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Showing posts from October, 2009

Mickey

"Mickey," 8" square, kitty portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, possibly sold, but inquiries (about this painting or one of your own) may always come to me.
I had to paint a black cat today, in honor of Halloween. While going through my photos, I fell in love with this guy, Mickey, who's actually a lovely steelgray. Mickey's portrait was scheduled for Valentine's Day 2010, but I think he's a great substitute for a black cat! Hopefully my client won't mind that I painted him a little early. And if she does, well, that just means that I get to paint his squishey little face again!
Since Mickey is a rescued kitty himself, and my client is a Michigander as well, proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Oakland Pet Adoption Center.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, another client has regrettably cancelled her holiday portrait spots. If you are interested in a painting and can get me references within a window of 10 days, now's your chance to j…

What the Blazes.... (Broncs III)

"What the Blazes....(Broncs III)," 8" x 10", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting two horses, $449. Inquiries may always come to me.

SOLD.

With every deadline I'm frantically working up a new idea, literally until the 'n-th' hour. Seems to be a curse, this belief that the next painting will be so much better than the previous one.
These two faces are no exception to the rule - they represent entry #3 for the Ex Arte Equinus exhibition, applications due tomorrow.
I do like the direction my Bronc's series of paintings are going - the interplay of shapes has allowed me to wallow in the abstractions possible with multiple forms and tight cropping.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
PS Want a great gift this holiday season? Then order either one of the Painting a Dog a Day books - they are gorgeous summaries of the Dog a Day paintings. Painting a Dog a…

Cairn Curiousity

"Cairn Curiousity," 6" x 6", Cairn Terrier dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to Col. Potter Cairn Rescue, a group I've worked with in the past (they are delightful!). I can always rely on them to send the Best reference photos. Inquiries may always come to me.

SOLD.

This painting concept was initially a black Cairn on a light ground, and gradually flipped. It's quite different for me, and I like the drama, although it is the opposite of what I set out to paint (a tonal portrait steeped in neutral grays, blues and violets). Surprises like this are great learning opportunities.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
PS Want a great gift this holiday season? Then order either one of the Painting a Dog a Day books - they are gorgeous summaries of the Dog a Day paintings. Painting a Dog a Day…

Pigtails

"Pigtails," 12" square, portrait of a young girl and her Yorkshire Terrier, acrylic on board, $539. This painting was created in August 2008 and is included in my new book, That's 14 in Dog Years. Inquiries may always come to me.
It was so hard for me not to move to the easel today. But I exercised some discipline and continued proofreading and tweaking the manuscript for the newest book, doublechecking captions on the images, and taking care of other details. Tomorrow I'll get to paint - I've got an exciting new Broncs painting started on the easel, along with several black and white dogs in the wings in case the horses don't behave.
Meanwhile, today I revisited some of my favorite pieces from 2008, of which "Pigtails" is one. She's still looking for the perfect home - is it yours?
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
PS Want a great …

Golden

"Golden," 4" x 5", dog portrait of a mixed breed terrier, acrylic on canvasboard. This dear little face can join your Dog a Day painting collection all framed up and looking spiffy for $279 - just ask nicely! Proceeds from the sale of this painting will benefit animal welfare, too. Inquiries may always come to me.
Thank you to Dog a Day reader Cindy Earnshaw for sharing photos of Pokey, this Boston Terrier mix. I continue to look for black and white muses as I further my exploration of extreme values and pattern - if you know of someone who fits the description, you are more than welcome to send (non flash) photos my way. They just might end up gracing the Dog a Day website!
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
PS Want a great gift this holiday season? Then order either one of the Painting a Dog a Day books - they are gorgeous summaries of the Dog a Day proje…

That's 14 in Dog Years

It is with great excitement that I announce the publication of my second book, That's 14 in Dog Years.
Representing highlights from 2008's Painting a Dog a Day pieces (there were 362 of them) in almost 120 pages, the book includes an essay outlining the year's events and well over 100 color plates (please forgive me for not knowing the exact number but I'm a little cross-eyed right now from editing). This book has been a loooong time in the making, and I am especially pleased to offer it to you.
A limited number of copies will be included in the first print run, so guarantee your inscribed copy by pre-ordering today.
Softcovers are $44.95; hardcovers with a dust jacket at $59.95. Shipping and handling will be another $12; I am always happy to combine shipping costs on orders of multiple copies. Books will ship via US Priority Mail in time for holiday delivery within the contiguous United States. (If you have other needs, please let me know)
Pre-orders may come to me. Speci…

Keara

"Keara," 4" square, commissioned portrait of a mixed breed dog, acrylic paint on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
I saw a holiday commercial on tv today and was disgusted. Then I realized that I've been painting holiday gifts for a couple weeks already. Then I became disgusted with myself. A warm piece of cherry pie smothered in cool whip made me feel alarmingly better.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com

Duke

"Duke," 4" square, commissioned pet portrait of a black lab, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
Colors that fall opposite each other on the color wheel (called "compliments") vibrate when asked to sit side by side. Just like these blues and oranges.
Compliments make great companions when building a simple composition because, without any tricky brushwork or complex patterning, one can build immediate excitement and tension.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com

Tess

"Tess," 4" square, commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a beloved grey kitty, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
In my opinion, a portrait is empty if the eyes are. Put all the light and reflection and life into the eyes, and the rest will follow along.
I was reading another artist's blog this morning (Carol Marine, a wonderful still life painter) and she was dispensing advice on how to paint something in particular. It essentially boiled down to painting what you see.
So really look. Squint down and study things. Throw out all your assumptions or prior knowledge, and see your subject as if it's the first time you've laid eyes on it. You might be surprised with what happens.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com

Gray & White

"Gray & White," 4" square, commissioned portrait of a kitty, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
If you haven't figured it out by now, one of my favorite things to do is exaggerate color. I really did see lavenders, blues, greens and violets in this kitty's fur - I'm just wired that way, I guess - and I love to saturate or intensify them when the opportunity presents itself. It's surprising how others, after commissioning a portrait, start to recognize those colors too.
A warm thanks goes to the Orion Art Center, who awarded an honorable mention to my painting of the black Cocker Spaniel Taylor (Demure, from two weeks ago) in the 5th Annual Southeaster Michigan Portrait Exhibition. This painting was another ripe example of enhanced color.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com

Lavendar

"Lavendar (Feral Cat #1)," 8" square, cat portrait in Golden Open Acrylics on canvasboard, $329. Proceeds from the sale of Lavendar's painting will be donated toBest Friends Animal Sanctuary. Inquiries may always come to me.
Today is National Feral Cat Day. There is information on the BFAS website on how you can help community cats. I encourage you to check out their site (watch the video) - it'll only take a few minutes, and provide some good dinner table conversation at the very least!
Thank you today goes to BFAS staff photographer Molly Wald, who's photo of a feral tabby inspired my painting. I took some liberties, not having to portray a particular likeness, but I did retain the clipped left ear. This is a signal that the cat was part of a trap/neuter/return program.
Tonite is the opening of the Southwestern Michigan Portrait Exhibition at the Orion Art Center. I had three paintings juried in and am looking forward to seeing how they measure up in the show…

In Hot Pursuit: A Mini-Lesson

Today you are getting a little mini-lesson of my process, which I hope you enjoy. If you have questions please use the comments field of my blog, this way I can condense my responses in one place. Thanks in advance!

This is the north side of the studio, where I have my easel (a Best Classic Dulce), my tools (the green cabinet, a vintage filing cabinet/tool chest - note the palette on the top of the cabinet) and my taboret (an old enameled tea cart). I have a ceiling light in the studio, an ott light attached to the easel, a daylight floor lamp behind me and the natural light from the northern window (pictured) and the western facing one (behind and to the left of the easel).
(You can also see the original wallpaper to the room, which I plan on covering this winter with Anaglypta paper. I think the walls will then be painted a dove gray.)
This painting is an 11" x 14" Ampersand Gessoboard, which I have leaning against a larger piece of masonite. This allows me to work on the pai…

Together (Lily and Clover)

"Together (Lily & Clover)," 6" x 12", bunny portrait, Golden Open Acrylics on canvasboard, $359 to the first collector who asks nicely (and remember, if you already have an original, you get 10% off!). Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may always come to me.
I'd like you to meet the newest Santini family members, delightfully personable even though they have their backs to us in this painting. Lily of the Valley (white bunny with gray ears) and Clover, or Lil and Clo for short, joined us in early September.
This summer Evan and Anna talked Dad into allowing them to get a rabbit (I'm a pushover - I always say yes when it involves an animal). They saved up their money, researched rabbit care, and helped Dad build a hutch.
I let my girlfriend know we were on the hunt for a bunny - she is an animal control officer at our shelter and she promised to keep an eye out for us. We also lo…

Heads or Tails?

The above image is the final version of this painting. I allowed it so sit for several weeks in the studio, until I could clearly see the changes the piece needed. You'll see I toned down the background horses so that they didn't compete with the foreground one - this also gave a stronger sense of depth. I also modified the foreground horse's mane, making him a bay instead of a chestnut or sorrel.


"Heads or Tails?," 8" x 16", acrylic on canvasboard, portrait of several broncos, $599. Inquiries may always come to me.
I think this painting is done, then I leave it for a few minutes, only to discover another change I'd like to make. So I'm reserving the right to simmer with this guy and figure out just what he needs. I'll use Photoshop and make my alterations on the computer screen prior to changing anything on the painting, this way I can work out a number of different scenarios.
My game plan is to send "Heads or Tails?," along with &qu…

Coming in for a Kiss

"Coming in for a Kiss," 5" x 7", commissioned dog portrait of an Italian Greyhound, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries may always come to me.
Just as I was setting my palette up for today's painting session, the Fed X man brought me a box from Dick Blick, a box containing my order of Golden Open Acrylics. Open acrylics are a new type of acrylic paints that take longer to dry (similar to oil paints) yet still retain the ease of solvent free cleanup typical to acrylics.
This is my first piece using the Open Acrylics, but so far I'm really liking them. I was able to do some blending and mixing on the canvasboard that I couldn't do easily prior. I could lay marks down and return to that area an hour later and still push/pull the paint. The hardest thing (for me) was waiting a couple hours after finishing the painting, allowing it to dry enough so that I could scan it. With retrospect, that really isn't so hard.
I think I'm going to like these. A lot.
Tha…

Cosette, From Above

"Cosette, From Above," 6" square, dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries may always come to me.
Cosette, a rescued gem of a dog, belongs to Taylor's family. I'll be painting Cosette again, along with their other two siblings in the future. Collectively, the paintings will make for a stunning presentation, and I am eager to get them into my clients' hands.
Just as I'm eager to announce the winners of the two holiday Dog-a-Day portraits - one a new Dog-a-Day subscriber who signed up during the month of September, the other an existing subscriber who referred new subscriber(s) during the same month. I'm awaiting confirmation from them both before I make an announcement, but I am looking forward to sharing their stories and paintings with you.
Took a walk in the woods with Finnigan (my dog) at the end of the day, and it was simply stunning, the way the setting sun illuminated the trees. Our leaves are just starting to turn, and the trunks and bra…

Canine Art Guild's 2nd Annual Helping Paws Exhibition

"Siblings," one of three of my paintings included in the Canine Art Guild's Helping Paws Exhibition, on display at http://www.canineartguild.com/gallery/ through the end of this month.
The Helping Paws Exhibition is one of a kind. Participating artists, all members of the international group the Canine Art Guild (CAG), partner with an animal welfare group or shelter in their area. Artists pledge proceeds from the sale of one (or two or three) artworks to their partner group or shelter. Many of them also include a statement summarizing their relationship with this particular group.
People's Choice awards are given as well, allowing the viewing public (internet based!) to choose their favorite pieces of art. Typically a People's Choice award goes to the artist, but in this case, the People's Choice award goes to the artists' partner group or shelter.
The membership of the CAG is especially proud that, in these particularly stressful times for shelters and res…

Demure (Taylor)

"Demure (Taylor)," 5" x 7", portrait of a black Cocker Spaniel, acrylic on Ampersand Gessoboard, not for sale. Inquiries may always come to me.
Taylor's portrait was initially commissioned over 6 years ago. Various events occurred to postpone her portrait, first once, then another time, and I think even a third. I set her folder aside, trusting that when the timing was right, the project would pull together.
And it did!
Taylor's portrait is headed to the Southeastern Michigan Portrait Exhibition, a juried annual show at the Orion Art Center. She'll be accompanied by last week's painting ofFinnigan and, I think, an earlier one from my personal collection of my black cat Miah. This show is unique in that the exhibited artwork does not have to be for sale, so it allows me to showcase paintings that might not be on the market or pieces that have already sold.
If you are in the area, the exhibition opens next Friday, October 16th, at 7pm (call 248-693-4986 …

Infectious Grin (Jake)

"An Infectious Grin (Jake)," 6" square, commissioned Labradoodle dog portrait, private collection (thank you!!). The sale of Jake's portrait will benefit my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Center. Inquiries, including how you may commission a Dog-a-Day portrait of your own and support animal welfare at the same time, may always come to me.
Jake has had a crummy summer, ultimately being diagnosed with a herniated disc and undergoing successful surgery last month. It was important to everyone that we paint him full of smiles and energy, just like he will be in no time at all.
Meanwhile, I need to extend a sincere thank you to those who have recently purchased my art, and welcome you to the family of Dog a Day collectors. As a collector you are qualified to receive 10% off future purchases, whether they be from my portfolio or commissioned works.
Wanna be a collector? hint hint.... You are always welcome to browse the original paintings and limited edition giclees that ar…

Fur Face

"Fur Face," 6" x 12", dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $359 to the first taker. Dog a Day collectors (you're a collector if you already own an original painting) can hang this painting in their home (or any other painting of mine) for 10% off the retail price. Inquiries may always come to me.
SOLD.
I'm playing more with the concept of a mother color in my paintings. The premise behind this idea is that the artist chooses one color which they then add a smidge or a dollop of to every subsequent color mixture in the painting. I used this approach with yesterday's painting, and tried it again today. Although I think I subconsciously cheated a little bit on this one (I can't help it when I go into auto-pilot painting mode!), I still really like the resulting color harmony.
If you want to read more about color harmony in your artwork, I highly recommend the book Vicki McMurray's Mastering Color. Mine is dog eared and tired, but invaluable.
Thanks, a…

Blue Heeler (Finnigan)

"Blue Heeler (Finnigan)," 5" x 7", Australian Cattle Dog portrait in acrylic on Ampersand Gessoboard. Inquiries may always come to me.

It's been a long time since I last painted Finnigan (my dog), and when I found myself facing a later painting time slot this evening and wanting to experiment with a new surface (the Ampersand Gessoboard), I thought it would be in my best interest to stick with something well known.

As to the dog, those of you who don't know him, Finni is a blue heeler mix, high strung and a little neurotic, but the most honest and willing guy you'll ever meet. His inky dark mask is a little askew, and his merle shifts from violet to pinks depending upon the light.

As to the surface, well, I've been looking for a museum-quality panel to replace the canvasboards I've used for the Dog a Day paintings these last few years. I may have found it in the Ampersand Gessoboard. I picked a few up this morning at Utrecht, and will play with the…