Secret Artist Pet Portraits

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I recently offered my time, supplies, and talent to the Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter's Secret Artist fundraiser. A neighbor of mine is heavily involved in the group and had asked me to participate this year. Painting pet portraits is totally out of my wheelhouse, but I decided I was up for the challenge!

I was assigned two commissions: a dog and a cat. I did 3 thumbnail sketches for each one, working out what colors I wanted for the backgrounds and for their fur. Then I used the fancy LED light pad my husband got me for my birthday to trace the basics of each photo onto a 5x7 piece of watercolor paper.

Then came the painting! The dog ended up being much more of a challenge for me--I really struggled to capture her expression and I think my rendition of her eyes ended up a little wonky, unfortunately.

2021 Secret Artist dog pet portrait

I was very happy with the cat however! I thought my choice of granulating paint really gave a lot of texture that conveyed the fur well. I also did a good job with wet in wet shading to add interest to the legs and ears. 

2021 Secret Artist black cat pet portrait

Overall it was a good experience and I'm planning to participate again next year!

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