Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Gentle Breeze ~~ Painting a Dog a Day by Kimberly Kelly Santini

NEARLY FINISHED: "Gentle Breeze (Nitro)," from the "Black and Whites" series, 8" x 10", portrait of a horse, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessoboard. Almost completed - and can be pre-purchased for $469. Please send your inquiries to me.

Those of you who follow the studio on Facebook heard me bragging last week about an ambitious piece I started. Monday had me lamenting about a painting that was giving me problems. They were one and the same, the piece I'm sharing with you today.

First it sunk deep into "The Uglies" - that stage where the artist is still working things out, and nothing quite yet meshes or works visually. Every piece goes through this phase - it's just that some linger longer than others.

And Nitro refused to budge from "The Uglies." And I didn't know how to fix him.

Over multiple days, I studied the piece in a mirror, upside down, and from my periphery. I used red cellophane to work out issues with values (laying a piece of red cellophane overtop a painting reduces it immediately to a value study, enabling you to see any problematic areas). I imported a jpg to Photoshop and experimented with other choices.

I thought a lot about the depth I was hoping to achieve and visualized the color theory and practices that would make it work. I closed my eyes and painted it, over and over, in my head until I had the confidence for another try.

This morning I tackled things immediately. Within 10 minutes there was an incredible shift in the painting, and I had my mojo back!

I thought I was done, but now see some subtle shifts to make that will shift the mane towards translucency and better connect the shadowed barrel to the head.

But that can wait! For now I want to celebrate the completion of this one and bask for a bit in all that I've learned via "Gentle Breeze."

Thanks so very much for following along with my artwork!

PS I painted Nitro already before - you can see his first painting, "Freedom," on the Painting a Dog a Day blog and onFineArtAmerica.

My winter herb garden, compliments of my sister-in-law, enjoying the sunshine filled kitchen.

Early Spring??

Michigan has been blessed with several gorgeous, entirely unseasonal days this week.

I've never done winter well - I pretty much bundle up and hibernate until May. But this week has been very pleasant.

We've enjoyed long walks, thrown 1000 snowballs for the dog (it sure felt like 1000!), gotten re-acquainted with the sun, and even gone for a bike ride.

The bunny hutch got a good scrape down yesterday, which made Lily and Clover happy. And the crocus-es and wild iris already peeking up got a good feeding of bunny poo, which made them happy as well.

This is February! In Michigan!

I just might have to fire up the Bar-B-Q tonite!

Hoping wherever you live that you are enjoying your days equally as well as the Santinis!

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