I'm very excited to announce that I am finally back open for pet portraits! It's been a while and I really have missed created custom pet portraits for pet lovers worldwide. You can order yours today via instagram @ericsantoli or through my website by contacting me directly through my CONTACT PAGE!
You can also check out my current end of summer sale prices which are in effect until September 1st 2019!
I wanted to share some recent insight I had about having different approaches to making art. I always catch myself wanting to have a clear, linear style way of painting, but the truth is that it's good to have various ways of working. For my pet portraits I work in a certain way, usually slower and in a few distinct layers. But I also love working completely alla prima and finishing a painting in one sitting.
This is also true for the way I use source material. Using my laptop and photos to paint pet portraits is super convenient, but you have to be careful because it can get flat really quickly and the colors can appear different. I mainly love working en plein air, but that has its own disadvantages; the light is always changing and it's a race against the clock sometimes. But the advantage to working outside or from life in general is clear in the final work.
Basically, there's no right way or wrong way or "cheating" or anything. It all becomes your own work when you put your signature on the piece. Learn to love the variety that painting provides. It's all your own as long as you create it!
I had a big shift in my process and my thoughts today as I began a portrait for my neighbors. This portrait is a gift for them for taking care of my fish for me while I was away on vacation to Spring Lake. I began the portrait today after feeling lost for a while in my own thoughts about painting. So I just began painting and trying to return to myself. Trying almost to turn my brain off while I paint. The main thing that I've been feeling for a very long time is that I haven't been myself. I've been trying to be someone else and paint like someone else.
The portrait that I'm currently working on is very similar to a portrait that I painted for these same neighbors back in 2013 while I was a student. I still believe it's one of the nicer paintings that I've ever done. I did it over the course of 4 or 5 days and it's always been a guiding light for me to return to. I think a big thing is that I've been hurrying my paintings too much lately, instead of letting them rest and working in a few layers. I got too caught up in the whole alla prima recipe, which I still love but it's not the best way for me to work.
It's so difficult to just listen to your own voice when other influences are so strong. It's like the whole process is stripping away all these layers to just get back to the core of who I was and who I am. I know that I can only do my best work in this manner. It's a constant exploration that I feel happy to undertake and I'm glad to be feeling more myself.