This is my current dog Tira:
One of my current projects is a painting of someones dog. As with ...well most of the pet portraits that I have done, this beloved pet has passed on.
I can't think of any other paintings that I do that give me both the fear and the excitement that pet portraits do. These are hugely emotional for those that ask for them.
I know some people think.."You paint dogs! Where's the creativity in that?" Well it's not so much creativity as it is sensitivity. You have to find the special quality in that pet that the owner will recognize.
It is scary. I can paint, say a wolf, and if I forget to paint his ear or give him a lump on his head, well who's to know that he wasn't just attacked by another wolf. I can do what I want, because it' s just a random wolf. If I were to give someones loved dog, a gimpy eye, or a weird shaped nose, they will notice. What you really need to nail is the expression. If you get that right, and luckily so far I pretty much always have, you will get a reaction unlike any other art buyer. Smiles, joy, tears. A lot of times tears. That's the big payoff in doing pet portraits.
(I don't mean that I like to make people cry)
(Also just so you know I don't usually give my wolves bumps on the head or missing ears)