Fine arts painter Erica Eriksdotter sits by her easel with a custom painting of a black lab

I love taking my clients and followers, behind the scenes of how each pet comes alive on canvas. Many share how much they enjoy following along in real time via Instagram or Facebook and others prefer the monthly inspirational email (sign up for a chance to win $100 studio credit in our monthly drawing) for a quick summary for a few links to deep dive.

Lucy’s pet portrait is a german shepherd and chow mix I recently had the honor to paint. Click here for the blog post about the finished painting and here if you’re interested in honoring your own pet.

Pet portrait of a french bulldog by artist Erica Eriksdotter and a chair

Lucy’s pet portrait is a custom original acrylic painting and when I shared this sketch with Lucy’s dad, he said: “the sketch looks like Lucy!”

Lucy’s dad adopted her from an animal shelter in 2003. He played with several puppies but not Lucy because she was a little standoffish. He chose another puppy that needed to be sprayed. So he returned a few days later to pick up his newly sprayed rescue dog… and out came Lucy. “Wait, this isn’t the puppy I chose”… and a 14 year love affair started. She passed away nearly 2 years ago.

I brought Lucy with me to a speaking engagement at the McLean Art Society a few weeks ago. Thank you to the amazing group for inviting me to share my life and art process. I grabbed the portraits I was lucky to have at home and shared my process for each. I even passed around the paintings as I  talked about each pet’s life. Several in the audience had tears in their eyes when I shared the grief many of my clients heal through this creative process.

I really enjoy these talks and hope I have the pleasure to do many more.

A little morning sun touching Lucy’s pet portrait, highlighting some of the paint I added the night before.

Don’t you think Lucy’s pose is peaceful and stoic? I do. Tapping into her she feels very much like her pose, if that makes sense.

A little fun look at how an ear gets its fluff and depth.

Another early morning in the studio, catching a quick glimse at the prior evening’s work…  I always tip toe my way into the studio the next morning if I’ve had a light night’s session just to view the progress in the morning light. Did it turn out alright? I couldn’t be happier at this point in the process.

We’re going for BOLD! Some of the photos I use for reference for Lucy has a beautiful azalea bush in the background with these magenta blooms. I gently suggested the boldness and my client was all in! What do you think? Will it work?

With this photo you can see how much more I have left on the face. Some parts doesn’t even have its first layer yet, but it’s slowly coming together

One brushstroke at a time is making her fur come alive. It’s starting to look good! I’m inching closer and closer to the image I have in my head and allowing Lucy and her essence to come through on canvas. If you enjoy videos, you may like Lucy’s instagram highlights.

Lucy finally got her regal and bold background and she’s now home in Colorado. I was so pleased to finish this ahead of Thanksgiving and the two year anniversary of Lucy’s passing. In a way, this holiday they were reunited. Check out this blog post with the finished photos or view more finished pet portraits in the gallery.

If you’re interested in honoring your pet or giving a pet portrait as a gift, click here for more information.