Cathedral Rock

Painting begins with the sky. You can see how the painted image extends over the edge, onto the side of the gallery wrap canvas. Since light comes into the piece from the left, that side of the sky is lighter. It’s blocked in with White + Pthalo Blue. The right side of the sky is darker and made with a mixture of White + Cobalt Blue. Closer to the horizon, above and between the peaks of Cathedral Rock, the sky reflects the warmth of the earth. It’s lighter and a tiny bit greener, so that area is painted with a combination of White + Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow. Please remember, as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see enlargements.

My colors are mixed for the distant landscape and iconic Butte. The recipes are as follows: #1. White + Ultramarine Blue. #2. Three shades of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. #3. Four combinations, in various proportions, of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light + White. The basic hues of the Double Primary Mixing System that Jack developed are lined up across the top of my palette. To learn more about this easy way to mix an incredible range of pure, crisp colors, CLICK HERE!

My reference picture is attached to the unpainted part of the canvas with Blue, Clean Release, Painter’s Tape. Then I start painting the red sandstone peaks. The light in the photo comes into the picture from behind the photographer, over his/her right shoulder. In order to illuminate Cathedral Rock from the left, I have to change the light and shadow pattern.

The next layer of rocks, closer to the foreground, remain in shadow. Painting the sunlight streaming out from behind them, spot-lighting the majestic Butte, helps to give the feeling of depth in the landscape.

Palo Verde Trees, on the left, are made with the #2 Mixtures. A few brushstrokes of Pthalo Blue + White are added here and there to bring extra coolness to the foliage. Warmer combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White + a touch of MUD are used for the Sage Brush on the right.

A Prickly Pear Cactus, painted with several shades of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White and Pthalo Blue + White, nestles in front of the Sage. The oval paddles are made by twisting the Square Tipped Bright Brush as the paint is applied to the canvas.

I have always loved these “Open Door” or “Through the Gate” paintings at this stage. I think they look pretty cool with the background fully painted while the foreground is still just sketched in. We’ll be building the courtyard wall in our next session, come give me a hand! With Colorful Smiles,


© Senkarik 2021

2 Responses to “Cathedral Rock”

  1. bowenwhidbeynet Says:

    Mikki, I have always wanted to be a painter until I started to read your blog. I never heard of a square tipped bright brush. Whoever heard of a color described as Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White + a touch of MUD. You are a hoot. I am going to stick with golf and trust the painting to you. Your updates are most appreciated. Dick Bowen

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Hi Dick, I apologize that my blog has discouraged you from learning to paint. I have to tell you, I watch golfers and am totally in awe at how you make that little ball go where you want it to. I’d probably break every window close to the golf course! Thanks for following along on my blog. If one of these days you decide you want to take the plunge and start painting you are always more than welcome to ask questions. It’s really not as complicated as it appears! HAPPY GOLFING! Mikki

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: