My Photo

I have a ridiculously great life, playing with paint in the studio and flexing my time around the needs of my family. Took me a while to work out the balance, but I figured it all out and am loving every second. You can see my artwork at and I'm on twitter (ksantini) and facebook (Kimberly Santini), and the FB studio is Kimberly Kelly Santini.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Zoe's Portrait (an Airedale Terrier)

Here’s a new commissioned dog portrait, starring Zoe, an airedale. She’s patiently been in my pet portrait queue, and I’ve been very excited to start her for quite a long time. Every so often a subject comes along like Zoe, a character with enough substance to pull off a larger than life painting with substantial artistic integrity.

Of course, I think the integrity bit is helped by solid reference photos. Having evenly lit non-flash photographs taken from the dog’s eye level make a world of difference, even at the conceptual stage.

The palette for this one is a little different. I cleaned off my taboret completely this morning, and set it up with only cad red dark, cad yellow dark, ultra blue, quinacridone red, hansa yellow, pthalo blue red and Prussian blue. I am tinting with titanium white.

Another thing I’ve noticed that I am embracing more easily is tinting. In the past, I used glaze and lots of yellows, thinning my paints and layering them to attain a lighter value. While that resulted in some nice saturation, I think my overall value range might have suffered a little bit. And all that yellow sometimes made color harmony a bigger struggle.

Now (not just in Zoe’s painting) I am using lots of titanium white, still with glaze. But I’m getting some nice luminosity happening, too.

So the image here is how Zoe looks after a day of layering intial wet glazes onto the canvas. I’ll keep an updated version on my website.

As always, thanks for looking.

Kimberly Kelly Santini
distinctive pet portraits
and 4-legged paintings


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