Colorful Koi

I begin applying the opaque color with the water around the first Koi. I’ll be painting in sections because I want to paint the fish, wet-into-wet over the background. Allowing the fish and lily pads to cast shadows on the bottom of the shallow pond helps to give the feeling of depth.

I went to to find reference for my Koi Fish and was amazed at their variety of colors. This one is made of mixes of Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson + MUD (Alizarin Crimson + Ultramarine Blue). The whites are actually soft grays made of White + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange and White + MUD.

By working wet-into-wet I can make the edges of the fish soft and the fins gracefully flow. This helps to give the appearance the fish are moving in the water. While I’m right here I pull some of the stems of the water lilies into the wet paint below the Koi.

This guy is painted with some of the same mixes as the first fish, as well as some more intense mixes of Cadmium Orange + White and pure Cadmium Orange. Using a Bright (square) brush the same size of the scales makes it very easy to highlight those glimmering in the sun. Notice how the Lily Pad casts a shadow over the fish below it. Again, this helps to give the impression of depth.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting one of the colorful Koi Fish

Make sure to watch carefully at the very beginning of the Video, some of the cards on my mantle suddenly topple over. These are cards that Jack had given me over the years that hold extra special memories. In the almost two years they’ve been up there they have NEVER fallen down. I think ANGEL JACK swooped through our studio as I was making the video, just to say HI to all of us! It certainly got my and Molly’s attention.

Now the water around the fish in the lower right corner is painted with mixes in different proportions of White + Ultramarine Blue + Ivory Black.

The Koi on the far right is a darker red orange, made of Cadmium Red Light + Alizirin Crimson + MUD. His scales are accentuated with pure Cadmium Red Light.

Our last Koi is painted with some of the mixes from the first two, with more Cadmium Orange added in. Thank you for all of your encouraging comments! I really appreciate them. With Colorful Smiles and BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG



5 Responses to “Colorful Koi”

  1. Vonda Says:

    Love the subject matter and that you show us your techniques – I am sure Jack was smiling down on us

  2. Jeana Says:

    Love this painting & know you’re having fun with it

  3. Terri ElFarkh Says:

    I love the graceful movement of their fins. They look so real… great job! I can’t wait to see you paint the plants.

  4. Suzen Phoenix Says:

    You have really taken my breath away with thee raordinary colors and reality of these koi. Reminded me of the Japanese gardens in San Francisco.

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