Skip to main content

30 Dogs 30 Days - Red

I wish I had some of my early teenaged drawings, the ones I voraciously did while copying book illustrations.

When I was a teenager (cue the sad violin music), there was no internet. Or easily accessible quality photo imagery, for that matter - film cameras were expensive, and photos were sealed under plastic in albums. There were no museums or art galleries in my town. Art was only available in books, and those came from the library.

When I was deemed old enough, I could stay after school and walk to our local library, where I would hang out in the stacks for hours. Books were read, yes, but I would also study the artwork and draw from them.

Jim Kjergaard's books were some of my favorites - heartwarming stories with beautiful covers (I wish I knew who this artist is, but I don't have this particular copy anymore). I can't tell you how many times I drew Red, in pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylics. It got to the point where I could do him from memory.

I didn't know it at the time, but copying others' artwork is a fantastic learning tool, one that artists have used for centuries. All the critical decisions have already been made, and it's a matter of learning to wield our tools like they did, all the while refining our own drawing skills. The hours I spent freehand drawing copies were actually excellent training for when I started creating pet portraits decades later.

To this day, one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon is in the Detroit Institute of Art digitally sketching (with my iPad) in the galleries. I often ask my students to actively practice copying the work of their favorites too. Mixing the same colors, matching up brush marks, it helps you to get into the same mindset as the original creator. Studying that sort of decision making helps integrate that artists' thinking into your own work.

(Please note that copying others' artwork to learn is entirely different than copying others' artwork for profit. Copied artwork is for learning purposes only and should not be exhibited or used for self promotion. Copied artwork for profit is illegal and punishable by law.)

I challenge today's readers to pick up a pencil and see what they can do with Red here. I might just do the same, for old time's sake.

Warmly, Kim


Popular posts from this blog


"Blue," 16" x 20", acrylics on panel, not for sale. Not even if you ask nicely. My family will burn me at the stake if I let this one go.

When My Better Half works nights (like he is tonite), I play while the sun's up and work at the end of the day. It's a fun change to my normal routine.

Today included a little day trip with one of my favorite peeps in one of our favorite places. It was a delight to enjoy each other's company while the rest of the world was at work.

And tonight I had blocked time out to paint for a juried exhibit. My entry is due next week, and, true to form I waited until the nth hour. Because the next painting is always going to be the better one. Well, not always, but I do like to pretend. And I think tonite I might have played my cards well.

Well, mostly I played my cards well. You see, I turned my back, and Blue - yes, sweet little adorable - ate half my pizza** while I was feeding Gertrude Stein. Gertie the bunny, not Gertie the art…

The Spell She Casts (Medicine Hat #13)

Kimberly Kelly Santini
paintings with soul
because our world needs more beauty
"The Spell She Casts (Medicine Hat #13)," 16" x 20" x 1", acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas, image painted around the side, so no need to frame unless you wish. And yes, that glow you see in the image is gold paint reflecting the light - this piece will move and shimmer as you pass by. She is $649 plus s&h to the first one asking nicely. Inquire directlyto me- I accept personal checks, paypal, venmo and will arrange payment plans.

This Medicine Hat painting is number 13, so of course that association alone had me thinking about magic. If you love the company of equines, you know first hand the spells they cast. And that their magic lingers long after they have left.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my art journey,
Warmly, Kim

Made of Starlight (Medicine Hat #16)

"Made of Starlight (Medicine Hat #16)," 18" x 24" x 1", acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas, image painted around the edges, so no need to frame. $899 plus s&h, message mefor more details.

Yes, that is copper paint reflecting the studio lights on the horse's shoulder, and yes, that is a silvery haze around her face. Because starlight sparkles. Just like you.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my art journey,
Warmly, Kim