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Showing posts from October, 2007
"Bailey," 4" square, terrier mixed breed commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I had to paint a little pumpkin face today, and Bailey fit the bill entirely. PLUS, she also fell into that whole skin tone category that I've been working on lately. And since I returned from class last night with a palette full of mountains of various flesh colors....

I got my wish at class yesterday, too - our model had a wirey gray beard and moustache full of undertones and textured just like a westie. That put me at ease immediately - I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could tackle a human portrait with more success than a still life. Imagine that! I get next week's class to continue tweaking my portrait, and if I don't mess things up entirely, I'll share it with you. (Well, really, I should share it even if I do screw it up, simply as an example of one of many pieces that don't make it into the public's eye. I h…
“Hairy (Harry),” 4x6, commissioned yorkshire terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!)

This piece was done in preparation for my class this evening. I’ll be working on another portrait, albeit human. I am very intimidated by this next phase of my class (you may recall I have been studying still lives in phase 1) – I have no doubt of my drawing skills, but am questioning my ability to paint natural looking skin. I thought Harry’s coloring might get me thinking along the lines of human skin tones, although I know I will always be partial to those cute damp black noses…… Maybe I’ll luck out, and the model will be really hairy!!

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family –
It’s always a treat,
Kim

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

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.
You read it right. Today belonged to the pigs. Guinea pigs, that is.

These two are going to fill a couple of stockings this coming December, and (hopefully) will serve as lifelong reminders of real companionship.



"Smores," 6" square, commissioned guinea pig portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection.

"Bandit," 4x8, commissioned guinea pig portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, same private collection (and THANK YOU!).

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family. The dog-a-day readership continues to grow, and I love hearing from each of you. Thanks for making my obsession – err, project - part of your daily routine.
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini

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

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/come sit stayenjoy the art

http://www.canineartguild.com/proud founding member of The Canine Art Guild


Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtled…
Today you get two wonderful little pet portraits. I'll let them speak for themselves.


"Sadie," 5x7, commissioned corgi pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard.

"Derby," 6x8, commissioned grayhound pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard.

Both of these pieces are destined as holiday gifts, and are going to a long time dog-a-day reader who has become a good friend (thank you, on both counts!).

Yes, it might seem odd to be painting holiday gifts already, but I've been booked for the year's end since July. I even went back and double booked, and based on the interest, could have triple booked. Except that wouldn't have allowed any time for sleep, and I sorta need at least a little bit of that.

So, in the days to come, you may be getting one painting. Or you might get two. Some have to be kept secret, so I cannot post them all. But trust me - I will be VERY busy here in the studio.

Good thing the holiday season gets rung in these days with Halloween chocolate. …
“Holland #551,” 4x5, acrylic dog tag still life on canvasboard, available for purchase, nicely framed, for $279. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will benefit animal welfare. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Holland was the first dog my husband and I adopted. He was a senselessly goofy black and white pointer-lab mix – huge in heart, but not terribly gifted when it came to brains. And he had a stomach of steel – that dog could (and did) digest everything that made it down his throat.

I wish I could remember the name of the shelter we got him from – somewhere north of Thousand Oaks California, perhaps in the Oxnard area.

He only stayed a few years – we both worked at the time, and when Rick changed jobs and could no longer bring Holland with him each day, the dog was miserable. We found a family with a stay-at-home mom and two young children who were willing to smother Holland with love.

And tolerate his appetite for lawn furniture.

If you find a couple of dog tags slidi…
“Archie,” 6” square, commissioned mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

This painting celebrates a return to exuberant color, something I have missed the last few days. Archie’s orange coat with dark points was the perfect foil to mix strong color. And the brighter color goes perfectly with this little guy’s tenacity. (Don’t you love that swash of green across his cheek?)

Aa a puppy, Archie and his siblings were found in a dumpster. Archie was fostered for about a year and a half until he finding his forever home. When his adoptive mother moved into assisted living, he came to live with my client (her daughter), where he has thrived the last 6 years, even becoming a certified therapy dog. And now he can add cancer survivor to his list of accomplishments – Archie lost a leg in November 2006 to a mast cell tumor.

That’s why Archie’s grinning – despite getting dealt the occasional crummy hand, he still comes out ahead.

Thanks, as always, for loo…
“Leeloo,” 6x12, commissioned pet portrait of a white poodle, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Leeloo is the obvious companion to Naboo from yesterday. Ironically, they follow along with Monday’s Phoebe, too, playing out the range of color from rust/teddy bear brown to a soft white. I wish I could tell you I had gray and black poodles scheduled for the end of the week, but no such luck!

Even though Leeloo is a white poodle, you can see there is a TON of color in her fur. White fur is especially fun to paint because it is translucent (meaning you can see the skin underneath), and highly reflective all at the same time. Make it white curly fur, and it’s practically a party!

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
See you tomorrow,
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:…
“Naboo,” 5x7, commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. I believe Naboo is sold, but I haven’t yet received confirmation from my client. Any inquiries, as always, may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Yes, today’s painting is another poodle, this time an apricot color, shyly peeking from the depths of a strawberry patch. Edges are all important here. For a small scale piece, there is a lot of contrast and varied brushwork happening. Keeping the edges crisp and tight around the eyes and nose keep the viewer from getting overwhelmed.

This painting was done with the same palette as yesterdays. I’m using much more white than I used to, tinting my colors with that instead of yellow (if you look at my pieces 2+ years ago, I was working only in glazes, and tinted with lemon yellow instead of white). I think that using the white allows me to achieve a nice variety of softer values, whereas the yellow was hyping saturation and minimizing the perception of value. To …
“Phoebe,” 8x10, commissioned poodle pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Phoebe’s photos arrived last summer with a letter that brought me to tears. It was such a beautiful testament about connecting with the soul of an animal, carrying a piece of them with you, even when they were gone. I wanted to push all my other projects aside, and paint her immediately – it felt so heartless to ask my client to wait months for her painting. But that she did, patiently.

Thank you – not just to Phoebe’s mom, but to all of you, who are patiently waiting your turn.

Your turn for a painting - I’m booking into October 2008 now.

Or maybe even your turn for a reply - yes, I am still buried in email inquiries – but tonite I am going to whittle them down substantially! I’ve got a pan of warm brownies and a quiet house – just the sorts of makings for high productivity!!

I continue to be astounded by the response my work is generating. I am so very grateful for each of you.

And…
“Orange Kitten,” 5x7, orange tabby kitten portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

I am always asked if I paint cats, too. Guess it’s because of the project’s title – “Painting a Dog a Day.”

Being owned by two cats (one whom mistakenly thinks she is a dog), my answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Cats pose a special challenge because they can be terribly aloof, and almost boneless in their repose. But their eyes hold a special charm, and they will always be close to my heart.

Don’t know what I’ll do when my two (who are 18 years+) decide they’ve had enough of me. Think I’ll go pick some catnip for them right now, just so that they know how much they are loved.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for forwarding these paintings to your friends and family.
Enjoy the weekend,
Kim

PS I also paint horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, lizards – you name it. If in doubt, just ask – ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledove…
“The Purple Collar,” 6x12, acrylic dog collar painting on canvasboard, $200 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This one was really fun. I started out by toning the canvas a very light violet, and then loosely drew in the shape of the collar. By dry brushing and scrubbing at the earliest stages, I was able to get the shape of the shadow painted without any hassles at all. Then it just became a matter of using gradually tightening brushwork to define the webbing of the collar, and the tags themselves. Just because I could, I then dropped in some pure pigment in a couple of places nearest to the tags, in order to create a focal point.

There is a nice abstract quality to this painting – just the simple shapes, and some basic color. I think this is one of my favorites based purely on that.

I am always accepting donations of dog tags, licenses (expired!), collars, and other ephemera for inclusion in this still life project. Please include a self-addressed, stampe…
“Inseparable (Chloe and Sadie),” 8x16, commissioned Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. I haven’t gotten the final approval from my client yet (she thought she would be getting two separate portraits), so there is the possibility that this painting will be available for purchase. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

These two sweet girls were adopted from a shelter, having been rescued from a backyard puppy mill. They now are terribly pampered, complete with bling, but I preferred to paint them enjoying each other’s company, relaxed and clearly living a good life.

I don’t usually paint two dogs in one frame – had, actually, scheduled two separate days for Chloe and Sadie. But one of the reference photos showed them curled up together on a quilt, lying on each other’s ears, and I was sold. There’s an exception to every rule, you know?!

I’m starting to shift my color palette, which I think is a result of the class I’ve been taking. My pthalo…
“Emily,” 5x7, commissioned shihtzu pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I love the full-on frontal face of this breed. All the fur, going this way and that, the nice ole topknot, those big doe eyes. I had more fun with my brushwork on Emily’s painting, really playing with the direction of her wisps, and the reflection of sky off her eyes and that tiny little nose. She was a doll to paint.

On other news, we returned yesterday from our long weekend getaway, where we celebrated my brother’s wedding in grand Texan style. My new sister is incredible, and I couldn’t have chosen better myself (hee hee – I know you’re reading this, Karla!!). But I’m back in the studio, refreshed, a little sunburned (which is a treat in Michigan in October!), and ready to conquer the busy weeks leading into the holiday season.

I am wading through all the mail and paperwork here in the studio, sending acknowledgements out to those of you who submitted dog tags (tags may still co…
“Lucy Rose (Black Lab Study),” 6x8, commissioned pet portrait, private collection (thank you!).

I wanted to share the sweetest words my client penned when memorializing Lucy – “Even though her muzzle had turned white years ago, like most labs, she was still a puppy at heart. Some people would look at her…. And see an elderly dog. Not us. Her body may have failed her, but never her heart.”

I tried to create a portrait where Lucy’s maturity and her heart shared center stage.

On another note altogether, I will be officially on vacation starting tomorrow, taking a few days off to celebrate my brother’s wedding. I will be returning to the dog-a-day project next Wednesday. (I do plan on packing my paints. After all, Sean and Karla have a new puppy who I think I might be coerced into posing for a piece or two - after the kids thoroughly exhaust her.)

I’ll continue to pull emails in, but forgive me if I hold off on any non-emergency sort of replies until my return.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
“Keefer,” 8” square, black lab mix pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Thank you to Keefer’s family for commissioning this portrait – I thoroughly enjoyed painting his happy face.

This guy has a sincere love of playing ball. So I had to paint him that way, sort of in your face, with a gentle nudge, waiting for the next toss across the yard.

I used multiple photos to piece this painting together – and I must confess, enlisted my Finnigan as a live model. Black dogs are notoriously hard to photograph without a flash, and while I had several good photos of Keefer, none were exactly what I wanted.

So Finn got a ball gently placed in his mouth multiple times, until I could get a sense of how his lips sort of draped themselves. Bless his heart – he was a little confused – and kept dropping the ball to go get his Frisbee. Finally I packed the ball with some peanut butter, made him “sit-stay” for a few minutes, and the world was good again. He happily cleaned it out while draped over my feet…
ARTIST'S NOTE OCTOBER 17th, 2007: “Many Faces” has earned 1st place in the American Kennel Club Eukanaba National Championship Commemorative Poster Contest. The original has been purchased by the American Kennel Club, and will remain in their collection. Reproductions will be available for purchase at the AKC/Eukanaba National Championship Dog Show in Long Beach, California. For those of you unable to attend the event, purchases can also be made through the AKC online store. I’ll publish details as availability approaches.

Proceeds from the poster sales promote Take the Lead, a non profit foundation dedicated to providing direct services, support and care for all qualified participants in the sport of dogs who suffer from life threatening or terminal illnesses. This part is very serendipitous to me, as the dog-a-day project has always focused on and supported animal welfare and advocacy. To see it come full circle, now, and benefit those at the other end of the leash, we…
“Louisiana SPCA #1440,” 6x8, dog tag still life painting in acrylic on canvasboard, $120. (Myra, if you are reading this, please check in with me – you have the right of first refusal, but I do not have an email address for you!) Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

This is the second installment in The Dog Tag Series. I set it up this afternoon, not wanting to clean my brushes after finishing Kizzy’s dog-a-day portrait, and not having enough time before school busses arrived to get into something larger.

I was immediately drawn to this tag. The bright green color, the rusted links of chain, the bold numbers. After reading the note that accompanied the tag, I learned that Ginger, or the original #1440, led a long and happy life. But I liked that the viewer can bring their own interpretation to the piece.

There is a lot of soft, beautiful color in here. I tried to model the chain and tag with color temperature changes, and not just shifts in value. The biggest challenge was…
“Kizzy,” 4x6, boston terrier dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $75. Proceeds from the sale of Kizzy’s portrait will go to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue and her vet bill. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Kizzy is a senior BT who found her way to Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue after her original owner passed away. She’s overcoming some health issues (blindness, loss of hearing, mammary tumors removed), and might possibly spend the rest of her days as an advocate for the rescue, but as her foster family adores her, that’s not much of an issue.

And for whatever reason, this painting has photographed harshly. I’ve reshot it a number of times, but it has a beautiful warm glow to it – the white of Kizzy’s blaze is too blue in this jpg, and there’s a lot of violets and purples in the side of her face that’s fallen into shadow.

Through the end of this month, any commissioned dog-a-day portraits of Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue graduates will result in a reciprocal 20% …
“Max’s Grin,” 8x16, Boston Terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $200. $40 of the sale of this portrait will be donated to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, from which Max hails.

Or rather, from where Max hailed. He was recently adopted by a family who met him at a dog fair. It was love at first sight on all sides. Which is especially rewarding, when, as Max’s foster father so eloquently put it, “He showed us that as much love as we give these rescue dogs, that they give the same amount of love back.” Unequivocally.

So I’m picturing Max right now, tumbling around in the backyard with his three new kids, sharing that maniacal Boston Terrier grin, and loving life.

The Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue (http://www.midwestbtrescue.org/) is a dedicated group who takes Boston Terriers out of shelters, humane societies, SPCA, vet offices – wherever they are left - and places them directly into foster homes until a new loving, responsible, forever home can be found. They spay/neuter, and prov…
This is Dominic, a Boston Terrier currently being fostered by Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue. He is a little prince, and a big-time cuddler, typical of the breed. And he’s looking for a forever home. You can see him, along with the other BTs in rescue, at their web site http://www.midwestbtrescue.org/ . (And while he WAS there, I noticed this morning he isn’t on the site any longer – dare I dream that he’s been adopted?!). The rescue covers 4 states, and has an especially responsive and delightful group of foster parents – perhaps reflective of their little 4-legged companions?

Here’s the paintings’ specifics: “Yawn (Dominic),” 6x12, boston terrierpet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. This piece has been exquisitely framed and displayed in numerous exhibits, including my solo show "Happily Ever Afters" at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It is available for $469, with proceeds going to Best Friends and Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue. All inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns…
Today you get 2 kitties. 2 because I’d like to take a day off later in the week, but don’t want to short change the rescues that I’m working with.

It was a working weekend for me, and I’ll admit I’m a little wiped out. But what fun!

Saturday started with an early soccer game, and I enjoyed the crisp air and the dew drenched fields – they turned silvery as the sun rose, and I sat there, sipping my coffee, cheering my son on, while enjoying the atmosphere. Then it was off to Metamora’s Celebration of the Horse, where my daughter and I spent the afternoon prowling about, each with camera in hand, taking pictures, and soaking up all that is equine with great delight. And finally, Saturday evening found my husband and I in fabulous company at Margot’s Gallery, at her group show opening. Sunday was more of the same – an afternoon spent at the gallery, talking art all day – and then an artists’ gathering at Margot’s house, flush with great food and wine and conversation.

So, I’m thinking I’v…