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Beach Pet Portrait

Pet Portraits Review - A Merryvaluation
by Angie McKaig

Even though we live in a city on a lake, somehow we never got around to taking the princess pug to the beach very often until last summer. Even though it was new to her, she loved it... loved the attention (natch), loved playing in the sand, even loved running around at the water's edge. Suddenly, we were there all the time.

Who knew?

So when Angie from Pet Art by Angie contacted us about doing a custom pet portrait of Merry, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to capture Merry's first real "summer on the beach" in a portrait. Angie told us that painting a pooch onto a scene - "constructing" a painting from a combination of background scenery of the owner's choice and photo(s) of the dog itself - was her specialty. Perfect! I couldn't wait to get started.

Like we do with all portrait artists, I turned Angie loose on the Merrylog, rather than choosing a photo to send to her. I truly believe that this gives me, and each of you reading this review, a good idea of the style and type of imagery the artist is best at.

Angie chose an adorable laying-down shot of the pug as the main dog image to work from. I also sent her a link to a beach photo for reference.

Once that was decided, Angie was all questions!
• Who is Merry?
• What are her favorite past times?
• Does she have any favorite toys?
• Quirks?
• For the painting: color preferences?
• Size of canvas?

I had a great time answering - not hard, really, when the pug is so absolutely chock full of personality that it caused her nose to fall off (okay, not really, but it could've). I made special mention of Merry's obsession with balls and playing fetch.

A week or two later, I received a sketch by email showing me the roughed-out design for the painting. So cute! Sleepy Merry was cuddled on a pink blanket, with the beach in the background, and a great big ball in the foreground... as it should be, for such a fetch-obsessed pug. Normally, this is where you could recommend changes if you wanted them... but I was cool with everything she'd suggested, so I gave her the thumbs-up.

Two weeks later, I received another image by email: the finished piece. I loved all the different shades of blue. Angie once again asked if I wanted any changes, but I really didn't: it was great on its own.

Seeing the piece in person really was fabulous. I loved the blues - so many shades! - and the way she chose to paint sweet Merry's face made it even more adorable than it was in the reference photo, while still keeping it "looking like the princess pug". The piece, like all custom portraits she does, was painted with professional acrylics on a gallery wrapped stretched canvas (1/2" depth) and is protected with two coats of protective glossy varnish coating.

Angie's portraits usually take two to four weeks to complete, but if you're working on a deadline (birthday, anniversary) then she can sometimes accommodate you - be sure to ask if you need this!

We were thrilled with Merry's beach commemoration painting. Angie has a great, unique way of painting (lots of soft black outlines) with wonderful use of color and an ability to make your pooch's face goshdurned adorable.

You can find out more about Pet Art by Angie from their web site at www.artbyangie.com. 

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