Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2008
"Kizzy Kitty," 8" square, commissioned siamese balinese cat portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Had I been really creative and on top of things, I would have painted something leaping today. Boy did I miss that one!! Instead, you get a very serene and proud cat. She is full of gorgeous muted color, if that makes up for my lack of proper planning in any way. (Color always makes me feel better, although I know it doesn't have the same effect on everyone!)

Guess this is one of the downfalls of booking portraits so far in advance. I scheduled dog-a-day commissions for all of this year, and then realized I hadn't taken holidays into consideration, or even a vacation (what's that?!). I did go through my calendar and shuffle things around a little to allow myself time to work on projects, and give me a little r&r every so often.


And this is my latest large scale Tags, Toys & Treasures painting, still in process, but I am so excited that I just had to sh…
"Mac Nap," 6" x 8", yellow lab dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $199. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Mac will celebrate his 15th birthday this year, which is a milestone, as he was hit by a car while sleeping on the sidewalk, and drug several blocks. Mac thinks he's a lap dog (all 80 pounds of him), has to be near his people all the time, loves to eat, enjoys a good nap (who doesn't?!), and has special talent in accomanying the harmonica. Watch out American Idol!

I posted the commissioned great dane portrait, which is almost completed. You can see the painting at http://www.turtledovedesigns.blogspot.com/ (yes, another blog - one I started long before the dog-a-day project was born, where I share the progress of my larger scale portraits).

And I started right in on a new Tags, Toys & Treasures still life today. I can't wait to share it with you - this one has some very special objects I think a number of us cherished in our yo…
"Zack's Tongue," 6" x 12", commissioned maltese pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

My client is thrilled with this painting - she says it perfectly captures Zack's smile and his contagious happiness.

I am thrilled with the painting for entirely different reasons (which I'm certain loyal Dog a Day readers can easily guess) - the brushwork, the juicy layers of paint, the edge-work (see how the sharpest edges are only at his nose and eye), the balance of values.

Without knowing Zack personally, I pulled out all the stops I could to make this painting stand tall. And it does so for all involved.

Thanks, as always, for looking and sharing these paintings with your friends and family!
Now I"m off to try and finish a large canvas starring a gloriously regal harlequin great dane portrait, a project that has been long in the making.......
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet…
"Gunny's Pout," 8" square, commissioned maltese pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. I haven't had much luck lately, connecting with clients ahead of posting to see if they do indeed want to purchase their paintings. I believe this one to be spoken for, but as always, if you are interested, send a note, and I'll get a wait list going. Thanks in advance! Emails may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I've recently become enamored of the drape of long fur across a dogs' spine. Under various lighting situations, this "part" can be so interesting. It's the perfect foil for my brushes, too.

That was just one of the areas that I loved working with in today's painting. Another bit I reveled in was the lack of value changes - it's all subtle shifts in color that shape Gunny's little body. And of course I concentrated the strongest color and largest value shifts right in his face, to underline the power of that pout.

Hard to resis…
"Dorsal Hills," 5" x 7", donkey painting, acrylic on canvasboard, $149 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I have long been interested in repositioning objects so that they become something altogether new. That's what I've done with this donkey, and his furry ears, by silhouetting them against a field pushed out of focus. A friend said she wouldn't want to be caught standing behind HER donkey like this, as she'd be seeing the flash of hooves, and have no time to enjoy the wisps on the underside of his ears. That's the beauty of painting, though, as I can safely position my viewer wherever I choose.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for forwarding these paintings to 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://www.c…
"Miklos," 6" square, and "Markus", 5" x 7". Both vizsla portraits done in acrylic on canvasboard. I have not gotten final approval from my client, so there is the possibility that these will be available for purchase. If you are interested in either of the paintings, please send a note to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

BOTH SOLD.
I don't always paint companion pieces side by side, but these boys demanded it. Brothers and regular instigators of trouble, Miklos and Markus needed portraits that showed their similarities, yet also gave each their own spotlight. I kept the color schemes identical, chose complimentary colors to amp up their presence (they are vizslas, after all!), used similar dramatic lighting, but altered the paintings shapes just a bit.

There is a lot of wet-on-wet brushwork in here - both paintings were done with just one brush, a #5 bright. You can see the variety of brushstrokes I was able to get out of just the one brush. Using j…
"Big, Bigger, Biggest (from the Tags, Toys & Treasures series)," 10" x 12", still life comprised of vintage Fisher Price toys, acrylic on panel, $440. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I was talking to another artist the other night - he has a beautiful series of old toy still lifes going as well - and we were laughing at how we felt, going into the studio to work on setups like this. It's enough of a treat to spend the day in front of my easel, and even better when I get to paint something as packed with great memories as these toys.

I remain surprised at how much enjoyment I've gathered working with still lifes. When I took last fall's class I expected to learn new approaches to painting, but I didn't expect the sort of revolution it brought along. I'm working my way through the syllabus a third time now, reviewing my notes and repeating each lesson. The lessons are starting to blur together, as I become more comfortable with the…
Enough of you asked, so I put it together!

I now have giclee prints available for "Wanna go for a walk?," the still life painting depicting a vintage Fisher Price Little Snoopy pull toy. The giclees are approximately 8" x 11," printed in archival inks on a beautiful artists paper, with ample white margins on all sides. Each piece will be signed in pencil in the margin. I will also personalize the giclees for free with any message you wish. Remarks are available for an additional fee (remarks would include original sketches or drawings made in the margin, thus making your giclee unique).

Giclees are $50 each, with shipping costing $12. As always, I will combine shipping on multiple purchases.

I will get these listed on my website later this week, but for now they are available directly through email inquiries - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks, as always, for your ideas (I do try to listen!!), and for sharing the Painting a Dog a Day journey with your friends an…
FROM TOP: "Zak V," 8" x 10", $249 SOLD; "Zak IV," 6" x 12", $219; "Zak III," 6" x 8", $149 SOLD; "Zak II," 6" square, $149 SOLD; "Zak I," 4" x 8", $149 SOLD. Borzoi dog portraits in acrylic on canvasboard, available for purchase. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
Sometimes my job is so hard. Like when I have SO many gorgeous photos, and I have to paint just one piece from them. It's nearly impossible.

And when I sat down last night with all of Zak's photos, I couldn't choose. Then my husband innocently asked why just one. And it suddenly became very simple. I didn't have to choose - I'd ask my clients to!

I grabbed 5 canvasboards and got to work. It became a Zak-Fest.

Zak at play, Zak at rest, Zak in the snow, Zak in the sunshine, a younger, sillier Zak, and an older Zak, silver with knowledge.

There's high contrast paintings that are all about the abstraction…
"Finnigan's Collar (from the Tags, Toys and Treasures series)," 8" square, still life painting of dog collar with tags, $199 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Having Finn back home has been wonderful. While he remains a little weathered looking, his honest and saucy nature has returned. It has been reassuring to hear him take an interest again in household activities - announcing the arrival of the garbage truck (in case I hadn't already heard it), dashing to the kitchen whenever the fridge gets opened (like he's EVER getting table scraps again!), and whining to go out and play with the neighbor dog when she's come to visit. If it weren't so icy today, I would have indulged in a short game of snow frisbee, but he'll just have to wait for that another day or so.

This painting was a bear. I'm not supposed to admit when something is particularly difficult (said tongue in cheek - remember that survey I did last…
"Airedale (from the Tags, Toys and Treasures series)," 4" x 5", acrylic on canvasboard depicting a vintage metal Airedale Terrier figurine. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This is another figure from the box of treasures my friend sent. I love the heft of this guy - he has a solid feel, and the metal warms nicely in your hand. There is great texture in the curls that you can trace with your fingernail, and the surface warmly reflects its environment. And there is a hint of paint around the face that still remains.

It's odd painting something so very tiny - this figurine wasn't more than 1-1/2" at the shoulder - and trying to transform it into a larger scale painting that carries interest and reads conformationally correct. Sometimes these figurines carry conformation deformities or mold lines that look painful when enlarged..... but this guy "grew up" with some character, even though he looks very un-animated.

Th…
"Forgotton" (from the Tags, Toys & Treasures series), 4" square still life painting, acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a vintage lead puppy figurine, $99 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

A package arrived recently from a good friend, and it was full of treasures. Little vintage figurines she had discovered during the years at flea markets, tag sales, where ever. A very loved collar from an old dog and past soulmate. And a solid collection of playmobil animals courtesy of her teenage son. I put the objects away so as to stay focused on the other pieces I had in process.

This morning when I was putting some other props away with my still life objects, this little puppy cried out to me. I had planned on painting something else today, but this guy was mighty persistant. There really is quite a bit of history in his chipped paint and patient stance. He was very loved at one point, I am certain. How could I say no to that face?

So I toss…
"Casara Ann," 6" x 12", commissioned dog portrait depicting a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I was drawn to Casara's eyes - their intense coloration and the way they changed based on the angle - how the the foreground eye was a deep gold, and the furthest eye read almost as a pink or violet, because of the angle of her face and the lights' reflection.

With hindsight, it would have been fun to add some of those curls underneath her cheek. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I paint one of these dogs.....

Thank you to everyone who emailed me about Finnigan, too. He came in the door last night, did a head count to make sure everyone was accounted for, then settled in for some serious napping. We all loved having him home for a few hours - the kids even tiptoed to his crate multiple times during the wee hours to whisper in his ear. He returned to the vet for more cocktails today. I'll learn if a …
It's been another wild day here in the Santini household. The kids all got on their respective buses (albeit one was 1/2 hour late, and my son insisted that school had been cancelled and everyone at the busstop just didn't know it), which was a true blessing. Because the dog got sick. He threw up mountains of yech in his crate during the night, and this morning was curled up in one corner, trying to avoid it all. At first I just thought he ate something that didn't agree with him. Spent the entire morning cleaning up - I'd let him outside and he'd throw up, come back in all shivery, go to his crate, get sick, go back outside, get sick again - it was a never ending cycle. He was just miserable, and I was feeling rather helpless in my inability to make things better.

Shortly after lunchtime there were traces of blood in his vomit and he had bloody diareah. So it was off to the vet with a couple ziplock baggies full of stained snow and a dog who now was clearly in dist…
"Hound Mix," 4" x 8", beagle and hound mixed breed dog painting, acrylic on canvasboard, $135 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This painting is from a little bit ago, I just never got the opportunity to share. I love the sweetness of this little guy's expression - he's so full of joy, which you can just tell from the life in his eyes. The energetic brushwork goes along with the impression, and the colors have a nice harmony about them.

Today is a crazy day. The kids are all off school AGAIN, this time around because it was too cold and the buses wouldn't start (I would have gladly delivered several vanloads of children right to the schools' front doors, but guess noone thought to ask me). I think this is snow day #5 in the last 2-1/2 weeks.

Finnigan (my dog) is jumping out of his skin, it's been too cold for him to spend much time outside and he really needs a good run. This last week it's been so nasty, he gets…
"Gentry," 6" square, mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $135 to the first interested buyer. $26 of the purchase of Gentry's painting will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in the buyers' name. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.
Gentry adores people, can't get enough of them, and doesn't let anything slow him down, despite getting about on 3 legs. He was hit by a car last August, and has had surgery since (including pins, screws and a metal plate in his hip), but still carries one leg around like a dead weight. He's in line for additional testing and xrays to determine the extent of the injury, and what type of care will be required to get him back on all fours.


"Brady," 4" x 5", mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $105 to the first interested buyer. $20 of the purchase of Brady's portrait will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in the buyers' name. Inq…
"Nino," 4" x 6", husky mix pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $115. $22 from the sale of Nino's portrait will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kenab Utah. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Nino has been at Best Friends 10 years now. He shows aggression towards other dogs and did bite someone, although he loves people. I love his deep fur and the smoky whiskers - he has the knowledge of a kindly old gentleman in his eyes.

"Simba," 4" x 8", beagle mix dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. $26 from the sale of Simba's portrait will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kenab Utah. Inquiries again may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Simba came to Best Friends from an overcrowded and understaffed shelter in New York, where circumstances provided very little contact with humans or other dogs. Since her arrival she has been busy learning socialization skills, and is starting to…
"Thank You (Poncho)," 4" x 6", cattle dog pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, not for sale.

Poncho is an extremely special dog, with an equally amazing story. Of course his life intersected with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where he received expert care for numerous injuries. One of those injuries required multiple surgeries followed up with quiet recouperative care.

Those of you who know cattle dogs know that they do not do anything quietly. Yet the staff at BFAS were able to limit Poncho's activity levels without the little guy going insane from lack of exercise. The story of his recouperation was highly entertaining - the things he would try as an outlet for his energy and the counter-actions the staff used to help curb his behavior made for great reading (although I perhaps enjoyed it more so because I have a cattle dog of my own).

What warmed me the most about Poncho's story, though, was how he made it to the sanctuary in the first place. Poncho was l…
"Freckles (Wycheck)," 5" x 7", border collie mix pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $135 to the first buyer. $26 from the sale of this painting will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in the purchasers name. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . (If you like "Freckles," you might also like another painting I have for sale: "Turlington," an 18" x 24" much larger than lifesize border collie mix dog portrait in a similar pose. You can view "Turlington" at http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/canvases_available_for_purchase.html)

Freckles has sold.




"Tousled (Xena)," 6" x 12", terrier mix pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $200 to the first buyer. $40 from the sale of this painting will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in the purchasers name. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Both Wycheck and Xena are chronicled on Best Friends Animal Snctuary's website. You can r…
This is the first full week of February, which, as the first full week of any month, means the dog-a-day paintings will profile special needs animals (or animals who provide special needs). This week the Painting a Dog a Day project will be focused entirely on dogs housed by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (http://www.bestfriends.org/) in Kenab Utah. Each of the paintings sold this week will result in donations made to the animal sanctuary in the purchaser's name. To date, the Painting a Dog a Day project has raised over $1500 for Best Friends alone - a feat I am terribly proud of.

That said, let's get to two of this week's faces.


"Good Old Boy (Grover)," 4" x 6", mixed breed (lab?) portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $115 to the first buyer. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

Grover has been a resident of BFAS for 6 years. He lost his original home due to severe nervous anxiety. Medication has helped, but he still suffers from…
"Faux-hawk," 8" x 16", poodle pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $300 to the first buyer. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I did this painting at the tail end of last year but didn't get the chance to post him. I wasn't terribly worried, because there were plenty of dog-a-day paintings flying off the easel that month. I knew this guy was special, and didn't want him to get lost in the crowd.

This painting was inspired by the poodle primping I observed at the AKC Eukanaba National Championship Dog Show last December. I loved the carefully sectioned row of pony-tails that lined the napes of their neck and topknots. The dogs loved the back-combing and powdering - they reveled in the attention, and pranced around like nobility when finished.

I took some liberties with the color in his fur, and enjoyed layering the glazes, using juicy brushmarks. This is a piece that glows when you hold it in your hands. I love having it here in …
"Black & White (Millie)," 8x10, tuxedo kitty portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

It's pretty obvious - Millie is a black and white cat, and as such, her painting becomes a mere study in value and line (although I think her precocious personality plays into the equation somewhat too).

In order to properly convey an essentially black and white portrait, one has to understand the finer points of drawing, and reducing one's subject matter to a simplified value range. There is little else for the eye to get lost in when the palette is restricted in this way, and errant shapes or incorrect values will seem even more glaringly wrong.

Quality draftsmanship, the ability to draw and recognize basic values, is essential when it comes to translating those same concerns into color. One cannot be crummy at drawing and expect to be able to excel at painting.

One artist who is exemplary in the art of drawing is artist Sheona Hamilton-Grant from Germany…