One of the joys of being a massage therapist is that I am able to meet some really wonderful, kind people.
Even though massage is supposed to be a completely quiet session, there are some clients who relax better when they share stories. I had been hearing stories about “Ellie Mae”, a golden retriever service dog which got me to thinking about pet portraits. I asked if I could paint a portrait of Ellie Mae at no charge - just to see if I could. Her owner said yes and sent me a few pictures.
Isn’t she adorable!
I chose to paint her in acrylics on a hard gesso board. Here are a few progress photos. I realized I had her nose too thin and had to make some corrections.
The eyes were a challenge, but in the end I was happy with how they turned out.
Here is the final portrait of Ellie Mae.
Her owner is pleased – and then there is Ellie Mae herself – her owner said she came to the photo every day for about a week and looked up at it. They captured this photo of her looking quite intrigued. I think she is happy.
My sister saw the "Ellie Mae" portrait and decided to gift a pet portrait to her daughter-in-law. She sent me this photo and asked– “can you paint all three?” I had to give it a shot… here is where I arrived.
The owner of the dogs cried when she opened her present. It wasn't because the portrait was so good, it was because of the thoughtful nature of the gift – capturing a moment in time of the dogs who are a big part of the family she loves so much.
Consider gifting a pet portrait or have one created for yourself from a photo.