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Showing posts from January, 2010

Orange Tabby

"Orange Tabby," 5" x 7", feline portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, only $249 to the first taker - and if you are a Dog-a-Day collector, that converts to just $224!!). Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.

With this painting, I didn't focus on much other than color, starting with a bright orange ground (indian yellow and cadmium red light), using the cat's stripes as an excuse to introduce a variety of hues and joyful brush work. Sometimes you just have to work this way - it takes the pressure off obtaining a specific likeness and creates something entirely different. It's a free-ing and invigorating way to paint.

Today I received notice that two of my three entries for this year's Art Show at the Dog Show were accepted. Tomorrow I'll take the paintings to my framer and have her work her magic on them. It's always a priviledge to have work in this…

Princess Fergie

"Princess Fergie," 12" square, larger than lifesize Chihuahua portrait, done in acrylic on 1-1/2" cradeled Ampersand Gessobord. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait) may always come to me.
In November I hung an exhibition of my work at Body Pure, a pilates studio in Birmingham, Michigan. It was a great opportunity to showcase a variety of Dog-a-Day paintings in a contemplative setting - something I don't often get the chance to do, since the majority of my pieces head off to their new homes as soon as they are dry.
Fergie is the studio's official mascot, greeting customers with a trademarked timid little dance. Like any princess worth her weight in gold, she's selective about those she approaches (but just between you and me, a cookie works wonders). I shot a variety of reference photos, and was eager to get started on another "big" piece, knowing that Fergie's personality would simply leap off the panel.
Her portrait will hang …

January 2010 Newsletter

Yesterday I sent out the electronic version of the studio newsletter. In it I shared highlights of last year and outlined some of my plans for 2010. It's going to be a BIG year, not just because the paintings themselves are becoming better and better (practice makes closer to perfect), but because come August I'll be painting Dog-a-Day piece #1000. This is a major milestone.

Painting daily is a grind - I won't lie to you. But it's also the most rewarding thing I could have done for myself on so many different levels. Primarily, though, painting daily has built this Dog a Day community, a group that keeps me going literally every day.

You are all inspiring and nurturing and pretty darned amazing. Thank you for being a part of my life.

Now enough with the teary-stuff.

If you didn't get it in your email and you want to read the newsletter, here it is: http://ymlp.com/z9IhC2

I'm off to set up a still life with kewpie dolls and Fisher Price Little People dogs.

Have a glo…

Emmie's Beauty Sleep

"Emmie's Beauty Sleep," 6" s 8", acrylic Collie portrait on canvasboard, $324 to the first one asking nicely. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
SOLD.
Last week I got the nicest note from an old collector (old meaning pre-Dog a Day) with photos of her newest family members. The pictures of Emmie owning the couch were too good to pass up, and when I got her blessing, I rushed to the easel.
Well, it didn't happen quite that easily. Well, in a way it did. You see, I had kept this week free of commission work in order to lead a pet portrait workshop at an elementary school. The workshop was rescheduled, so I happened to be easy peasy to slip Emmie in.
I will, of course, hold Emmie and give my collector an opportunity to add this Dog a Day painting to her walls. But should she pass, I guarantee there will be a line forming!
Meanwhile, I have begun planning my next sol…

The Dance

"The Dance," 5" square, portrait of a heeler mixed breed dog with two children, acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, not for sale. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
This tiny little painting is of Finnigan and my two youngest. I don't think I could part with it, but I do plan on exhibiting it in a couple events coming up. I suppose that's always provided the piece gets juried into the show in the first place.
I can paint large no problem, but when the painting gets smaller I get claustrophobic. The brushes seem oddly tiny and my gestures are tight and stunted - I really have to concentrate to get it right. On top of the whole scale challenge, with this portrait I've got two human likenesses to capture along with the landscape - more things I'm not familiar with.
However I think it's critically important to shake things up periodically and step outside your c…

The R-Man Cometh

"The R-Man Cometh," 8" square, acrylic on canvasboard, commissioned equine painting, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
Rhett's painting has some fantastical color, but I like that. It matches his larger than life personality just fine.
Today I got the most imaginative book ever through PaperbackBookSwap (the premise is that you "list" the books you no longer want on their site, other members choose titles from your listing, and for each book you send off to a member (at media postal rates) you earn a credit allowing you to choose a book of your own from those listed). Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet is delightful and inspiring and just the sort of title I like to have in the studio on days when I am not painting someone as wonderful as Rhett and struggling with what to do.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and shari…

Life Lessons, Step I

"Life Lessons," a new painting in process, 8" x 10," Golden Open Acrylics on 3/4" Ampersand Museum Panel. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
Today was full of business and planning and did NOT include easel time, much to my dismay - I simply ran out of minutes! But the painting above is one I blocked in a few weeks back, so I figured what better time to share it than tonite?
What did I work on today?
Well, planning has begun for the 1000th Dog a Day painting - there will be a fitting celebration for the creation of this milestone piece.
I also worked on my lesson plan for a Visiting Artist stint at an elementary school next month (collaged multi-media pet portraits!), and began the organization and coordinating involved in my next solo show (at least 20 new paintings created specifically for this exhibit).
I cleared off my desk and caught up on email correspondance …

Pastural

"Pastural," 4" x 16", acrylic on Raymar panel, my entry for this month's Virtual pARTy, photo courtesy of Linda Shantz. This painting can be added to your collection for $429 - let me know if you are interested.
What's a Virtual pARTy? It's when a group of artists create work from the same reference material. In this one, the reference photo contained 4 horses and much more landscape - and I had 24 hours to complete my painting. (For those interested there's still time to participate - the pARTy goes on until the 23rd of this month - complete rules are on the site.)
While I'm not convinced it's quite done yet (I want more separation between the landscape and horses), I am out of time. So I'll submit the painting as is, and go back into it once I've had a couple days to study my contrasts and value ranges. When it's completed to my satisfaction I'll share a complete step-by-step breakdown on thePainting a Dog a Day blog.
Speaking…

Alice

PLEASE NOTE: Last night I experienced technical difficulties that precluded my sharing jpgs of Alice's paintings. I did, however, post an update to the newsgroup both last night and then again this morning once I had images to share. This blog posting is an edited combination of what went to the Dog a Day Newsgroup subscribers. Thanks so much!! - Kim

FROM THE TOP: "Dear Alice," 6" square and "Storytime," 6" x 8", both portraits of a mixed breed sweetheart, done in acrylic on canvasboard. My client wanted a square painting and I wanted the Curious George books (I have far too many memories of reading George to my boy), so I painted a compromise. Ok, not a compromise at all, technically. But everyone is happy, and isn't that all that matters when the lights go down?
So she'll choose one painting, and the other will go up to the first taker - you'de better let me know if you're interested!! Inquiries (including booking your own pet p…

The Stacks

ABOVE: "The Stacks (in process)" and BELOW, "The Stacks (finished)." 10" x 14", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a calico cat among the inventory of a used book store, $599. Inquiries (including booking pet portraits, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.

If you recall yesterday's post, I was concerned that the rear shelves of books detracted from the cat. The first thing I did was paint them over, using a wide brush and muted versions of the foreground colors. Then continuing with a wide brush, I added vaguer suggestions of titles and shadows, leaving all the detail work in the immediate foreground. I was careful, too, not to paint the shadows in the shelving as dark as the cat's markings - this creates some depth to the shelves and allows the cat to sit in a different plane that appears as though it is closer to the viewer.
Several readers asked about placing the focal point in the center of the pai…

Calico Lesson Painting

This is what's currently on my easel, an untitled 10" x 14" canvasboard that I've been working on for several days - another lesson painting!
The subject matter is a cat absorbed in a wee bit of grooming; the setting is a used book store. You can see how I initially structured the composition - the rectangular shapes in the background represent the shelves of books, and there is a stack of books in the immediate foreground alongside the cat. Notice how everything intersects at her face? That is intentional, so there is no question about the focal point.

Here she is a little further along. I've roughly masked in the various shapes and refined my drawing. At this point, I became concerned that the shelves of books might be a little overpowering - today I played with the background values and color saturation and devised a solution.
Which I will share tomorrow!
I welcome your title suggerstions, though. I'm tossing around "Casual Reading," "Reading Li…

Down Time

"Down Time (Johnny & Abby)," 6" x 8", double dog portrait depicting a Boxer and a mixed breed (hound), acrylic on canvasboard, $324. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
SALE PENDING.

I didn't get to the easel early enough today to start the complex larger painting I'm planning, so reached for a little board and Johnny & Abby's photos. Another artist sent me these snuggling pics of her dogs after she saw "Little Brother," the Boxer puppy painting I completed last week.
So tomorrow I've got big plans to start a storytelling painting, the first in a new direction that I have much hope for. I'm tempted to get it started tonite, but have some paperwork that needs attention. We'll see how much discipline I have, though. Stay tuned....
And stay warm! Geez, but it's cold out there!
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my…

Mohawk Jack

"Mohawk Jack," 6" x 12", acrylic portrait on canvasboard of a mixed breed (wolfhound) dog, $359. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
SOLD.
This painting is interesting (to me) in that the values are all very close - it's the push and pull of the purples and blues that model the actual shape of the dog. Up close the surface is flecked with painted fringe and wispy hair, and Jack's head seems as though to rise from the canvas. A nice effect overall.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publish…

Little Brother, Step II & Finished

"Little Brother," 9" x 12," portrait of a Boxer puppy sunbathing with an adult Boxer, done in acrylic paints on Ampersand Gessobord, $529. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
Yesterday I shared the beginning stages of this painting. I didn't mention that I had tried rather unsuccessfully in previous years to pull this concept off. A perfect example of try, try again - I'm glad I had the patience to keep going!
Should this painting remain unsold by the tail end of the weekend, it'll get entered in this year's Art Show at the Dog Show. In the coming days I've got to get that entry squared away along with my entry for the Richeson Small Works show and a couple other local juried events.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Hoping you have a colorful weekend! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintin…

Little Brother, Step I

"Little Brother (in process, immediately above after a full day's work, image at top after about an hour's work)," 9" x 12", acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, portrait of a Boxer brindled pup snuggling with a larger fawn Boxer, $529 to the first collector asking nicely. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me. It seems like the lesson paintings have been popular as of late, so I thought I would share another. This particular reference I've had for years (thanks to my friend and uber talented fellow artist Judy Wood). It's a funny angle, with the pup's hind end tucked underneath and his head thrust forward, while the larger dog remains a sun drenched lump. But I love the triangular shape of the two dogs, and the weight distribution of the pup, with those huge white-tipped paws. I'm also excited to try my hand at painting an oriental rug in the sunlight…

Saratoga Stripes, #2

"Saratoga Stripes, #2," from the Saratoga Series, 6" x 8", acrylic equine painting on canvasboard depicting a racehorse in the paddock at Saratoga Race Track in New York, $349 to the first one under the wire. Inquiries may always come to me.
SOLD. Last summer I was able to visit Saratoga with two great friends and fellow artists. We hung at the track, gallery hopped, and had a genuinely delightful weekend. They were reminescing last night, and it got me thinking about the energy we were a part of for those few days. The challenge I set for myself was to capture the excitement in a relatively static composition.
I'm pleased to no end with the results of this painting, which represents another breakthrough in my neverending search to better understanding of color and distance. I'm handicapped in this due to my heavy reliance on reference photos (because I prefer to paint animals, uncooperative as they may be). The camera treats everything in the viewfinder with…

Tucker(ed Out), Almost Finished

"Tucker(ed Out)," almost finished, 12" x 16" (so he's larger than life), acrylic on Raymar panel, commissioned pet portrait of a black lab mix, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
Well, if it looks like I made a lot of progress on Tucker's painting, I did. I was motivated and inspired to paint like the wind today, and went to the easel as soon as the sleep was out of my eyes. I put in quite a marathon, consequently skipping all paperwork and computer tasks this morning! My muse had shown up, and I wasn't letting her leave without proof of her visit.
My favorite part of this painting? Tucker's paw and leg carry a hint of green from romping in freshly mown grass, the face reflects the warmth of the decking, while the top of his head carries a hint of blue reflected from the sky.
Now this image is off to my clients for their…

Tucker(ed Out)

"Tucker(ed Out)," work in process, 12" x 16", acrylic on Raymar panel, commissioned pet portrait of a black lab mixed breed, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
I don't usually like paintings with exaggerated foreshortening, but Tucker's state of total relaxation seemed to accent the stretched out paw quite nicely, so I made an exception this time around.
This is the first layer of paint on the canvas (you can see the pink underpainting showing through in places). I will continue laying down loose shapes and building a stronger sense of depth before I start on any details.
Meanwhile, I finished Henirich's painting, which comprised my last three posts. I'll share him with you once my clients give me the thumbs up.
And just as an extra bonus, I'd like to share a link that sums up why animal rescue efforts, even the small…