Each animal has its own colors, even if they are the same breed. An all black dog isn’t all black, and an all white dog isn’t all white. I painted a black lab and the highlights and shadings I made dark blue. A white dog portrait has blue and pink and a little lavender in the shadows. The eyes of cats are fascinating to paint. …
Deena O’Daniel is a pet portrait artist with a deep love of animals and a natural ability for painting pets. Discovering at an early age that she has a rare talent that allows her to paint, she turned her talents in capturing pets with acrylics on canvas.
Deena has been able to draw and paint all her life, and actually thought everyone could! Even though her love of painting was always on her mind, like all of us, living life caring for family, children and jobs can take away the time for you to enjoy your passion. However after she retired, she was able to get back to her passion of paining, and started painting still life and landscapes until Dakota, her Corgi finally gave her the knowing eye after Deena finished reading a decorating magazine, where a head study of the designer’s dog was featured above the fireplace mantel. Her dog Dakota knew she would be a natural at painting pets and gave her a stunning photo of herself to paint!
That was it! She was hooked and Dakota finally got her job as spoke model and promotional manager of Deena O’Daniel. Dakota first posted her portrait on Wheelcorgis a Yahoo group dedicated to Coris… “Check me out in living art!” Surely enough, all the Corgis wanted to commission their own portrait.
Since then Dakota has been her “spokesmodel” and is featured on Deena’s website, business cards, and profile photos on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
What inspired you to painting pets?
I’ve always been an animal lover. I got my first dog, Ginger, when I was 7. We moved from the city to an apartment with a yard, and Ginger just showed up one day. We always had dogs when I was growing up. In later years I was a successful breeder-exhibitor of Siberian Huskies. I have always just had an affinity and love of animals.
Her favorite part about working with pets is the trust, affection and their beauty. She loves painting both cats and dogs and is looking forward to working with horses, ferrets and birds. She feels that with every portrait she does she learns something new.
Each animal has its own colors, even if they are the same breed. An all black dog isn’t all black, and an all white dog isn’t all white. I painted a black lab and the highlights and shadings I made dark blue. A white dog portrait has blue and pink and a little lavender in the shadows. The eyes of cats are fascinating to paint. The owners have been, without exception, delighted with the portraits. The paintings I did of dogs that have passed away brought tears to the owners’ eyes, and to mine when I read their responses to the paintings.
When Deena is constructing a portrait, she likes to work with the photos she has been supplied by the owner. She does recommend that you send a few, so that she can see the colors and shapes of your pet. She generally takes about 6 hours to finish a portrait, however this depends on the size and complexity. However she likes to first block the painting, get the colors going, and work on it a bit, then she leaves it alone for a while before going back to work on it. She says when she comes back, she can see things that she missed or a solution to creating a stunning image. She likes starting with the eyes first, that way your pet is already there on canvas, ready for the nose and body to come to light.
Best advice on owning a dog or cat?
Research! Learn which breed would fit best with your personality, living space, family needs, allergies, etc. Learn what inherited conditions are prevalent in the breeds you are interested in. NEVER buy from a pet shop. Find out who the breed experts are. Go to dog shows, pet expos and parks and talk to the other dog owners. If you want a purebred dog, be sure to buy from a reputable and respected breeder. Your country’s Kennel Club should be able to provide a list of breeders. Adopting a rescue is a wonderful thing to do, but you must be prepared for the unexpected.
Where to find Deena and Information:
All of her paintings are on the web site, and she adds new ones after they are received by the client. An 8 x 10 acrylic on canvas head studies are US $75, and all shipping is free in the USA (double-check Europe, Asia and Beyond). Larger sizes and multiple pets on the same canvas are priced according to size and complexity.
Name: Deena O’Daniel
Company Name: Pet Portraits by Deena
Facebook: Portraits by Deena
Location: Austin, Texas USA
About: She was born in New York City and lived for over 20 years in Southern California, where she raised her family. She never went to art school or university. She did attend community college when she was in her 30s, and took a couple of art classes at a community college in Austin. She works part-time at Barnes & Noble bookstore. She has always loved books and she loves to read. Her love of animals, their honesty and beauty, have always been dear to her heart, so every portrait she paints is a labor of love.
I recommend that you take a visit to her website and order that perfect portrait of you pet!