I have always shied away from doing pet portraits. First of all, I hate the term. A pet is more than just a pet; those who have them know they are part of the family and the loss of one is devastating. But for lack of a better phrase, I have begun doing...Pet Portraits.
After years of seeing every artist try their hand at it, I rarely see one truly able to capture the essence of the animal. Most "portraits" are a straight on pose, drawn exactly to the photograph. And most of these are drawn crudely or just digitally produced.
But I know one artist here on my island who executes them beautifully, working in oil in an impressionistic style. He interprets the personality of the animal in his own way, and his work is full of movement and life, capturing the true spirit of each animal he paints.
I decided to give it a go, and see if I had what it takes to do the animal justice. I wanted my portraits to offer my vision and my impression. So I began with my own boy while he was having sweet dreams. People saw him and reacted positively, asking for me to do one for them. I explain that I work on Yupo and do not copy the photo of the animal exactly, and as long as they are happy with the results, that's all that matters.
So all that being said, I suppose there is a tip here for you. Try everything. You might discover a new medium or a new subject that touches your heart. And I can't wait to see who I'll be working with next.