Paintings With Soul

Since October 2006 I've been a daily painter, creating a new pet portrait at least 5 times per week. Over the years I've expanded my offerings to include a variety of animals, pets, race horses, children and other treasured heirlooms. In addition, I accept a limited number of commissions each year.

In 2015 I am honored to be the Kentucky Derby Artist.

You may use the links below right to receive my daily paintings via email or to follow my blog with a feed. I post additional info, including in-process jpgs and other related information, on the studio Facebook page as well.

Meanwhile, thanks
so much for your continued support of my artwork.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I am often asked why I stretch preparatory studies for my commissioned portraits out over several weeks. I like to do that because it gives my brain a chance to really wrap itself around a particular dog. Typically I have a handful of commissions patiently waiting their turn on the easel, but there is lots of preparatory work that goes on in the months leading up to their moment in the spotlight.

For one thing, I simmer over the breed or dog’s personality, and try to determine the best sort of pose or composition. I seek out examples of the dogs coloring so that I may study them myself, and I try to learn more about breed characteristics when chartering unto unfamiliar territory.

Also over the course of time I spend several hours with the reference photos, trying to imagine the dog romping around my yard. What do they look like in the morning sun? What do they look like lounging around? Or gently backlit? Is there a certain way that I can manipulate the lighting to emphasize the animals’ personality.

Allowing myself the luxury of painting them in a smaller scale over the course of several weeks gives me a chance to briefly indulge in their characteristics, and keep the creative juices going in my subconscious.

And it keeps me fresh when working on the commissioned portraits ahead of them in line. When something is on the easel day after day after day, it’s important to take a break and work on a new project.

The dog-a-days are perfect in that regard!

So here is today’s dog. This is Harley, who I first painted back on April 5th. Today’s exercise was to try out some different blues and see what sorts of shadows I could mix for his markings – Harley has spotted skin that doesn’t perfectly match up with his furred spots, and those furry spots come in a variety of blues to lavenders. So I played with a couple different blues, and introduced a new red to my palette, too, in an attempt to mix some interesting violets.

I wasn’t particularly trying to capture a likeness, and I do think that the eye isn’t quite “Harley”, if you know what I mean. But that doesn’t mean that this preparatory study didn’t serve it’s purpose.

“Great Dane Study III (Harley),” 5x7, acrylic on canvasboard. As this is a preliminary study, it is not yet for sale. The client will have first say on which of these studies they may like, but there will be at least 2 or 3 more studies to come, so chances are several will be available. I will maintain a list of interested buyers – inquiries may come to .

And just as a reminder:

Week of April 30th – Kentucky Derby Week, with horses pinch hitting for the dogs.
Week of May 7th – the inaugural Shelter/Rescue Week, where each animal profiled will be an adoptable one from a shelter or rescue, and proceeds will be donated to the respective shelter/rescue.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Enjoy the weekend!

Kimberly Kelly Santini
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
the gateway to canine art on the web

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