Back to the Coast of France


Working on a new commission today. It’s based on a painting I’ve done previously, “Treasure of the Cote d’Azur”.

However the original painting was a horizontal, or landscape, format. This piece is a square so I have to make some adjustments as I sketch up the basic plan on my canvas. The uprights of the architectural elements are drawn in first. A T-Square, balanced on the top edge of the canvas, is used to make sure the sides of the doorway and arch are perfectly straight and true. You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

After establishing the foreground structure the distant buildings, tumbling down the hillside, are drawn with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. This painting is considerably smaller that the one I’m using as reference, so I’m not able to fit as many of the tile roofed structures in. 

Bougainvillea in the background are washed in with Magenta + Liquin.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is located in the distance, on the peninsula jutting out into the azure water.

The basic outlines of all the plants are indicated, then labeled with their names so I don’t forget what I’m supposed to paint. I’ve certainly been known to do that when I get in the middle of painting. If I’m not careful I’ll end up with red Salvia where I’m supposed to have yellow Sunflowers!

Our “Road Map” is drawn up on the canvas and I’ll begin applying Oil Color in our next session. Hope you’ll come follow along!

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© Senkarik 2020

4 Responses to “Back to the Coast of France”

  1. WalterDarlene Says:

    Do you first use a pencil or charcoal to draw out your roadmap of a painting?

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      That’s a very good question, thank you! On my usual architectural garden pieces like this one I don’t pencil the ‘roadmap’ on the canvas before I begin. If a painting has more complicated architecture like the domed churches of Santorini I will draw it in pencil before doing the MUD oil wash sketch. That way I can work out all the perspective and make sure it’s correct. Also, when I do animal or people portraits I will lightly sketch the subject on the canvas in pencil before I begin with the oil wash. Hope this helps.

      I appreciate you following my blog! Hugs, Mikki

  2. kbasli Says:

    This one really inspires me to go out and purchase a blank canvas and then follow your step-by-step instructions. It looks like a challenge but I’m going to give it a try. Looks like a good winter project. What size is this square?

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