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Showing posts from May, 2007
“Saluki Study,” 6x8, dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

This one was a HUGE challenge for me, on a number of different levels.

First off, the scale is such that the dog’s face was only an inch long. By my usual standards, that would be the size of an eyeball. It also means that my typical loose and gestural brushwork had to be reined in for fear of compromising important details.

And secondly, there is far more landscape in this painting. I’ve been studying landscape for awhile now, and as one of my mentors ever so gently reminds me, the landscape (or background) is just as important as the focal point. It will not carry as much detail, but it should be just as carefully thought out and rendered.

I created a diagonal “horizon” to play off the direction of the wind, and I used the brushwork in the background layers to suggest blurred motion, even though the dog is standing still. It’s a good juxtaposition for this particular bre…
“Vizsla Eyes,” 6” x 8”, dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries can come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Today’s painting is all about the gaze. I learned recently from an old family friend that even as a youngster (7 or 8 years old), I was fascinated with capturing the life and energy in the eyes. To me it remains a challenge even to this day – I need to see the spirit of the animal, to connect with it, while the painting is still developing on my canvas. Some of my toughest paintings are those where the eyes are obscured, and then I need to rely on other aspects like body language and lighting to engage in, but that’s another story.

Today it’s the eyes. Everything else is secondary. How did I do that? All through controlling the quality of the edges – see how the only sharp, crisp lines are around the eyes? – and by positioning the greatest contrast in the eyes too. I also build up the purest spots and greatest variety of color around the eyes (or wherever my focal poi…
“Vizsla Study in Profile,” 6x12, acrylic pet portrait on canvasboard. Inquiries as always to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Experimenting with a new palette at the tail end of last week really set my creative juices going. I wanted to play more with the combination of yellow ochre, cadmium red dark and cobalt blue – I found I could get some lovely oranges and flesh colors with them, and wanted to push the paints around some and see what else I could make them do. But I resisted the pull of the studio all weekend long, and made myself wait till this morning.

I turned to a breed favorite – the Vizsla. (Continuing along the blue-orange theme from last week, too, I just realized.) I’ve said this before, but I just love their coloring and the drape of skin across sinewy bodies. And while I’m not certain this profile is quite confirmationaly perfect (the nose might be a smidge too deep), there was enough other positive things happening that I didn’t ditch it entirely.

I primarily used one…
ARTIST'S NOTE Oct 8th, 2007: This painting has been beautifully mounted and framed to a perfect 12" square. It is available for purchase directly from the artist. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . “Great Expectations (Pomeranian Study),” 6” square, Pomeranian portrait in acrylic on canvasboard.

Today I played hookey from the studio and pretended to be a housewife for a bit. Did the grocery thing, some laundry, even picked up and did a little cleaning. But as soon as the kids all got tucked into bed, I ducked into the studio for a little of what I fondly refer to as my “mental health time.”

I got some Rossini going on the ipod, and laid out my palette with some new colors. I’d been talking to a number of artists who relied on yellow ochre instead of cadmium yellow, so I figured I would give it a try. Often when there’s little room or time for experimentation, that’s the best opportunity to take chances. I wouldn’t have the luxury of many second guesses tonight.

I chose…
“Pom Pup,” 5x7, acrylic Pomeranian portrait on canvasboard, $60. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

I had never seen a black Pomeranian until this last weekend. This tiny little lady was a doll, all fur and bright eyes.

Again, like yesterday’s painting, today’s is a study in blue and orange compliments. The blues are much grayer, and so are the oranges. But they have the same effect – they amp each other’s saturation.

I’d like to thank returning collector Nancy Gutelius for purchasing Monday’s white cat painting. Thanks are also in store for the Giampa family, who bought yesterday’s Chesapeake Bay Retriever piece.

You are welcome to jump into the dog-a-day project yourselves – just send digital photos to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com. I’ll acknowledge receipt and let you know when to expect to see that familiar face on the dog-a-day pages.

Thanks as always for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with friends and family,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedes…
“Chesapeake Bay Retriever Study,” 6” x 12”, dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

This is a nice example of compliments – even though the blues and oranges are muted, they still play together well. I employed some very juicy brushwork on this one, waiting till I had the whole board covered, then using a stiff dry brush to blend my edges all together. After I was happy with the base this process created, I went in with gradually smaller brushes, leaving my “hashmarks” with stronger edges, and creating contrast.

I like the relaxed feel of this one – the dog is content, and the light is soothing. Makes me want to go sit on a dock somewhere and dangle my toes in the water.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Foun…
“Bulldog Study,” 8” square, dog painting in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

He’s pretty deep in thought, isn’t he? With hindsight, I should have included a little line of drool….. then I could have titled the painting “Anticipation.” (Remember that old Heinz ketchup commercial?!) Of course, I always could go back into it, too….

I love the way his teeth have caught that upper lip. Bulldogs have such expressive faces, and lend themselves to some wonderful paintings.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with friends and family.
Kim


Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web
“White Cat Study,” 4” x 5”, acrylic cat painting on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

The sunlight was fabulous this morning, so after I opened up the studio, I decided to paint something swimming in lighter values. This particular piece has so many subtleties to it – the glazes shift from pale yellows to pinks, with a few touches of greens and violets for good measure. The brushwork is thick – at one point I started using globs of paint to indicate the direction of the fur, and I built upon that texture further by dry-brushing additional layers overtop.

So there you have it, a simple, bright little piece for this sunny Monday.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
“Lucky,” 8” square, dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!!). (Lucky is a retired PAWS service dog, and I will be donating proceeds from the sale of his portrait back to PAWS with a Cause.)

I inadvertently took yesterday off. I spent the day running about a zillion errands (ok, maybe it was only 12), and by the time I sat down last night to paint, I was whipped. After a little bit of procrastination involving a glass of wine and a few mouthfuls of Ben & Jerry’s, I realized I could paint the daily dog today (Saturday), sine I had committed to demonstrating all day long at a local street festival.

We set up early, at 7am, and the rain was gently falling, but the light was beautiful, the way it bounced around underneath my canopy. I started painting Lucky around 9am, and moved onto a larger horse canvas later in the day. The rain came and went, but it did not seem to keep anyone away. In addition to a full day of painting, I met all sorts of great people…
“Zoe,” 5” x 7”, Airedale portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection.

I recently painted a larger than lifesize portrait of Zoe, and had a blast. The toughest part was choosing a pose that would anchor the composition and really communicate her laid back and casual approach to life. The choice was further complicated by the dozen caliber photos Zoe’s “person” provided.

Donna (Zoe’s Mom) started out years ago as a client, but has grown into a friend (I think that happens with a good number of my collectors!). She has regularly shared her sources of inspiration (check out Julian Merrow Smith’s paintings at http://www.shiftinglight.com/ ), and regularly brightened my days with her well written “streams of consciousness.” She gave me free rein when building the concept for Zoe’s painting. I did all sorts of schemes and tried out different sketches, ultimately choosing a relaxed lounge on a bunched up afghan, with the color and detail all concentrated in Zoe’s face.

But one small p…
“Fidgette,” 6” x 12”, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

With this painting I indulged my love of color a bit more than usual. I tried to keep the colors true to the real Fidgette around her face, but I treated the rest of the painting like it might have been an abstraction, with just a hint of her body and tail, and layers of rich blues and greens. It gives this piece an interesting presence, and compliments the intensity of her gaze nicely.

Wanna get your own dog-a-day? Commissioning your own dog-a-day painting is as simple as sending me your photos – emailed to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com, or snail mailed to 346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, MI 48362 (all original photographs will be returned). I’ll acknowledge receipt of all photos, and give you an anticipated week when you can expect to see your dog featured in their own dog-a-day painting. The whole process is broken down on the project website, http://www.paintingadogaday.com/ .

Also …
I get many requests for donations, and I have always wanted to be able to agree to all of them. But in the past, donating a pet portrait meant committing several weeks to a month of my productivity, and I had to place serious limitations on my donations. My heart always said yes, but my head had to say no most of the time.

That’s still the situation – however, with the dog-a-day project, I’ve been able to say yes a bit more often. I still choose my affiliations carefully, limiting them to organizations I have had a personal connection with. There’s no better feeling than knowing I’m helping out in some small way.

This particular painting came about from a gift certificate donated to the Boys & Girls Club. My boys have enjoyed their club membership for years, and when I was approached about helping with their annual fundraiser, I was delighted that this time I could say “yes!”

So here is Maddie, a 6” square of poufy fur, bright eyes and a big ole happy grin. Loose brushwork everywhere…
Such a tender expression! This is Duncan, just a few weeks into this world when the reference photos for this painting were taken. “West Highland Pup,” 8” square, private collection.

West Highland Terriers have beautiful fur – translucent wisps of wirey fur, going in every possible direction. Add those inky black eyes and a soft damp nose, and they become pretty irresistible.

In order to capture the density of his coat, I laid down violets and greens before topping them with apricot and pink glazes. The eyes got painted first, too, so that the fringe framing his muzzle could float overtop his gaze just so.

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

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web
“Johnnie Pug,” 6x8, pug portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Pug Rescue Network in Walled Lake, Michigan. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Johnnie is an 8 year old pug who came to the rescue as an owner surrender. He had spinal and neurological issues stemming from a healed injury that went untreated. Thankfully, Johnnie isn’t in any pain, and he’s able to move around like nobody’s business, he just does it in his own unique way. I was captivated by his spunk and fortitude – it’s amazing how sweet these dogs can be. You can read Johnnie’s complete story at the rescue’s website under “Adoption” – http://www.pugrescuenetwork.com/ - and learn the various ways you can help out the rescue (like by donating old bedding and towels for use as dog blankets).

If you have adopted a pug from the Pug Rescue Network and commission your own dog-a-day portrait before May 31st, 20% of your sale will be donated to the rescue. P…
“Mia,” 6” x 12”, puppy portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Michigan Humane Society. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Mia and her siblings were at the Rochester Hills branch of the Michigan Humane Society just a few short weeks ago. Mia has been adopted, and now has her very own boy. Her life will be a good one, filled with camping trips, swimming in the lake, and some serious duck chasing. I had fun painting all the greens and violets in Mia’s fur, and getting that precocious puppy expression.

If you have adopted an animal from the Rochester Hills branch of the Michigan Humane Society and commission your own dog-a-day portrait before May 31st, 20% of your sale will be donated to the shelter. Please contact me for more information – ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Return collector JoAnne Little gets a big tail wag from Sadie and her colleagues at Friends of Michigan Animal Rescue for her purchase of Mo…
“Ying Yang Rabbits,” 8x10, pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $100. 20% of the sale of this painting will go to the Michigan Humane Society. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Did you know that shelters house animals other than the typical dog or cat? The Michigan Humane Society will find new homes for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets, along with reptiles. Right now the Rochester Hills Shelter has 3 beautiful white New Zealand rabbits available for adoption. You may contact them for information on any of their adoptable animals at 248-852-7420. You can also view a listing online by visiting http://www.michiganhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=adopt_rochester .

If you have adopted an animal from the Rochester Hills branch of the Michigan Humane Society and commission your own dog-a-day portrait before May 31st, 20% of your sale will be donated to the shelter. Please contact me for more information – ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . .

Thanks, as always…
“Rosie,” 8”x8”, bull dog mix portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. 20% of the sale of this painting will go to 2nd Chances Pit Bull Rescue in Charlotte, Michigan. Inquiries can come to ksantinI@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Meet Rosie, a 3 year old bulldog mix, currently sponsored by 2nd Chances Pit Bull Rescue. She is crate trained and housebroken, still full of puppy antics, a cuddlebug, and athletic. In addition to the breed’s trademark stubbornness, Rosie is also deaf, but that has not hindered her learning hand signals or to come when lights/flashlights are flickered.

2nd Chances was started 7 years ago by Debbie Jaworski, who saw a need to save bulldog mixes from shelters before they were euthanized or sold for research. Debbie personally fosters each of the dogs she saves, brings them up to date on all vaccinations, neutering, and microchipping them before making them available for adoption. She also works diligently to make certain adopting families understand their new dog, …
“The Blanket Closet (Sadie),” 6” x 12”, dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. 20% from the sale of this painting will go to the Friends of Michigan Animal Rescue in Bellevue, Michigan. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Sadie was found wandering near the Friends of Michigan Animal Rescue in Bellevue, Michigan. Neighbors thought perhaps she had gotten loose from the rescue, but that was not the case. Her body was covered with burrs, she had cuts on her ears, and tumors on her belly. The rescue league contacted animal control and offered to house Sadie in lieu of sending the old lady to the animal controls’ kennel. Animal control agreed.

The non-profit organization Friends of Michigan Animal Rescue cared for Sadie during her mandatory 7 day wait period. They cleaned her up, put medication on her wounds, and did everything they could to make her comfortable. After the mandatory 7 day wait period (noone called or inquired at animal control), the rescue took …

Welcome to May 2007 Shelter Rescue Week

Before getting to work on today’s painting, I thought I would share a quick note explaining how this week will work.

Beginning this month, the Painting a Dog a Day project will include one week dedicated to adoptable animals from Michigan shelters and rescues. The first full week of each month will include my daily paintings as always, but the subjects will have originated from various shelters or rescue leagues. Proceeds from the painting sales this week will be returned to the host shelters and rescues.

Additionally, during the month a shelter or rescue is featured, families having adopted previously from that shelter or rescue and commissioning their own dog-a-day painting will accrue another donation to their respective shelter or rescue.

Organizations participating in May 2007 are the Friends of Michigan Animal Rescue in Bellevue, the 2nd Chances Pit Bull Rescue in Ingham County, the Rochester branch of the Michigan Humane Society, and the Michigan Pug Rescue Network.

I also have a…
Trust me when I tell you that at this point last week, this particular painting was deep in the uglies. I had been trying to finish it in time for submission to an exhibition, but I was in too much of a rush to listen to what the painting was telling me it needed, and came very close to ruining it. Around 11pm last Friday night I realized how lost I was, painted out all but the horse, and turned it to the wall.

When I peeked at it on Wednesday, I was surprised to see that in my moment of desperation, I had solved the piece’s biggest problem. A fencerow that had zig-zagged across the pasture competed with the horse’s’ silhouette, and ruined the composition’s simplicity of line. Once it was removed, I could clearly see the direction the painting needed to be taken.

So that’s what I did today, repainting the background and tweaking the horse’s withers just a little. I think I’ll still play with the grayed greens in the background, and add more depth to that cloud, but will take it outside …
Meet Gratziana, a Belgian Warmblood filly who’s portrait I get to paint. (Sometimes I have to pinch myself – this isn’t a Real Job, is it?!) As always, in preparation for larger paintings, I do several smaller studies to work out a few ideas in advance. And even though Ahna’s painting isn’t scheduled until later this summer, Derby Week’s daily horses gave me an excuse to dip into her reference photos.

She was a mere 7 weeks old when the photos that inspired this study were taken, but doesn’t she look all dolled up with her braids and silver trappings? I told my client that Ahna looks just like a little girl in lipstick and high heels.

“All Dolled Up (Ahna),” 8’x8”, equine portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80.

SOLD.

Thanks as always for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with friends and family,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of t…
When digging through a drawer earlier last week, I came across a little study that I started as a demo for a beginning painting class I taught last fall. It’s tough when I do these demos to pay attention to color, value, proportion, and maintain some sort of intelligent dialogue. This one was no different – the head was too tiny, the neck too thin, the curve of the belly didn’t quite line up with the rump. I loved the pose, though, and figured I give it another try today.

After all, I had stretched a large 42x28 canvas for this same image – I even went so far as to begin to block it in. The larger painting continued some of the same issues I saw in the little study. In order to do this pose justice, I needed to solve things on a smaller scale first. So why not today?!

It was difficult shifting gears from the scale of yesterday’s painting to this little 5x7 board. My brushwork was too loose at first, and I found myself fighting with the boundaries of the edge of the board. I’ll take that…
For those of you who are just joining us, we have taken a quick break form the daily dogs to paint a few horses during Derby Week.

Today’s painting started out in the depths of the stacks of horse canvases I alluded to in yesterday’s post. This is a paint draft mare I’ve painted several times already. I invested about 10 hours into this canvas about 18 months ago, but realized I didn’t have the knowledge I needed to capture the sort of backlit image I wanted, and buried it.

It was a little ambitious to think that I might be able to salvage and finish this 16x30 canvas (a far cry from the 4x6 dogs I usually paint!!) in one day, but I wanted to push myself. I needed a nice distraction from the thunderstorms rolling in, so flipped on all the studio lighting, and got an early start.

Using all that I’ve learned about color this last year, I started out with a nice cool wash of ultramarine blue and naples yellow, to tone down and push back the sky that had already been painted. I ended up leav…