Painting the Santa Fe Background

Even though the outline of the basic composition has been transferred to the canvas, before actually starting to paint I still do my usual oil wash sketch with thin mixes of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin Original. To view enlargements of any of the pictures, just click on the image.

I’m so used to working in this method, I’ve found when I don’t do my initial oil wash sketch I get into trouble later as the painting progresses.

I’ll begin painting with the sky. Since I’m following the original painting so closely, I have the image on my laptop, right next to my easel. I’ve enlarged it so my reference is clearly visible.

The color mixes for the sky are as follows. #1. White + Phtalo Blue. #2. White + Cobalt Blue. #3. White + MUD. #4. White + MUD + Alizarin Crimson. #5. White + Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange. The dabs of paint on the left of my palette are from the painting I finished before this one.

After painting the blue field of the sky, the clouds are added. Shadows are painted first, I finish up by adding the warm highlights from the setting sun.

The farthest bluffs are made bluer so they recede. The late afternoon sun illuminates the closest mountain ridge, giving it a warm glow.

Dark trees along the back of the meadow accentuate the light dancing on the clouds and rocky bluff.

Purple Asters and Chamisa blanket the field behind our adobe structure. The Purple Asters are combinations of Dioxazine Purple + White and Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White. Several mixes of Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + White are used to block in the Chamisa.

Our Santa Fe Background is done! We’ll begin construction on the building in our next session. Come give me a helping hand! With Colorful Smiles,


© Senkarik 2022

One Response to “Painting the Santa Fe Background”

  1. Don Dillard Says:

    👍😊😊😊😀😀you are good Mikki…progress👍👍🙏

    Sent from my iPhone


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