Sandrine's Gallery

Original art by Sandrine Curtiss

Blog posts October 2013


When I took on this new challenge,

Being the detail freak that I am, I was excited to see the quality of the picture, and the great background my client had asked me to add. I just didn't realize the background would take a lot more time to finish than the puppy herself!
The 90 lb paper I used now feels like it's actually 140 lb, with all the pencil layers I used!! :p

However, it was a fun challenge, and I'm very pleased with the result.

What do you think?




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Holiday Sale

Sandrine's Gallery shop is getting ready for the holidays.

The holidays are fast approaching, and to help you celebrate, here are some coupons you can use until January 3rd, 2014:

- Buy two ACEO prints get one free. Enter the code 342ACEOPRINTS during check out.
- Buy one 5x7 print get one 1/2 off. Enter the code 5X7PRINTS during check out.
- $5.00 off purchases $20 and up. Enter the code 5OFF20UP during check out.
- $10.00 off purchases $50 and up. Enter the code 10OFF50UP during check out.
- $15.00 off purchases $100 and up. Enter the code 15OFF100UP during check out.

I usually get very busy with custom orders during the holiday season, so if you want your portrait on time, please, order early.

Click on those cuddly kittens to go to the store, or click on the store tab in the menu, on top of this page.


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In memory of...

This handsome puppy passed away last week, after a full life of 14 and a half years. His human friend is devastated, and I hope this will cheer her up.

Farewell Pouchkine.


Pouchkine - 5x7" - Colored pencils - Not for sale

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The Joy of Pastel Painting

Many, many years ago...

I used to draw only in black and white, meaning using only graphite pencils or charcoal. The truth is, I was very intimidated by colors. I had the shading, perspective and all that down. Why should I try something new and scary? But then, I was indroduced to soft pastels. They looked fun and messy. I had to try.

First few tries, what a disaster! I had no idea how to use those colors. But like they say, with practice I got better and better, and started to understand those little colored sticks a bit more. I even did portraits, and really enjoyed it.

...Til I discovered colored pencils. Better yet, colored pencils on black paper. I took the plunge and never turned back.

I missed soft pastels from time to time, but I never gave it another try, until now.



Sunflower 2 - 4x6" - Soft Pastels on Clairefontaine Pastelmat.  SOLD


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Work in progress - Tabby 102

From a great pricture provided by photographer Nicke Reeves Payne.

A big thank you, Nicke, for your adorable picture of Bobo.

I always start with a line drawing, using a white pencil. A regular graphite pencil won't show very well on black paper.

Once the line drawing is done, I add all the highlights, and lightest areas, still with a white pencil. It's kind of like drawing a black and white picture of the subject, but in reverse since I'm using black paper.
I think this is the hardest part of the process because I have to make sure I put everything in its place, that the proportions are correct, and the right details are in the right spots. It takes a lot of effort and observation.
I usually take a little break after this step.



Once my eyes are working properly again, I start adding some colors. This time, I use the darkest colors first to work on the shadows. I go over the whole picture and add all the colors everywhere.
Once this is done, I go over each area carefully, working on the highlights again, making sure there's a nice contrast between the light and the shadows.

Working on black paper can be difficult, as not all the colors stand out well. I have to make sure I use many layers. To do so, each layer has to be applied very lightly, using a very sharp pencil tip, or the surface of the paper will be saturated too fast, and I won't be able to add any more colors. I go through pencils and sharpeners very fast. I keep a stock of new sharpeners, and I've go a bunch of white pencils.


Here's our cute Bobo, all finished, happily sleeping on his chair:


Tabby 102 - 8x10" - SOLD

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Discount coupons - How time flies!

When you're busy getting your new store ready,

Creating new artwork, and adding a bunch of new prints for sale. There are about 200 prints available right now in the store, and there will be in all at least 700, with new ones added with the creation of new artwork. I'm trying to add them all before the end of the month so it's ready for the holiday season. I'll be offering discount codes to use there. In fact, I already have two for you:

Buy two ACEO prints and get one free: 342ACEOPRINTS
Buy one 5x7" print and get one half off: 5x7PRINTS

You can use them as often as you want until the end of the year.
Happy shopping!


Cat and Crow 19

ACEO (2.5"x3.5")



Raven 194

ACEO (2.5"x3.5")




Raven 195

ACEO (2.5"x3.5")



Raven 196

ACEO (2.5"x3.5")




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6 Blog Posts