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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Several years ago I was asked to paint a double portrait, two collies, on the beach. It was a challenge for me, balancing the colors found in my objects with the same colors apparent in the background, and still achieving a sense of depth. What really sticks in my mind, though, were their blissfully happy faces, surrounded by heavy ruffs that swayed and lifted in the wind.

That was the sense I was trying to capture in today’s painting, a tiny 4x5” canvasboard. One happy face, bathed in reflected light, with fur gently tousled by the wind. Done from memory, and really just a simple and fun exercise in mixing color – warm yellow hues on the left and wherever the sun might tip, and those same hues with a touch of blue for the shadows.

“Collie Study,” 4x5, acrylic dog painting on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


English Shepherds are a new breed to me. They are a herding dog, with waves of glossy fur and those deep soulful eyes. And very quick learners.

This is “Cheerio,” a little English Shepherd puppy, captured in all her puppy charm in a 4x6 painting. You’ll be seeing more of her as I pursue some other ideas in preparation for a larger, lifesize painting.

As it is part of a larger project, this painting is not for sale yet, but I will start a list, if anyone is interested. Inquiries, as always, can come to me, ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
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 the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, February 26, 2007



I wanted to show the difference between one of my Dog-a-Days and a larger canvas, so today I painted a 4x5 version of a 14x18 painting which I hope to finish tomorrow. Keep in mind that you are viewing these paintings together on the monitor as though they are of equal sizes, but the scale is a big part of each of their impacts.

In the smaller version I wanted color and gesture to carry the punch, so I amped up my reds and violets, and used looser brushwork. I also cropped in around one eye, including just a sliver of the other, to emphasize the dog’s movement.

In the larger version (again, still in process, but very close to being done), I lost myself in that central eye (who says you can’t place your focal point in the center of the canvas?) and the layers of fur. I concentrated more attention (and detail) on the backlighting. And I got almost the entire face of the dog included in the painting, but again, used a crop to emphasize the swing of his head. Another trick I used in the larger painting was using washes of green overtop the glossy sheen of his coat to place him firmly within a “space,” that being a grassy, natural setting.

“Black Dog Study III,” 4x5, acrylic dog painting on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

“Blackie,” 14x18, acrylic dog painting on gallery wrap canvas, still in process but close to being completed, $499. This painting will be exhibited in March’s All Media Show at the Orion Art Center. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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

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

Friday, February 23, 2007


Today I continued along the same lines as yesterday’s painting, where I revisited a dog I had painted before. This boxer has been painted multiple times – his owner, another artist, generously shares her photographs, and I have scads of them depicting Oscar, brother Mickey and their assorted playmates.

So today you get Oscar in all his grown up and grumpy glory (you can view him as a pup, titled “Caravaggio,” on my website: www.turtledovedesigns.com/available.html ). I don’t expect to come across on the computer screen, but this painting has the warm feel of the afternoon sun. There is nothing in this painting but blues and oranges – I love how they punch up the color when placed together.

“Boxer Study,” 4”x6”, acrylic on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

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

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I have my computer’s screensaver set to spin through all my reference photos. What happens is sometimes I catch something out of the corner of my eye that deserves a second look, something that I wouldn’t have necessarily tuned in to otherwise. That’s what happened today.

This painting is from a stack of images I used to create “Taco,” one of my first larger than life dog paintings (Taco can be viewed on my website under “available for purchase” – www.turtledovedesigns.com/available.html ). When I was painting Taco, I was studying how the greens around him were reflected and caught up in his fur. But when I saw this little Chihuahua again this morning, I was drawn to the pensive quality of his profile, and all that color packed into his mask.

It was fun to revisit prior material and create something entirely new.

“Chihuahua Study II,) 6x12, acrylic dog painting on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2007




This painting is from a photo sent in by a Dog-a-Day reader. This loveable little face showed up on her friends’ doorstep, stayed for a handful of years, and then took off on her own again. I was drawn to Blackie’s spaniel eyes (which belie that independent nature, don’t they?) and the silky quality of her ink-blue fur. I bet Blackie’s curled up in front of a cozy fireplace right now, planning her next move……

“Black Dog Study (Blackie),” 4”x6”, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


This little dog is named Dusty, short for “Dust Bunny,” so named because that’s what she looked like as a puppy. The pressure was on, to paint as creative a painting as her name dictated.

I tried something new this time. I added a few new colors to my palette, and then reached for another couple new ones at the very end. There’s a nice variety of blues and violets in the merling, and some surprising dashes of pink among the orange bits.

“Australian Shepherd (Dusty),” 4”x6”, dog portrait on canvasboard, private collection.

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

Monday, February 19, 2007


A face like this is one in a million. There’s nothing else to say.

“Fax,” 4” x 8”, acrylic dog portrait on canvasboard, private collection.

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

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

Friday, February 16, 2007


ARTIST'S NOTE Sept 25th, 2007: This painting has been framed in a beautiful gilt molding with a carved wreath of olive leaves. The painting was juried into Flint Street Gallery's Spring Exhibition. It also was juried into the 2007 Southwestern Michigan Portrait Exhibition, where my body of work (including 2 other dog-a-day entries) earned third place. The painting, including framing, is priced at $199. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.
I have always been fascinated by borzois. When I first saw them in Art Deco artwork, their sinuous lines were the perfect compliment to the slender ladies that accompanied them – silly me, I thought they were the product of the artists’ imagination (there’s a sliver of my childhood for you – roughly, if it wasn’t a hunting dog, than it was a mutt!).

There’s a borzoi that I see periodically around our town. I usually stop whatever I might be doing, and watch him float by. This breed captivates me entirely.

“Borzoi Study,” 8x8, dog painting on canvasboard, This painting is not for sale – yet. I want it for an exhibition next month.

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

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Today I tackled a photo submitted by a Dog-a-day reader and fellow artist. She admitted that the photo wasn’t of the greatest quality – Boomer is primarily black, and the picture was taken in the snow, so there was a lot of contrast and not much detail. But there was all sorts of fur, the wispy kind that I adore, so it was easy to get sucked in.

I did have some issues determining his exact markings – were those highlights on his fur, or merling? But the resulting piece has some nice color and brushwork. And I wouldn’t mind painting him again, maybe bigger, and really getting to go to town on his ruff and blaze. That’s one of the great side effects of doing these little pieces – it’s becoming more obvious (to me) what sorts of things I truly enjoy painting. Boomer is one of them!

“Australian Shepherd Study (Boomer),” 4x4, acrylic on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these 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

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I have mastiffs on my mind. I’ve been doing quite a bit of sketching, planning for a lifesize mastiff portrait, and while waiting for the client’s feedback on her painting’s concept, I decided to do this smaller study. I wasn’t striving for any particular likeness, just playing with the unique lines of the breed’s profile, and working out my palette for the portrait.

“Mastiff Profile,” 6”x6”, acrylic dog painting on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

If you are interested in following the portrait’s process, you can view Beau’s concept sketch at www.turtledovedesigns.com/wetpaint.html . I will post updates to this same page during the next few weeks as the painting progresses.

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

Anyone who knows bull terriers, knows they are a bit like a steam engine, and this guy is no exception. I focused on his face, intentionally pulling it a bit off-center, and blurring out the edges of his body, to give the illusion of a frozen moment of high energy. The color and brushwork is concentrated entirely in that strip that makes up his profile – variations and hints of the same colors make up the background, but don’t compete for your attention.

“Bull Terrier Study,” 6”x8”, acrylic painting on canvasboard, $80. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for continuing to share these paintings with friends and family – the Dog-a-Day family continues to grow, and I appreciate it!
Stay warm,
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

Monday, February 12, 2007


This is a guy I’ve painted before. But I still haven’t gotten enough of his face. There’s a simplicity and honesty to his expression that thoroughly appeals to me, along with the exercise of painting black and white (that, as you can tell, really isn’t black and white).

This piece also is the product of a 3 week long demonstration I’ve led for my beginning painting students. It was a nice example of breaking the subject down into three values (the bold geometry of his markings set against the background), and working from general to specific as the layers of paint built up (you can see the looser brushwork quietly lying underneath the uppermost layers).

Boston Terrier Study, 6x12, acrylic on canvasboard, $90. Inquries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

By the way, I’d love some more black and white models – I have a couple of ideas floating around in the back of my head for an exhibition I have this fall. Photos can come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these 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

Here is Kenai, Churchill’s partner in crime. My take is that she’s smarter than he, or perhaps she’s just content to be his audience. Either way, they make for a great team.

Because Kenai is the quieter partner, I averted her gaze, and set her against a darker ground. This created a self-contained space. The blues and violets echo this effect, and the result is a wonderful little painting.

Kenai, 5x7, acrylic dog painting on canvasboard. Private collection.

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

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Meet Churchill, an especially endearing malamute who excels at sneaking food off countertops and letting himself out. Now, if he could just learn to close the door behind himself….

In this painting, I blocked in the basic shapes and then blended the wet paint with a drybrush. I built several layers of translucent glaze up this way, finally going in overtop with the sharper edges of his eyes, which also carry the densest spots of color.

“Churchill,” 6x8, acrylic on canvasboard. 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 the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I couldn’t ignore the weather today – even though it was warm enough for school to be in session – it still was brutally cold.

Remember last week when I painted “Cattle (Snow) Dog,” and asked for photos of your dogs romping in the white stuff? Well, this is one of the pictures I got, gracefully submitted by a client who’s collie-mix is one of my favorites. This is the third time I’ve painted Cody, and I never tire of his asymmetrical mask and doe-like eyes.

So here’s what came off my brushes – “Snowdog I.” In this piece I concentrated my harder edges just on Cody’s face and ears, and used a dry brush to blend out all the other areas, so they appear to fade away into the snowdrift. He’s 4x8, available for $60. Please send inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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

Revisiting Bailey yesterday reminded me how much I loved all her wisps and color – she had almost a lion’s mane of buff fur that framed her darker speckled face.

So I took that effect as a starting point this morning, and did this little gem of a tortoise-shell long haired cat.

Lots of greens and blues – can you tell that I shifted my palette today, and switched out a couple colors? I used a lighter shade of my cadmium red, and swapped the cad yellow for a hansa – this allowed the warmer pthalo blue to really step forward and anchor the cat’s face.

“Tortie Study,” 4x6, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.
SOLD.

I am also excited to share some exhibition news with you. December 28th ‘s dog-a-day “Bulldog Study” has been accepted into the Art Show at the Dog Show in Wichita, Kansas. What nice validation that these little paintings ARE art.

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

Monday, February 05, 2007


Continuing the saga of the Santini clan, here is Bailey. Bailey was with us just a short time, but she left an indelible pawprint. She was a mischievous child trapped in the body of a tortoise-shell kitty, and entertained us regularly with her antics. She carried with her a constant look of surprise, and her fur was a kaleidoscope of color. All the love in the world, and a good amount of prescription meds, couldn’t cure her litterbox avoidance issues, though, and she ultimately relocated to a friend’s farm for a taste of the barn cat lifestyle.

“Bailey,” 4x6 painting framed to roughly 10x12, collection of my son.

I’m showing you this painting framed, so that you may see how these little pieces can be taken to a different level entirely with some fanciful framing. For that matter, any bit of doodling will be taken more seriously with a professional frame around it!!

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

Friday, February 02, 2007


ARTIST'S NOTE Sept 25th, 2007: This painting has been framed in a gorgeous 4" wide black molding, carrying deep stylized acanthus and fleur-de-lis relief. It was juried into the 47th Annual Thumb Show Exhibition, and remains in my personal collection.
ADDENDUM Oct 8th, 2007: This painting has been juried into the 12" Exhibition at Flint Street Gallery.
Well, after giving a Career Day presentation to 60 3rd graders today, I came home inspired to do what I had been talking about all day – make art.

And so with that motivation, I painted to latest installment of the Santini family pets.

This is Miah. I returned to a favorite photo of her, one which I’ve painted before, using different cropping, and a warmer palette. You can view that painting, titled “Whiskers,” on my website: www.turtledovedesigns.com/feline.html

Today’s painting is a 6” square, tightly cropped version of her current state (toothless, senile, whiskers-all-askew) using that favorite photo as a starting point. This painting, layers of harmonious blues and lavenders with just a hint of green for her eyes, is a far cry from the spunky little kitten we adopted well over 17 years ago. Miah would come bounding to greet us at the door, played fetch with her little stuffed bear, begged like a dog for bits of broccoli, and draped herself like a stole on my shoulders when I worked in the studio.

But it happens to the best of us – one day we wake up and all of a sudden we’re old. Miah now pretty much sticks to one room in the house, where she migrates from window to window following the sun’s path. I wanted today’s painting to depict her as she is now, still remembering what it was like to fiercely hunt the dust mites, but very comfortable in her own (sagging) skin.

This is another painting that is going into to my own collection.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these with friends and family.
Stay warm this weekend!
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

Thursday, February 01, 2007


ARTIST'S NOTE October 8th, 2007: This painting has been framed in a wonderful gilt and deeply carved molding. It was juried into Flint Street Gallery's 12" show, and will stay in my collection.
As promised yesterday, I’m shifting gears for the next week, and will focus on kitties. I scheduled this break to correspond with the opening of an exhibition I’m part of in Kansas, at the Carriage Factory Art Gallery. Scheduled to hang during the month of February, it is a show focused exclusively on cats – you can view my two paintings and a diverse and exciting collection of other artists’ work – at www.carriagefactoryartgallery.com/cat-in-art.html.

Without further ado, this is Turtledove, my studio namesake. We adopted a full grown Turtle from a rescue league, who in turn saved her from an abusive beginning. She has a purr that rattles the house, but even more than 16 years later, is careful about who she shares it with. I’ve painted Turtle many times, but today’s is one of my favorites. It captures her timid personality, but also manages to convey her steadfast gaze. And, of course, there’s lots of color, always a weakness of mine.

“Calico Study,” 8”x8”, acrylic on canvasboard, now part of my private collection.

I can’t wait to frame this one up and hang it alongside Finnigan’s (yesterday’s) painting.

Miah, the eldest Santini, comes tomorrow.

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
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