CLICK HERE!

The fountain is painted with mixes of Viridian Green + Cadmium Orange + a little MUD + White. Blue from the water in the base is reflected onto the lower edge of the bowl above. That is indicated with a brushstroke of White + Ultramarine Blue.

Brilliant sky reflections, dancing on the canal, act as a pointer to the fountain in the foreground. I’ll add the water cascading down in our next session, after flowers are planted in the terra cotta containers! Come watch! With Colorful Smiles and Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Glimmering Reflections

May 19, 2018

The buildings on the left side of the canal are all in shadow. The one closest to us is painted with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + a little MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. Shutters are Viridian Green + White + a touch of MUD to mute the intensity of the color.

I brace my hand against the unpainted portion of the canvas to delineate the steps to the front door of this home. Wouldn’t it be fun to live where you took a boat everywhere instead of a car? Oh, please remember, you may click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

Lights from the courtyard shine though the opening in the wall. I don’t want them to be too bright, just a nice little twinkle! My tribute to Thomas Kinkade!

Wisteria, made of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White and Dioxazine Purple + White cascades over the wall.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Water

I painted the mooring posts in the VIDEO DEMONSTRATION above, but I’ve decided to change them. I feel it’s a better balance having two in the distance, behind the bridge, and three in the foreground.

WHEW! Sunset sky, buildings and water ALL DONE. We’ll begin on the foreground in our next session! Hope you’ll come back and watch. AND…thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments. I feel so blessed that God has given me the ability and opportunity to celebrate His beauty on canvas. BIG HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Stately Bell Tower

May 17, 2018

Before continuing on the background I want to get the wall of the courtyard painted. Not only does this make the sky POP; it also helps me in establishing the light and dark values on the buildings lining the canal. The basic mixes are MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. A little of the sky color is pulled into the side of the arch where it is warmed by the setting sun.

The Jasmine pouring down the wall is made of several different mixes of Magenta + White, Magenta + Alizarin Crimson + White and Magenta + Dioxizine Purple + White. The leaves are Sap Green + a bit of Lemon Yellow. Another vine is intermixed with the Jasmine, bringing additional interest to the foliage. You may click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

Deep centers of pure Magenta finish out the fragrant Jasmine flowers.

NOW….let’s do those buildings in the background. Those on the right side of the canal are illuminated by the warm sun.

The bell tower is made a darker value to accentuate the brilliance of the sky. I brace against the mahl stick to steady my hand in order to delineate the details of the bells.

As I mentioned before, I just can’t envision Venice without a striped awning somewhere in the scene. The entire surface is first covered in several shades of White + Ultramarine Blue + a touch of Cadmium Orange and White + a little bit of MUD. Then the stripes are drawn into the wet paint with a mix of Viridian Green + White.

We’ll complete the buildings AND the water in our next session. I hope you’ll come watch; I’m even going to do a video of painting the water! By the way, THANK YOU for ALL of your wonderful comments. I really appreciate them! With BIG HUGS,

Colorful Sky

May 15, 2018

Here are my mixes for the colorful sky: #1. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #2. MUD + a touch of Ultramarine Blue + White. #3. Three shades of Ultramarine Blue + a touch of MUD + White. #4. A couple of mixes of Alizarin Crimson + MUD + a bit of Cadmium Red Light + White. #5. Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange + a tiny amount of Alizarin Crimson + White. #6. Mix #5 + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White.

The darkest clouds are blocked in first with Mixes #1 and #2. Then I begin adding the brighter color with the two shades of #4.

Blues are added into the clouds in the upper part of the sky. Even though it’s setting behind the tower on the left, mixes #5 and #6 are used to indicate the glow in the sky from the sun.

The shadow of Venice in the distance is painted with mixes of Pthalo Blue + MUD + Cadmium Orange + White. Some of that color is extended down into the water that we then begin painting with the darker shades remaining from the sky.

The Basilica and the buildings around it are made with mixes of MUD + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. The Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute was built as a thanks or offering to the Virgin Mary against the plague which had taken almost a third of the Venice’s population in 1630.

It’s fun adding the lights lining the canal along the distant shore and the base of the Basilica. The ones in the background are made cooler with a mix of White + Ultramarine Blue. Those closer are White + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

Reflections from the lights are pulled straight down into the wet paint of the water below. That finishes us up for today.

But Before I go I want to let you know of this Special Offer our publisher just notified me of.

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Thought you would enjoy this email I recently received.

From a grateful artist… Dear Mikki, I wanted to reach out and tell you how much Mr. White’s books on art marketing helped me. Moreover, I have recommended his books to several of the artists I know, and I can see the change happening in their art careers, all thanks to a generous and caring soul that wanted to share his knowledge and success with others! I have only been painting for two years, but in the last four months I sold over a hundred of my works, most of them on eBay – I have read all the books Mr. White has written (and not once…) and I make every effort to follow his advice. Yet there is a lot to improve. I admire your work and your spirit, and, knowing how busy you are, I am very thankful for your time reading this note of appreciation! Sincerely, Julia”

For those of you selling on eBay or thinking about making the plunge this book tells how we do it. CLICK HERE to order the hard copy.

This offer at Senkarik Publishing doesn’t last long. It will expire at 11:59PM Eastern Time on Thursday,  MAY 17. Just remember to put in the coupon code TWENTY18 when you are checking out and you will automatically save 20% on your order. Be sure to run the code all together, it’s not two words.

I appreciate you reading my blog, please feel free to ask questions! With Colorful Smiles and Big Hugs,