For the holidays, my husband and I tend to favor handmade, personalized gifts over store bought items. Whether it’s a home-brewed seasonal ale, a handmade journal, or painted coasters, we love to make things with the person we’re going to give it to in mind. Both of our families are pet lovers, and each of our family members has at least one (if not more!) dog, cat, or bird. Around the holidays, I often design a CD cover for A Very Casey Christmas, the ongoing project of a friend in Columbus. Last year, I got the idea to paint Casey by hand, which turned out to be a lot of fun.
With my pet-loving family in mind, I set out to do portraits for all of our beloved pets. Ian helped by collecting and taking photos, as well as keeping my daughter entertained while I painted away into the night. I had so much fun with this!
Casey, the inspiration for last year’s Christmas gifts.
For a few of the pets, Ian had fun trying to get them to pose with their portraits!
My sister’s dog, Mowgli.
My parents’ dog, Bailey.
My dad’s beloved budgie.
My sister’s dogs in progress.
My sister-in-law’s very personable cats.*
My sister’s tortoiseshell.*
Now that I’ve painted all of my family’s pets, I’m itching to do more. This weekend I’ll be working on my own dog Winnie, but I’m also taking on commissions for the holidays. Have a beloved pet you’d like to commemorate or a pet lover in your life who you’d like to give a portrait to? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*I neglected to take photos of some of these before giving them away, so some of these are after-the-fact phone photos.
Update: here’s my dog, Winnie!