Creating a pet portrait that communicates its personality is often a collaborative process with the owner that knows and loves them best.
Leo was an ideal model for a pet portrait painting. He’s a very sweet and patient kitty that loves to be photographed. I spent an evening with him and took dozens of photos and I thought I had several that captured his happy personality. But for Liz, his owner, there was something not quite right, though we couldn’t pin down what. Two months later, Liz sent me more images of him, showing a very different kitty. His coat changes throughout the seasons, and it was now in full fluff! This was her Leo.
It’s often hard to describe the little details that express the personality of a loved one, but you notice when it’s not there. Most artists have you approve the final design before they being painting and if somethings doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to let the artist know. It’s much better to rework the initial design than have an unhappy patron.
Want to learn more about the painting process? Take a look at the underpainting for Leo and see more detail and in-progress images on Instagram. And if you look closely in the wood chips, you’ll find a little friend hiding on a leaf.