Kimberly Santini - Getting Fresh with Color and Brushwork - Workshop Information

Workshop Info

Getting Fresh with Color and Brushwork - Acrylics

May 17-20, Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Early Bird (until April 1) - $275 LAAG members / $325 nonmembers
Regular - $325 LAAG members / $375 nonmembers

To register contact Betty Klenke at or 225-907-4902


Kimberly Kelly Santini brings her unique color sensibilities to us for an enlightening journey into the world of mixing and applying paint. Live demos punctuated by lots of Q&A anchor a series of exercises designed to improve your color mixing and usage skills, and to loosen up your brushwork. All this will be topped with a chunk of time for self-expression.


  • Paint:

    We will be working in acrylic paints. There is no need to purchase any particular brand of paint, but for those of you who have asked, I use Golden Heavy Body Acrylics.

    Please make certain you are not purchasing/planning to use a student grade acrylic, as these paints have less pigment (and more fillers), and you will not be able to mix the same complexity of colors as you will with a professional grade paint.

    Some suggested colors (but not mandatory!):

    • Titanium White (Zinc white is too transparent)
    • A lighter yellow, like Hansa Yellow Light or Cadmium Yellow Light
    • A darker yellow, like Cadmium Yellow Dark
    • A lighter red, like a Cad Red Light or a Napthol Light or even Pyrrol Red
    • A darker red - I prefer Cad Red Dark, but Quinacridone Scarlet/Alizarine Crimson will work too
    • A lighter blue - Ultramarine or Cobalt
    • A darker blue - Pthalo, Prussian or Anthraquinone
    • And that's it. We'll mix all our secondary colors and we will not be using black.
  • Palette:

    I recommend using either a wet palette or a home-made alternative (tupperware or tray with a damp dishcloth/towel underneath dampened palette paper). This will best facilitate the palette management and color mixing tips I'll be sharing, and will make the longer painting sessions easier to manage.

    NOTE: Open Acrylics are water thirsty, and not the best partners for a wet palette. Expect Open Acrylics to puddle and move a bit on a wet palette. Ironically, they also will dry faster inside the palette than heavy body. I do not recommend open acrylics for this workshop, as we will not have the luxury of extended surface drying time.

  • Brushes:

    Choose a variety of sizes, keeping in mind that we will be working from larger marks to tidier ones. Include a flat or bright brush that is at least 1" wide, as well as several smaller angled/flats/brights. Reserve the rounds for your final layers of marks.

  • Painting Surface:

    Bring along two canvases or panels that are prepped and ready to be painted upon. We will start with a boldly colored underpainting, so make certain your surface is primed/gesso-ed if it needs that. If you want to work on paper, that is fine, too.

    • Choose an overall size that you are comfortable working with - nothing smaller than 4"x6", though.
    • And bring several pieces of whatever surface you are using, so that if you want a 'do-over', you've got it!!
    • In addition to the exercises, we will work on (2) paintings, subject matter and scale your choice.
  • Sketch Book:

    Bring a sketch book with plenty of blank pages. Nothing smaller than an 8x10. We will do our exercises in this book using paint, so make certain that your paper will accept acrylics (ie, no newsprint please) with a minimum of buckling.

  • Our exercises and warm ups will be done directly from life, primarily using still life objects.

    Students may choose to bring reference photos as inspiration for the lengthier painting sessions. Please take the following points into consideration for reference photo use.

  • Reference Photo:

    My goal is to get right to the painting and color mixing stages, so students need to be ready to begin the painting process with solid references on hand.

    Very important - References should be non-flash, where your animal/subject makes up at least half of the photo. They should not be too dark/too light or blurry. Poor references means students are focused on making corrections and guessing at key details, instead of practicing the lesson and techniques.

    Bring along multiple references if you wish.

    Your photo should be cropped/manipulated/masked so that the majority of your compositional decisions have been already made. This will make the painting process easier - we want to focus on paint so that you get the most out of your workshop as possible.

    If you work with thumbnail sketches, complete those prior to the class and bring them along as well.

  • A Note About Reference Photos

    Ideally references should be photos you've taken yourself. I understand this is not always possible.

    If you are working from another's photograph you must have the photographer's permission. There are never exceptions to this rule.

    You may work from a magazine or other copywritten source in our classroom environment for learning purposes only. Work created from photos you did not personally take cannot be exhibited or displayed without first obtaining a copyright release from the photographer. Meanwhile, keep in mind that many exhibits now exclude class/workshop created pieces as well as paintings created from references not taken by the artist.


    Consider bringing other materials like table easels (if you are comfortable working this way), palette knives, rags, paper towels, water reservoirs, and water spritz bottles (I'm certain we can share amongst each other, so please don't run out and purchase a spray bottle). If you have a color wheel, bring it along too.

  • If you have additional questions, send them via email or phone 810-908-9003. I'm really looking forward to painting with you!

Artist Info

Kim Santini headshot

I was born an artist, but took some time figuring that out. I tried on lots of other hats, but it was my desire to create that ultimately persevered. I have college degrees in art and art history, an extensive professional background in many different art arenas and some odder life experiences (like writing automobile owners manuals). My work is widely and enthusiastically welcomed, sitting in corporate collections and homes around the world, and has been honored with a variety of wonderful awards (hello 2015 Kentucky Derby!!). I am a contemporary painter totally enamored with my materials and the trace of the artists' hand. Line and form and the properties of paint drive my compositions. Drawing and arbitrary color create intriguing passages. Layered marks build a dream-like scape, yet it all is rooted in a representational and impressionistic base. I seek to paint a beauty that is needed in our world. To define our relationship with others (both human and mammal), and build connections between possibility, intentions, and the trace of our actions.

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