Katie Louise was a nail technician turned pet portrait artist. She started Katie Louise Art when the lockdown kicked in and now paints dogs!
Lockdown has seen lots of struggles for so many of us over the past year, but I have also spoken to lots of people who have had or managed to find positive experiences from it too which is amazing. For me, 2020 was definitely completely different from what I was expecting and I could never have imagined that at the end of the year I would have my own art business painting pet portraits and more!
How It Started
My main job for the past 8 years has been running my own nail business as a nail artist but after having to temporarily put down my nail brushes due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, I decided to pick up a different set of brushes and found a new love for watercolour painting.
I have a love for wildlife and photography, so I really wanted to try my hand at painting some of my own wildlife photographs and I started learning using a few tutorials online and lots of practice. This soon became more than a hobby to me when people started asking to purchase my paintings. I was so excited by this and my business began to grow. I started to have prints and greeting cards of my work professionally printed which are now being sold in various shops, online via my website and the card are also available on my Etsy store.
Initially, I had never considered offering pet portraits, but I received my first enquiry for a dog commission at the end of the summer and, after posting the completed portrait of this on my social media pages, I started getting lots of requests for other pet portraits. I have now painted horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, a hamster, and a budgie! I enjoy the challenge of new animals thrown at me too but dog portraits are definitely the most requested! I am based in Hertfordshire in the UK and regularly create portraits for clients all around the UK and now even have a portrait hanging up on a wall in the USA!
I use watercolour paints to create my pet portraits and I work from a reference photo. If you are having a portrait painted the most important thing is the quality of the photo. Ideally, they should be in focus and taken in natural daylight. I like to be able to clearly see their features, particularly their eyes. I also love to know the breed, name and personality of the animal and I try to capture this in my portraits too.
I use a loose watercolour style and I add splashes of colour at the end once they are finished. This is probably my favourite part of the process and I feel this makes my portraits different from many others.
I absolutely love receiving feedback from customers and I especially love seeing their pets posing with their portraits or of the portrait hanging on their walls in their homes!
I have completed portraits for gifts for pet owners with brand new puppies to portraits created in memory of a pet that is now longer with us. Whatever the reason or occasion, pet portraits are an ideal gift solution for any pet owner.
By Katie Moulton, Owner of Katie Louise Art