Painting Pets: the Eyes Have It

Title: Gia
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 20″
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Gia’s portrait was a commission for some great friends. Sweet Gia passed late last year, and my portrait of her was a surprise Christmas present for her family. Gia was a beautiful Yorkie, with golden, flowing hair and a sweet face.  She was a joy to paint, and it was an emotional moment when I presented her to the family.

Presenting a portrait of a beloved pet is often an emotional event, especially when the pet is deceased. As they say, there is no love like that of a dog. I guess that makes it especially difficult when they are gone. Their absence leaves a big void in peoples’ lives.

Gia was the eighth pet I’ve painted, and each one is different in every aspect. I work especially hard to get the eyes just right, as that is where we really “see” their personality. There’s more to these portraits than just paint. I try to fill a bit of the void the pet left behind. And if their family can look into their eyes and feel that love again, then I’ve done my job.