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Showing posts from July, 2007
“Bullwinkle,” 6”x8”, pointer mix pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (again, thank you!).

Bullwinkle, the partner in crime to yesterday’s Rocky, is another playful soul. I painted him with a toy firmly in his mouth, inviting the viewer to start a game of tug-of-war.

I neglected to mention last night that both yesterday’s and today’s (and Mon-Thur of last week’s) paintings qualified for a contribution to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kenab, Utah. To date, the Painting a Dog a Day project has raised over $150 for this group, and that amount will continue to climb during the coming weeks as I complete commissioned dog-a-day portraits resulting from the July feature article in Best Friends Magazine. My goal is to ultimately raise $1000 for the shelter – and we are well on track!! Thank you to all the kind souls who are on board!

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary will continue to be the featured shelter throughout August (I’m looking for a few more muses, if you happ…
“Rocky,” 6” x 12”, weimereiner pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

It’s not often that I fit more than head and shoulders into a dog a day painting, but with Rocky, I felt as though I had no choice. As all weimies go, she’s constantly on the go, playful and goofy as all getup. The reference photo of her stopping mid backscratch to taunt the viewer with a little eye contact was just too good to pass up!

Lots of transparent glazes here, to accentuate the blue-pink quality of Rocky’s fur and skin. I used a similar color for the background, just a little yellower of a shade, to separate it from her body but still fall within the general color scheme. And I relied equally on the power of various lines as I did on modeling/shading the dog’s shape.

For me, this painting carries a 5 star “grin” factor, even though I might go back into it tomorrow and throw another wash of pale green overtop the grass, and add some pale blue highlights to the ground. (yes, tha…
This is a larger canvas, 14” high by 24” wide, and it’s still very much in progress. Not even yet titled (“The Red Collar” and “Black and White” are two possibilities). The inspiration is a gorgeous great dane, “Harley,” who I met back in the spring, when I shot several hundred photos in preparation for a commissioned portrait.

You’ve met Harley already, too, in a couple of dog-a-day portraits, back in April (the 5th and the 20th).

As happens when I’m on these photo shoots, I find myself discovering ideas inspired by the animals’ personality or their surroundings – often completly separate from the client’s portrait wants. (Muses are haunting every corner, it seems, and they don’t always restrain themselves to the current subject or goal – for instance those gray tabby brothers that couldn’t keep their noses off my camera lens and the wheaten colored Scottie with his foot fetish.)

But in his household, Harley ruled my inspiration pool with a gentlemanly manner. It was The Harley Show, ma…
“Little Jessie,” 4x8, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

This is Jessie, who’s lineage could possibly include lab and a little beagle. She has a smoky quality to her golden fur, and distinctive dark eye liner.

I blocked her in with the typical yellow lab coloring (cadmium yellow dark and cadmium red dark tinted with titanium white and a smidge of green gold), but then added some blue (pthalo) and green (gold) glazes overtop when it was all still wet. Then I drybrushed the entire surface, eliminating all my edges, but leaving her blurry shape. At this point I also make certain that all the little “pockets” in the board are filled with color – that’s one less detail I need to worry about later.

Once that layer dried, I went back in and laid down more generic shapes, starting with a careful redrawing of the edges. I gradually push the shadows deeper and pull the highlights forward, allowing the brushwork to model the form.

And I spend a good …
“Love Me (Hayden),” 8” x 8”, lab mix puppy portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection. Another thank you goes out to a Best Friends Magazine reader for commissioning Hayden’s portrait, and sharing her story with me.

Hayden had a rough start to life – at a mere 5 weeks, she was the first of her litter to be thrown out of a moving car onto the highway. Her foster family fell in love (how could anyone resist this face?!), and a year later Hayden leads a happy, healthy and permanent life with them. Still a little timid, she’s not one for car rides, but who can forgive her? Goes to show that with love and understanding, just about anything can be healed.

With respect to commissioning your own dog-a-day portrait, I have a few slots left for the holidays, but essentially am booked through February of 2008.

If you are interested in commissioning a dog-a-day portrait of your own, and want to lock in the current pricing (ranging from $50 to 160), I need your commitment prior to next Tu…
“Cowboy,” 6” x 8”, commissioned Pomeranian pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!). Proceeds from the sale of Cowboy’s portrait will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (I believe our BFAS tab is currently somewhere around $100, after just one week!).

Doing this whole dog-a-day thing is incredibly fun, but it can also be a bit sobering. I had every intention of painting Cowboy earlier in the day, but one thing happened after another, and before I knew it, I was in the throes of preparing a dinner party. You see, my favorite aunt and uncle are in town, and it was our turn to entertain. Nothing fancy – just wiffle ball with the kids, some bar-b-qued ribs, a nice bottle of wine and apple pie a la mode.

Of course, there was the high point, when the kids drug out a so-called Elvis Presley signature they found months ago in the attic of my brother’s house, and Uncle George had them going for a bit, thinking the autograph was worth a couple of bills. It …
“Such a Lady (Amy),” 8x10, acrylic mixed breed pet portrait on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

This painting was a long time in the making. I kept painting it, then backing away, and not seeing enough contrast. There are all sorts of lovely light blues and lavenders and greens in Amy’s underbelly and chest, and I simply wasn’t building enough contrast into them. And with the humidity today, the glazes took their sweet ole time drying, so that extended everything as well.

But I love the halos in Amy’s spots, and they are a fun treat to paint – doing them up in lighter tones, gradually building to their darker centers. The trick, for me, to painting animals with these sorts of markings, is to paint their basic body shape first, and model that with the shadows, midtones, and highlights, and then go into that with the spots and other markings at the very end. You also need to balance those smaller brush marks between all the values – not just the lightest or the darkest. Pull …
“Sniff…. (William),” 8” square, pit bull mix pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.This piece sort of painted itself, which sometimes happens. My reference photo had an eager look to it, and my subconscious picked up on that, lifting William’s chin just a little more, pushing his muzzle gently into the viewers face. When I realized what I had done, I then went back into the rest of the painting with a stiff dry brush, and scrubbed the other edges all away, to further accentuate his gesture.

The sunlit side of his muzzle photographed very flat, but there are some beautiful subtle nuances of apricots and pinks in there. Honest.

Now this painting is the final piece of the four “under consideration” by my client. And it’s eventual sale, like the sales of the other three (Monday’s “Cookie in the Snow,” Wednesday’s “Lip Smackin’,” and yesterday’s “Husky Eyes”) will result in donations made to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab U…
I have gotten a few private emails lately from Painting a Dog a Day subscribers who haven't been getting their daily messages. Some thought the project had discontinued - absolutely not!!

As Google Groups maintains the subscriber mailing list and sends out those daily emails, I have contacted them and asked for assistance in troubleshooting this problem.

Meanwhile, I apologize for the inconvenience. It's amazing how quickly technology becomes a given, and when it goes haywire, it's suddenly a huge pain in the you know what!

My goal is to get this corrected asap!!

So those subscribers who aren't subscribing, please accept my apologies for having to check the blog daily. I truly hope this is resolved quickly!

Thanks again,
Kim
“Husky Eyes (Sheba),” 5x7, husky pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $60. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

I love the masks that huskys wear, and since I’ll be making a zillion of them today (see below), I thought this image would be a fitting way to start things off!

Now I’m off to our local library, where I’ll be leading two children’s classes. Initially we were going to decorate the sidewalks around the library with an animal parade of sidewalk chalk, but as there apparently will be thunderstorms rolling in, we’ll have to shift to Plan B: A banner depicting an animal parade. And, of course, animal masks for all the participants.

Enjoy your evenings, whatever they might involve, whether it’s a roll or two of thunder or some quiet time with a book.

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

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

http://www.paintinga…
“Lip Smackin’ (Murphy),” 4” x 5”, bichon mix pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Yesterday I said today’s piece would be a commission, and in a sense it is. However, my client, who’s sent in multiple candidates for the dog-a-day project, has asked if she could reserve her “first dibs” until all 4 were completed (Monday’s “Cookie in the Snow” is part of the package). It seemed like a reasonable request to me.

But I’m not certain how to handle the logistics, being as I am committed to posting daily, and it’s not fair to post something as available for purchase when it maybe isn’t. So I’ll start a wait list for anyone interested in “Lip Smackin’” or “Cookie in the Snow,” (along with tomorrow and Friday’s paintings) and I’ll let you know by Saturday whether any of these little guys will be coming to live at your house!!

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

Kimberly Kelly Sant…
“In Flight,” 8” x 16”, (my) Australian cattle dog/blue heeler portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $160. I’m really tempted to keep this piece for myself, but being as I have what seems like two dozen paintings of Finnigan already and can always paint him again when the mood strikes, inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

People always comment on how disciplined and organized I must be in order to pull off the whole Painting a Dog a Day project, but then days like this one roll around, where I am busy scrambling to get various show applications completed by their deadline, and then, “DUH!”, realizing that I haven’t finished my entries for an online show that I’m coordinating. So that’s what you get today – my third and final entry for the Canine Art Guild’s “Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun” online exhibition (scheduled to “open” on August 1st).

Among a few other neuroses, Finnigan has a serious Frisbee disorder. Thankfully there’s a horde of willing neighbor kids who love t…
“Cookie in the Snow,” 6x8, lab mix pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

While working late last night on a new canvas, I accidentally discovered a fabulous new palette combination. I thought I’d try it out again in the light of day to see if it was truly as exciting as I thought in the wee hours. And it was.

I introduced raw umber to my palette last night because I wanted my colors on that particular painting to be muted, yet still have a depth to their undertones. One can do this anytime by adding a touch of the colors’ compliment - that pushes your saturation back – but it can also flatten out the density of the color. What I found with the raw umber was that it deadened the saturation without chalking or muddying (yeah, that probably doesn’t make any sense at all to those of you who aren’t painters!). It was an exciting revelation, though.

When mixed with cad yellow dark, the raw umber created a warm and subtle glow. When that combination was tinted…
“Symmetry (Border Collie Study),” 8” square, border collie portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I always enjoying painting subjects that are black and white, because, as I shared earlier this week, black isn’t really black. And therefore, in my skewed world, white isn’t really white, either.

I found inspiration for “Symmetry” from a host of sources, and took various elements from different dogs in my coffer of reference materials to create today’s painting. It practically sings with color – all sorts of blues and greens and oranges. And as a final quirky touch, I repainted one eye pale blue.

I also played with abstractions here – practically splitting the canvas in 1/2 between black and white, but using directional brushwork and contrast within those areas to keep your eye moving and the painting balanced.

Thank you to returning client Judy Kroon, who purchased yesterday’s painting “Incognito.” That little piece could have sold 4 times over…
“Incognito,” 4” x 5”, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

This seemed like an appropo image for a summer’s day. The trickiest part for me was painting the glasses with just the right shade of polarization. First I had them too orange, then they were too blue and dark and not transparent at all. I just kept rubbing them out, and giving it another try. Eventually they worked out well, and then I was able to do the rest of the painting – the nose and the fringey hair.

(Just a note – This is a tiny little painting, and those white specks are the actual weave of the canvasboard.)

Hope everyone is enjoying these longer days, and getting to kick back just a little bit themselves. This dog seems to have it nailed!

Thank you to returning collector Kelly Dally for purchasing yesterday’s Shar-pei painting.

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

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://…
“Sleeping Shar-pei (Raisin),” 6” x 12”, Shar-pei puppy portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

I thought of titling this one “Squished,” which is a bit how Raisin looks painted, although in reality he was all relaxed while snoozing. I loved this pose and angle, especially the contrast between those tender puppy pads and that big ole’ wet pink nose (which I understand is NOT a desired trait on these dogs, but that’s how Raisin’s is, and it IS terribly winsome). I may paint this particular pose again, but longer still, and not as tightly cropped. But for today, this is what you get!!

On another note, the Dog-a-Day collectors’ ranks grew just a little bit yesterday. (I have never had a day quite like yesterday!)

Ø Thank you to Kory Lowe for her purchase of the Cairn Terrier Study from June 15th, and the painting titled “Rapt” from June 27th.

Ø Thank you to Mary Hibbs for her purchase of “Tabby Cat Wink” and “Tortoiseshell Study,” both from…
“Something in the Air (Vizsla Study),” 4’ x 8”, acrylic Vizsla portrait on canvasboard, $60. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

This painting is a return to two of my favorites – one being complimentary colors. I never tire of partnering opposites together, and the blues and oranges in this painting, even though soft, are just such a pairing.

My second favorite (or one of them) – Vizslas. There’s something about their bone structure, their svelte bodies, and all that glorious color. Like molten gold.

An update on the missing dog, Shadow (June 28th’s profile): He’s still out and about. Local papers have run Shadow’s picture, and the town is plastered with flyers. A $500 reward has been offered, no questions asked, for his return. In addition, an offer has been extended to pay adoption costs if the family finding Shadow wishes for a dog of their own. I know I have readers who are outside Oakland County here in Michigan, but for those of you who reading this who are in Shad…
“Scottie Study (Marley Jo),” 6” x 12”, Scottish terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

As I often do, when prepping for a larger painting, I find myself working certain issues out on a smaller scale. The dog-a-days are the perfect platform for just such exercises, which is what today’s painting is.

Meet Marley Jo, a delightfully sassy bundle, despite having had surgery a week prior to our meeting. While my client is considering whether a simple portrait of Marley Jo will suffice, or to add a second grinning face to her painting, I’m busy “simmering” ideas here in the background. (By the way, she does get first dibs on this painting, but being as I haven’t heard back from her yet today….. not everyone is as attached to their computers as I am!!)

So today I wanted to work out my palette. Marley has black fur, but if I painted just with tube black I’d get a flat and terribly uninteresting surface. (Here’s a quick exercise – the ne…
Best Friends Magazine did a beautiful feature article on the Painting a Dog a Day project in their July issue, and I need to extend a HUGE thank you to their staff for doing such a marvelous job.

I also need to thank all their readers who have responded so enthusiastically to the project.

Ironically the magazine came out when I was on vacation (Murphy's law!!), but I am looking forward to returning tomorrow to my daily canines. Trust me, I DID paint last week - I worked on some larger commissions and canvases. I also was able to get to some organizational tasks completed for the Canine Art Guild and a couple other exhibition committees I sit on. I didn't get the studio walls re-painted like I wanted, but there were only so many hours!!

Some of you are receiving "full mailbox" error messages when trying to send me your photos. Please be patient - I am checking my email as often as possible, and responding to your messages as soon as I can.

I'd also like to point o…