My studio is a tiled table for easy clean up, set in an alcove with a bay window to make the best use of natural light.
I require a very clear, closeup digital photo of the pet. I will paint the pet exactly as I see him in the photo.
I do a sketch in pencil on the plaque and send it to you via email for approval. I will send progress emails each day.
At left, I paint the background and start the facial features. On right, I work on the facial contours, ears and fur.
I continue layering colors to create fur and complete his image, finishing by painting the frame of the portrait.

It's All About Pets, Paints, and Portraits

I have been an animal lover from birth, and I've always wanted to do something that was centered around them. I've always loved drawing pencils sketches, but what I really wanted to do was bring animals to life in paintings.

I've never taken an art lesson or gone to an art school, but that wasn't going to stop me from fulfilling my desire to paint animals. I quickly found that I liked acrylic paints and I liked the feel of painting on wood better than canvas.

For a couple of years, I practiced painting animals, over and over again, by looking at photos. Eventually I got good enough to paint for others. I absolutely love the moment when it all comes together. The moment when I can really see the animals personality emerge onto the wood. The moment when you can actually recognize who the animal is. I sketch each portrait in pencil onto the wooden plaque. Then I paint it, layering strokes of color to create fur.

I thought it would be fun to start a shop that sold custom pet portraits at a cost low enough for anyone to be able to have one. I discovered Etsy and thought it would be a good place to see how things would go.
Debbie Mathews
Born and raised in Virginia, I worked for the Federal Government for 30 years. I married and relocated to Durham, NC with my husband in 2004. Newly retired, I decided to try my life long desire to paint animals.
Inspirational Staff
Inspirational Staff

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