The Portrait

Finally I can show you “The Portrait” that I was working on a few weeks ago! My collector asked me to paint her with six of her co-workers in front of their office building.

Here they all are! The camera has caused some foreshortening, making their legs appear too short. So I will need to correct that when I draw them up on the canvas.

After lightly penciling in the figures I begin establishing the values and details using a thin oil wash of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson). The reference photos are taped to the canvas, making them easy to refer to. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

The trees in the background are at the height of their fall color, so I’ve washed them in with mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin, Magenta + Liquin and Sap Green + Liquin. 

Next the sky and building are painted. The colors in the building are made cooler so it will recede into the distance. This follows a simple rule that helps to give the appearance of depth in a painting, Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Go Back.

I was right in the middle of this portrait when we lost power during that severe snowstorm we had here in Texas. The first day without electricity was sunny so I had enough light to paint the tree immediately behind the people. But then I had to wait a day and a half until the power came back on to work on the sidewalk and first two figures. The warmth of red blouse, foliage on the tree and terra cotta paver sidewalk, makes the building and vehicles in the parking lot fall back even more. 

I go ahead and begin painting all of the faces. 

Once all the faces are complete the clothing is painted.

The brightness of the clothing and overall detail in the figures combines two methods that give depth to a painting. Detail Comes Forward, Less Detailed Objects Go Back and Bright Colors Come Forward, Duller Colors Recede! This gives you an overall synopsis of the process of ‘The Portrait’. I actually took me a couple of weeks to paint this 20 inch by 24 inch piece. I appreciate you following along on my blog! Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


© Senkarik 2021

5 Responses to “The Portrait”

  1. Terri El-Farkh Says:

    Wow, it’s so cheerful and vibrant. It takes a special talent to make a parking lot beautiful.
    I know your collector loves it!

  2. Jody Says:

    Great job! Wow – so happy and bright! Love it!

  3. roseherczeg Says:

    This is amazing! I love the bright colors and the tree in the background. A masterpiece indeed! Thank you for sharing all your steps! What a blessing!

  4. Julie Brayton Says:

    Amazing job!! I hope all is well!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  5. Dwight & Laurie Patterson Says:

    Cheers. Very nice Mikki.

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