Scottsdale continued….

March 29, 2019

The upper pads of the Giant Wheel Prickly Pear Cactus are warmed by the rays of the setting sun. The cool greens behind them accentuate their warmth even more.

The structure is constructed next. The adobe color is mixes of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. More MUD is added into the shadow mixtures. The adobe color is carefully worked around the Chili Ristra. I’m able to turn my square tipped, Bright Brush sideways to get into the smaller spaces. You may click on the image to view an enlargement.

Strings of dried Chili Peppers are seen throughout the American Southwest and I often include them in my Santa Fe pieces. During our travels, Jack and I were amazed when we found Chili Ristras in shops and markets along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Were we ever surprised!

A pad of the Giant Wheel Cactus casts a shadow on the courtyard wall. Even the tiny, needle-like spines make shadows.

The large containers are washed in with Ultramarine Blue + Liquin. The blue ceramic pots will offer a nice contrast to all of the warm color of the terrace, flowers and landscape.

The entire surface of the Saltillo Tile floor is covered, establishing the light and shadow pattern. Various mixes of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a bit of Cadmium Red Light + White are used.

Perspective lines, indicating the crevices between individual pavers, are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush. This is done freehand. Bracing against the mahl stick would limit the range of motion of my arm; I wouldn’t be able to make the lines straight.

The painting is signed into the wet paint of the floor in the lower left corner. It’s much easier to make the calligraphy of my signature smooth at this point. If I waited until the tiles were dry, the rough surface would make my brush skip and hop, resulting in ragged lines! Thank you for following along today. Hope you’ll come back for our next session, I’ll have a video showing how I paint the Wine Bottle and Glasses! HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Mountains Majesty

March 27, 2019

We’ll begin applying the opaque Oil Color in the sky. My mixtures are shown above… #1. White + Cobalt Blue. #2. White + Pthalo Blue. #3. White + MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson). #4. Mix #3 + more White + Alizarin Crimson. #5. White + Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light. #6. Mixture #5 + additional White.

The darker mix #1 is used in the upper portion of the sky, while #2 is for the area nearer the horizon. Usually I’ll cover the entire sky with the blue mixes but today I’m trying something different. I’m leaving white canvas where I want my clouds, allowing me to see their pattern.

The lowest part of the clouds is blocked in with mixes #3 and #4. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

The lightest mixes are used for the portions of the clouds that are illuminated by the setting sun.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Blocking in the Mountains

The color of the closest hills is carefully painted around the oil wash drawing of the wrought iron chair. The initial sketch is now dry so I can easily wipe off any errant brush strokes.

The edge of the bistro table and the chair back are now drawn into the wet paint of the Palo Verde Trees and hill in back of them with a combination of MUD + Liquin.

Fronds of the tall Palm Trees glimmer in the warmth of the lowering sun. The darker portions of the fan shaped fronds are mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + a touch of MUD + White. Cadmium Yellow Medium + White is added into those mixtures to make the warmer highlights.

The Saguaro Cactus is made with the darker mixes remaining from the Palms. More White has been added in for the lighter parts.

The background is complete, we’ll begin construction in our next session. Hope you’ll come give me a hand! HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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ARIZONA!

March 25, 2019

We’re off to Arizona today, Scottsdale to be exact. This is another commission, my collector wants me to paint the view from their home in the Sonoran Desert. The mountains are called “Four Peaks”.

Here’s my pen and ink sketch. I’ve moved a huge Saguaro cactus from another part of their property closer to the terrace.

We begin sketching the basic composition on the canvas with a thin oil wash made of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. The building is constructed first.

After drawing the terra cotta containers, the ovals of the top of the bistro table and seat of the chair are established. Notice the horizontal line through both, this helps me in making the ovals in the correct orientation. I don’t worry about the seat of the second chair, it will be covered by flowers. You may click on the image to enlarge this, or any of the other pictures.

Hearts in the backs of the chairs bring a touch of romance to the painting.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Washing In the Chili Ristra

Let’s draw that wonderful cactus. Jack always called these “People Cacti”. In the spring they have gorgeous white flowers on the tips of each arm. They look almost like a girl adorned with a crown of beautiful blossoms and holding several bouquets of flowers in her many arms!

The wine bottle is first washed in with Sap Green + Liquin. Then a thin wash of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin is made over the lower portion to give the feeling of wine in the bottle.

Allllllll Right! We have our plan sketched up and are ready to begin painting in our next session. I do hope you’ll come back to our 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 enter your email address and 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. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!”Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Three Times the Charm

March 23, 2019

Wisteria drapes over the doorway. The long, dangling blossoms are mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White and Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple + White. Leaves are added around the masses of flower color with combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. You may click on the image to view an enlargement.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Wall Tiles

Crisp white blooms of a Matilija Poppy are accented by the blue door. The shadow colors of the flowers are blocked in with mixes of White + Ultramarine Blue, White + Dioxazine Purple and White + a bit of Pthalo Blue. The foliage is  various mixtures of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White.

Pure White highlights make the Poppies glow! The middles are added with Cadmium Yellow + MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson). A dot of Cadmium Yellow is then made to accent those centers touched by sunshine. You can see why the Matilija Poppies are sometimes called “Fried Egg Flowers”.

California Poppies hug the base of the terra cotta container by the front door. The shadows are Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson while those flowers in the light are painted with pure Cadmium Orange.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Sunflowers!

Geraniums overflow from the planter box under the window. The fluffy blossoms are mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep and Cadmium Red Light.

Three Times the Charm

Having tiles with the initials of their children brings “Three Times the Charm” to this quaint Santa Fe Doorway. Thank you for following along; I appreciate all your kind comments! HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Blue Willows

March 21, 2019

I’m very blessed to have several commissions to do, SO…….I’m starting on another one! This piece has been designed to hang with two other paintings I’ve done for this collector. My pen and ink sketch is shown above.

The verticals of the door and window are drawn first. I use a T-Square balanced on the top of the canvas to make certain the lines are perfectly upright and true. You may click on the image to see it larger.

The initial oil wash drawing is made with a brush dipped in a thin mixture of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. My collectors asked if I could somehow include the initials of their three children in the painting. I thought it would be fun to have wall tiles with the letters on them, similar to a house number.

The openings of the window and door are washed in with the same mix. I want this area to be semi-transparent, not completely opaque. When the mullions and willow twigs are added the semi-transparent area will look like glass.

I’m finished drawing the basic composition up on the canvas. This is allowed to dry overnight before I begin applying opaque oil color.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Blue Willow Twigs

The window and window box are painted with the same mixes as the door, Pthalo Blue + White.

The entire surface of the floor is covered establishing the light and dark pattern. Combinations of MUD + Cadmium Orange + White are used. A few strokes of the Pthalo Blue + White mix are made directly below the door, giving the feel of it reflecting into damp tile.

Perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush.

A little Cadmium Red Light is added into the floor paint to block in the terra cotta container. Then the painting is signed while the tile color is still wet. Making smooth, flowing calligraphy is much easier at this point. If the underlying paint was dry my lines would skip and hop over the rough surface. NOT GOOD! I’ll have a video showing how I paint the Sunflowers in the next session. Hope you’ll come back 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 enter your email address and 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. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!”Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Invitation to Return

March 18, 2019

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Floor Part 1

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Floor Part 2

Geraniums are planted in the tall, terra cotta pot. The red blossoms are blocked in first with combinations of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Red Light. The leaves are mixes of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

Unopened flower buds, so characteristic of Geraniums, are a lighter mix of green that is made by adding some White to the leaf mixture. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to view enlargements.

Coreopsis fill the square container nestled by the Geraniums. The flowers are mixtures of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Alizarin Crimson + a touch of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson), Cadmium Yellow Medium + a little MUD and Cadmium Yellow Medium.

After painting the foliage with mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White, the central part of the yellow blossoms is accented with reds leftover from the Geraniums.

Centers of the Coreopsis are painted in 2 steps. First a black dot is made with MUD + Liquin (upper left flowers). Then a smaller, yellow dot is made in the middle of the black one.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: SURPRISE!!!!!!!

The bright, colorful part of the Bougainvillea is called the bracts. The flowers are imperceptible at this distance, they actually are very tiny and white. The hot pinks used here are made with various combinations of Permanent Rose + White, Permanent Rose + Magenta + White, Permanent Rose + Cadmium Red Light + White and Cadmium Red Light + White. I let one long arm of the “Bougie” come in front of the corner of the tile. This helps to give a feeling of depth.

Invitation to Return     30 inches x 24 inches

Lesley loved their visit to Santorini and would like to return one day. What a wonderful idea she had asking me to open the gate. It issues a welcoming “Invitation to Return”. In the meantime she can enjoy a Santorini Sunset every day! I appreciate your encouraging comments, I have the greatest followers! With Colorful Smiles,

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Blue and White

March 16, 2019

Reflections of the setting sun glimmer on the windows of the buildings in the distance. The background structures have been painted with mixes in different proportions of White + a little MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + more Ultramarine Blue. The sunlit portions of the buildings are not pure White but rather White with a touch of Ultramarine Blue added, this makes them recede. Pure White will be used to highlight the Church and top of the wall in the foreground. The Blue doors and shutters are Cobalt Blue + White. You may click on the image to see it larger.

A yellow umbrella graces a terrace on the hillside. It was made with Cadmium Yellow Medium + a small portion of MUD + White. The MUD and White dull the yellow so it will fall into the background. A Permanent Rose + Magenta + White Bougainvillea cascades over the wall of the house. Wouldn’t you love to live there and get to sit on that terrace every day, enjoying the beautiful sunset? I certainly would.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Cobalt Blue Dome

The shadows on the church tower are mixes of White + MUD + Ultramarine Blue + a little Cadmium Orange. The Orange warms the color so it comes forward of the shadow hues on the buildings in the distance. Running my brush along the edge of the T-Square resting on the top of my canvas enables me to make the up and down lines perfectly straight. BUT, I have to be very careful to NOT let the T-Square touch the wet painting! The White, outer part of the canvas is our Senkarik/White Signature Frame that Jack designed. I’ve taped the edges so my frame will remain nice and clean. When the painting is finished I will pull the tape off and SHAZAM! A beautiful white frame!

The back edge of the sunlit plane of the tower is painted with some of the White + Ultramarine Blue mix I used to highlight the buildings on the far hill. Then the front part is made with pure White. Notice how this jumps forward of the background windmill and houses.

Paint mixes left over from the dome are used for the criss-cross panels in the windows. The dark area of the opening, washed in with MUD + Liquin when I initially sketched the composition on the canvas, is now dry.

As we move forward, a tiny bit more Cadmium Orange and MUD are added into the shadow mixes for the wall. This warms the mixtures, forcing the buildings that are painted with the cooler shadows to go back visually.

A tiny touch of Pthalo Blue is added to the Cobalt Blue + White mixtures remaining from the dome. This makes the blue a little more intense and warm. The boards on the gate become progressively lighter as they come forward. This helps to give the feeling of depth.

Construction work on the buildings is done! We still have some heavy lifting to do; we’ll be laying the stone floor and planting in our next session. Why don’t you grab some gloves and come give me a hand? Hugs,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Painting the Sunset

March 14, 2019

 

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Sunset Sky

The blades of the windmill are drawn into the wet sky with a mix of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. My wrist is braced against the mahl stick that is hooked over the top of my easel. This steadies my hand as I delineate the long shafts. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

The rims of the billowy clouds are illuminate by the setting sun. A mix of White + Cadmium Yellow Medium is used for the sparkling highlights.

The distant water is painted with a mix of Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. The horizon becomes a brilliant line of gold, reflected from the sun above. Islands in the background are made of various combinations of MUD + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. The land masses are covered first, then their color is pulled down into the water below to make the reflections.

Color from the sky is dragged into the wet paint of the water for the reflections. Painting the island in back of the church tower, I carefully work around the cross on the facade. The dark of the land masses in the distance accentuates the sunlit building.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Water

The metallic water of the Aegean Sea dazzles with dancing light reflecting from the setting sun. We’ll be working on the distinctive white and blue buildings in our next session, see you then. With Colorful Smiles!Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Join me in Santorini!

March 12, 2019

We’re headed to Santorini, Greece for my next collaboration. This piece is based on a painting I’ve done previously, “A Touch of Greece”. We’ll be making a couple of changes to personalize the painting especially for my collectors. Since the perspective is a bit complicated I begin sketching in pencil; the first step is to establish the horizon line. The Domed Church will be drawn in three point perspective, the blue arrows indicate each of the vanishing points on the horizon line. To see this more clearly you may enlarge the image by clicking on the picture.

Work continues to get the precise perspective and curves of the Church building correct.

WHEW! The church is accurately drawn up. Now I’m able to start “washing in” the islands and cascade of buildings on the bluff in the background with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash made of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

The dark islands in the background will accentuate the sunlit tower. The blue Dome is covered with an oil wash of Ultramarine Blue + Liquin.

Lesley decided she would like to open the gate, it was closed in the original piece that she saw. It’s fun adding the scene through the gate, a stairway to the water that’s WAY BELOW!

The basic oil wash drawing is complete. This stage establishes the light and dark values in the composition. I’ve also indicated the position of the sun, this helps me plan how the light pours through the gate. The pencil line drawn straight down from the orb will assist in determining its reflections on the water.

While working I constantly study my painting in the mirror placed on an easel behind me. This allows me to critique my layout and the accuracy of my oil wash drawing. Taking the extra time at this point to make certain all is well saves lots of time and effort later. It’s much easier to make corrections NOW. All looks good, I’ll begin adding opaque oil paint in our next session.

Hope you’ll come back 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 enter your email address and 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. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!”Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Hershey

March 10, 2019

The first thing in our session today is to paint Hershey’s ears. A mix of Alizarin Crimson + a touch of Ivory Black + White is perfect for the pink skin in his ears. As I was working I heard a soft “Rrrrrrowe”. Looking back over my shoulder, imagine my surprise……….

There was Molly, modeling for me!!!!! She never moved from this position until I was finished painting today.

The planes of Hershey’s head are formed using Ivory Black, Ivory Black + White and Ivory Black + White + a touch of Ultramarine Blue.

Having Molly as a model was very helpful when painting Hershey’s nose and muzzle.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting Hershey’s eyes

The last step is to add Hersey’s striking White whiskers. The background and his coat are still wet, making it easy to pull the long, delicate lines smoothly with a fine liner brush.

Hershey is DONE! A few day’s drying time and he’ll be ready to head home to his mom and dad. I’m honored to be asked to paint their pretty boy. These fur babies really grab our heartstrings, don’t they? I appreciate all of your wonderfully kind comments. HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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