Cute Critters

Starting on another commission today. My collector, Jeana, always has some cool ideas. She sent me this beautiful fall scene.

Then asked me to add a small farmer’s market in the foreground. Several years ago Jack and I took this picture of “Sopin’s Fruit Stand” near Taos, New Mexico which will be perfect.

Here’s my pen and ink sketch. We’ll be making a few changes, the major one being to include some different members of Jeana’s fur baby family. Since I recently painted her dog “Looka” in “A Sense of Peace” she decided to take him out of this composition and we will add her newest kitty, “Tica”. CLICK HERE to see “A Sense of Peace”!

I begin sketching the basic plan on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. You can see my exploratory sketch lines. The blue tape arrow at the top of the canvas indicates the center of the 24 inch wide canvas. I don’t want the roof of the fruit stand to end at the middle. It either needs to extend beyond that central point or be shorter. After trying different options I decide the shortened roof gives the painting better balance.

“Tica” nestles up on the ledge of the fruit stand, next to a basket filled with multicolored Maize or Indian Corn.

Jeana is fascinated by Chipmunks, so let’s have a couple picking up morsels on the ground below.

An old, broken wagon wheel leans up against the trunk of one of the birch trees. It will be surrounded by hay bales, pumpkins and gourds.

Chili ristras and the heart-shaped wreath are washed in with a thin mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. With a clean brush I then come back and pull off some of the color, shaping the individual peppers. To see this better just click on the image for an enlargement.

A racoon has broken one of the pumpkins, providing a tasty snack for himself and his Chipmunk friends. Notice Tica, the kitty. I’ve wiped out her head because it needs to be turned more for her to keep an eye on all of the shenanigans going on below.

Now, let’s turn that pretty kitty’s head!

A couple of white doves survey the scene from a safe distance, back by the wagon wheel. You may have to enlarge the picture to see them, just click the image. WHEW! Getting all those cute critters in there is complicated, it’s taken almost 3 days to get them sketched up. We’ll start painting in our next session, hope you’ll 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.

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9 Responses to “Cute Critters”

  1. nanseesart Says:

    Did you decide to leave out the dog?

  2. Jeana Says:

    It looks so cool.. I love it already!

  3. rpillai2012 Says:

    Looks amazing!

  4. Bob Ragland Says:

    Ahhh- I know it well. Thanks for the post. Glad you be Bankin’!!!!! Saw your work in Taos at a gallery near the plaza. I am FAN!!!!

  5. Pete Mason Says:

    Hi Mikki, Teanna only rejected one of your strokes, otherwise she watched most of the video.😺😺

  6. roseherczeg Says:

    So much beauty in a 16″ square! Your paintings and lessons always make me smile! xo

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