Maggie, A Lesson Painting, Part I of II ~~ Kimberly Kelly Santini

Yeah, I know - I might be going overboard with the lesson paintings as of late! For whatever reason, I'm tackling bigger paintings with more complex compositions, stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new things. Which means the paintings are taking multiple days, which means you reap the benefit of following along!

So, take a deep breath, and let's bring the newest muse on board.
This is Maggie. I've painted Maggie and her four legged family members before, but her Mom requested something a little more substantial. Something that honored their years together and showed what a dignified and dear friend Maggie had been.

I started with a big panel - this painting will be nearly life sized at 12" x 20". It got toned a light yellow, and then I started with my drawing.

I placed Maggie close to the picture plane, and blocked her and the background in using a very large brush, bold color and loose brushwork. Remember, the majority of this will get covered up later - but there will be some peek-a-boo pockets revealing these first layers, so I am choosing colors that will sing alongside compliments and help emphasize focal points.

Sometimes it helps me to interact with the painting better if I can engage myself with a "hook" - in this one, I decided it would be Maggie's gaze. So I started in with the eyes and nose.

Once I have these points established, I can use them as references for things like relative measurements and determining adjacent values.


And here is where I've left off. I can see some obvious problems anatomically, which I will adjust when I pick my brush up next. All the brilliant painting in the world won't change the fact that her body shape is rather pig-like, and I've gotta get that fixed!

Thanks, as always, for sharing my artwork with your friends and family,

Learning from a Master

Every day I look at art, if not in real life than certainly on the computer. While visiting artists' websites and blogs, I have discovered talent and styles that I might never have stumbled across in real life.

Take, for example, Texas painter Qiang Huang. He started his daily painting journey shortly after I did, with a focus on still lifes, expressive brushwork, and dramatic light.

I am a huge fan of his style. And his work ethic. And his modesty - he will occasionally admit to being happy with how one thing or another turned out, but he follows that up with a declaration as to what he will improve next time.

Last night he wrote something that was particularly inspiring. He said " should congratulate yourself if you see problems in your painting, because you have caught the problem, it is no longer hiding, so you are half way to success already."

Qiang's given all artists license to throw a party! 

I wonder what will be in the pinata.....

Meanwhile, I best grab my brushes and set to correcting Maggie's poor bloated body!

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