Painting Positano

March 23, 2021

Painting the dark bluff immediately makes the sunlit sky behind it GLOW! One of Jack’s favorite sayings was, “You can’t have Light without Dark!”

Because the sun is behind the bluff in the background, the buildings tumbling down the Positano hillside are in shadow. The entire area of the town is painted with various mixes of White + MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson), White + MUD + Cadmium Orange, White + MUD + Ultramarine Blue and White + MUD + Alizarin Crimson.

Next I begin adding definition to the buildings, with darker shadows and rooftops. Please remember, you may click on any of the images to see enlargements.

Some of the windows are now indicated. My goal is to paint Positano impressionistically, not to delineate each and every individual building, window and door. I just want to give the feel of this beautiful village in the background.

As evening approaches lights begin to glitter and gleam, contributing to the magical memories of my collectors.

The brilliance of the Bougainvillea makes the cooler, more muted colors in the distance drop back even more. Several mixes in different proportions of Permanent Rose + White are used for this colorful plant.

The long reaching vines of the Bougainvillea are drawn into the wet paint of the water. Working wet-into-wet makes it much easier to make the fine lines smooth.

The heart shaped backs of the chairs are also drawn into the wet background. If the paint of the water and beach were dry my brush would skip and jump over the uneven texture, making the lines of the wrought iron irregular and rough. 

That’s all for today. Thank you for following along, I hope you’ll come back and join us for our next session! With Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Reflections in the Mediterranean

March 19, 2021

We begin painting with the sky. There are two reasons for this: FIRST, the light from the sky establishes the mood of the entire piece. SECOND, the sky is farthest away. I always start at the back of the composition and “Paint Forward”. The colors are all mixed for the Sunset Sky and we’re ready to get going. But before we do, here’s the color recipes: #1. White + Cobalt Blue. #2. Two lighter shades of White + Cobalt Blue. #3. White + Pthalo Blue. #4. MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + White. #5. Two mixes in different proportions of White + MUD + Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light. #6. White + Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange.

The upper portion of the sky is painted with the #2 mixes. The darkest is used at the very top, the lighter mixture is used as I work downward. The blue sky closest to the horizon line is painted with mix #3. You may click on this or any of the other images to view enlargements.

Mixture #4 makes up the darkest part of the clouds, then I begin working the two #5 mixes into the upper parts of the fingers fanning out into the blue background. 

The lowering sun is behind the bluff, we don’t actually see it. BUT, the brilliant light illuminates the underside of the clouds peaking out from the mountain. A mix of White + Cadmium Yellow Medium is used for the golden highlights.

The sky is complete. Time to begin painting the ocean, glimmering with colorful reflections of the sky above. COME WATCH….

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Sunset Reflections on the Mediterranean.

The distant horizon glitters with a streak of sunshine. 

Sky and Ocean are complete. I’ll continue “Painting Forward” in our next session, working on the distant bluff and then the village of Positano tumbling down the hillside. Hope you’ll come back to follow along. With Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Positano on my Easel

March 17, 2021

Starting a new collaboration of Positano, Italy; my collectors spent the first few days of their honeymoon there! Laura was captivated by this bougainvillea cascading over the rail of their terrace.

So here’s my sketch. We going to incorporate some of the flowers from her wedding bouquet in the containers. You may click on this or any of the other images to see enlargements.

The horizon line is established first, then the angle of the terrace railing. Using a brush dipped in a thin oil mix of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin I begin drawing the distant bluff and hillside of Positano.

The vanishing point for the perspective of the chairs on the terrace is indicated by the red arrow. I run my brush, dipped in the MUD mix, along the edge of a long ruler to draw the perspective lines.

Using the same vanishing point the table top is sketched in.

Bracing my wrist against my maul stick, hooked over the top of my easel, steadies my hand as I draw the unique heart shaped design of the chair backs.

The large ceramic containers are washed in with a mix of Ultramarine Blue + Liquin.

The flowers are labeled so I don’t forget what we selected! I’ve been known to get the wrong flowers “planted” in my excitement of painting! Thanks for visiting my studio today.

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 click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. Please keep in mind, to move through the blog when you get the posts just CLICK on the small titles at the top of the page. The right one for the next post or the title on the left side for the previous session.

Thank you for subscribing and have a wonderful day! With Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Past the DEEP FREEZE!

March 15, 2021

Can hardly believe we were in the middle of a DEEP FREEZE just a few weeks ago. Please feel free to CLICK on any of the pictures to see them larger.

You may remember my little pig kicking up his heels from a recent post. WELL rest assured, my Pig CAN FLY IN THE SNOW!

The scene from my back porch, as more snow fell two days later, was beautiful. BUT, this Southern Girl was absolutely Freezing! I am SO APPRECIATIVE of everyone’s concern and emails asking if I was OK. I was very fortunate, there were a lot of people who had it much, much worse than I did.

Now we are basking in the warmth of our normal Texas weather. Took these pictures this weekend. I found a couple of Geraniums at my local grocery store and grabbed them quickly. It’s so wonderful to have some color back in the garden. AND……notice the flush of pink in the background.

That’s my Redbuds starting to bloom! YIPPEE!!!!!

Pinkie, Rosie and Ruby are bursting out with Spring Cheer!

Mr. and Mrs. Plumbob, my Mexican Plum Trees, are too!

I’ve pruned the Rose arbors and they are putting on new growth. These Peggy Martin Roses will have beautiful soft pink blooms in about a month.

Tropicana Canna Lilies are peeking out!

The Red Yucca doesn’t want to be left out so he is sending up some flower stalks that will be attracting Hummingbirds before too long.

The California Poppies weren’t even fazed by the brutal cold. Almost as soon as the snow melted a few flowers popped out.

And last, but certainly not least, BLUEBONNETS! I discovered the first blossom of the season in my garden! The tiny Cobalt Blue petals and Star shaped leaf clusters signal the highly anticipated arrival of more of our beautiful Texas State Flowers. The lupines should be in full bloom in a few more weeks. I know it’s difficult to tell but I’m excited and my heart is singing! Spring is my favorite time of year! I’ve still got A LOT of cutting back and cleaning up to do in my garden, but as you can see, SPRING IS SPRINGING here! With Happy Spring Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

The Portrait

March 11, 2021

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

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Tapestry of Fall

March 9, 2021

I selected deep blue containers for this piece because they stand out from the rusts and golds of the distant trees. The large ceramic pots are formed with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White.

The entire surface of the terrace floor is covered with mixes of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. The light and shadow pattern is established, then the perspective lines of the tiles are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush dipped in a thin oil mix of MUD + Liquin. You may click on this image, or any of the others, to see enlargements.

Next the horizontal lines separating the individual pavers are drawn. Working wet-into-wet makes it much easier to pull smooth lines. AND, if a line happens to go awry I can easily paint it out and start over!

The brilliant hot pink Bougainvillea is painted with combinations of Permanent Rose + White, Cadmium Red Light + Permanent Rose + White, Cadmium Red Light + White and Cadmium Red Light. The rich, deep shade of the evergreens behind the Bougainvillea makes it appear even brighter.

Cadmium Yellow Sunflowers nod and bob their heads cheerfully beside Ms. Bougie!

The distinctive centers are first made with the MUD + Liquin mixture. Then the lighter rim is added with some of the color remaining from the floor.

A few petals float to the floor in the soft mountain breeze.

I’ve decided to change the flowers in the front right corner to deep red Geraniums. The fluffy blossoms are blocked in with Cadmium Red Deep and Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson. I’d originally planned White lilies here, but I realize they will take away from the silvery, sunlit lake in the distance. Orange ones would compete with the oranges and golds in the trees beyond the terrace. And pink won’t work because of the pink Bougainvillea.

Sweet Potato Vine cascades from under the Geraniums. The leaves of this sweet vine cast heart shaped shadows on the container. An added plus of the Geranium and Sweet Potato Vine is their green leaves contrast with the fall foliage, making it pop!

Sunlit petals of the Geranium are accentuated with Cadmium Red Light.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Changing the Grapes to Wisteria!

The gnarled, twisted trunks of the Wisteria are highlighted by the filtered light streaming through the vine covered pergola. 

Come take a seat, have a sip of wine and enjoy the view of silvery Jordan Lake surrounded by mountains blanketed in the “Tapestry of Fall”. Thank you for joining me in the studio, I hope you’ll come back again soon! With Big Hugs, 

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Painting the Lake and Fall Foliage

March 5, 2021

 

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting Jordan Lake

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Fall Foliage

Now the trees below the terrace are finished, I can paint the railing over them. Balancing my T-Square on the top edge of the canvas, I have to be very careful not to touch the wet paint with the ruler. I slip the fingers of my left hand under it so it keeps the ruler raised up a little bit. Then I can slide my brush along the edge of the ruler to make certain my balusters are perfectly upright. You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

The seat cushions are painted with a mix of Dioxazine Purple + White. Then I finish the table, glasses and wine bottle.

The diagonal basket weave of the chair back is drawn over the wet paint of the table and wine bottle with a brush dipped in a thin mix of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

We’ll be planting the flowers in the large ceramic containers in our next session. Grab some garden gloves and you can come give me a hand! With Colorful Smiles, 

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Grape Covered Pergola

March 3, 2021

The leaves of the vine and grapes covering the pergola, are washed in with thin oil washes. Sap Green + Liguin is used for the foliage, Magenta + Liquin for the sweet fruit. The thin wash over the white canvas gives a beautiful luminosity that I really like. I’ll come back later and add opaque color on the leaves and grapes but will leave some of the washed in color exposed. 

The blue sky is carefully painted around the clusters of grapes using the corner of my square tipped, Bright brush. To enlarge the image to see this better, just click on the picture. 

The upper portion of the sky has been painted with a mix of White + Cobalt Blue, the lower part is a lighter mixture of White + Pthalo Blue. One of the fun things about painting grape vines is adding the curly cue tendrils that reach out from the vines. I draw them into the wet paint of the sky with a fine liner brushed dipped in a mix of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

The beams of the pergola are also painted around the grapes and leaves. The shades of dark brown are combinations of MUD + Cadmium Orange + White.

Thought you’d like to see my palette at this point. The dabs of paint on the left are saved from the vines and sky. #1. All the brown mixtures for the pergola. #2. White + Ultramarine Blue + a touch of MUD. This was used for the most distant mountains. #3. As different as they look, all four of these mixes are made from various proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. These will be used for the next range of mountains coming forward. #4. Sap Green + White, for some of the grape leaves.

The warmest (more orange) of the #3 mixtures is worked into the cooler (bluer) of the #3 mixes to give the impression of the trees, covered in fall foliage, on the distant mountain.

We finish this session by painting the upright support columns of the pergola. I appreciate you following along, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section! With Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

Deer Valley – Here We Come!

February 26, 2021

Starting a new commission today. My collectors went to Deer Valley, Utah for an anniversary celebration and came home the proud owners of a beautiful lot overlooking Jordan Lake! 

Dana asked me to paint a scene of the view from their future home, with the landscape at the peak of fall color. I’ve used an architectural rendering of the house plan as reference to develop my sketch of the pergola covered terrace. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on this, or any of the other images, to view enlargements.  

The horizon line is established first, then the vanishing point for the perspective of the overhead beams is placed at the far left edge of the canvas. It’s indicated by the black arrow. All the lines are drawn with a brush dipped in a thin mixture of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. 

The basic shapes of the distant hills surrounding Jordan Lake are washed in with the same MUD oil wash mixture.

We decided to change the chairs to some that are square with lattice backs. The same perspective point, on the left edge of the canvas, is used to draw the chairs.

Sunflowers and Bougainvilleas will be planted in the large containers on the left of the terrace.

Alizarin Crimson + Liquin is used for the wine in the glasses. Sap Green + Liquin is perfect for the bottle. A little of the Alizarin Crimson wash is added in the lower part, indicating there is still some more vino to enjoy!

Now the lattice backs are added to the chairs.

Our basic plan is sketched up on the canvas and we’ll begin painting in our next session. Hope you’ll come back to my studio and 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 click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. Please keep in mind, to move through the blog when you get the posts just CLICK on the small titles at the top of the page. The right one for the next post or the title on the left side for the previous session.

Thank you for subscribing and have a wonderful day! With Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

ALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com

BRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

February 16, 2021

 

Woke up Monday morning to a huge surprise in this part of Texas, SNOW!!!!!!!  I know those of you who live up in the Frozen Tundra are laughing but this is a rare occurrence here!

My studio looks so awesome, covered in the wintery blanket!

Here’s a few pictures of my garden.

It’s 28 degrees out there, still a bit too cold for this Southern girl to go sit out on the bench.

Another big surprise was NO POWER! BRRRRRRRRR!!!!! But I’ve finally got electricity and internet access, YIPPEE!!! First since 7PM Monday evening when the power came on for 1 minute! Before that it was on for 5 minutes at 6PM. The last power more than 5 minutes at a time was at 9AM Monday. Was down to 10 degrees Sunday night and 14 degrees last night. It’s been 48 degrees in the house, I’ve been bundled up today working on sketches for commissions. Fortunately, I have a gas water heater so could get a nice hot shower this morning. I’m just really thankful to Our Lord that I have a wonderful home to bundle up in.

I’m incredibly glad warmer weather is on the way! Now that my studio is brightly lit again, I’m still working on that complicated surprise portrait. So, I won’t be posting any paintings for a little while. But just wanted to share my snow pictures with you and let you know I’m OK! Thanks to everyone for your concern. You’re the BEST! With Lots of Warm Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEGALL SENKARIK IMAGES ARE PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAW

© Senkarik 2021

www.senkarik.com