Society

These artists capture your pets’ adorable moments on canvas

Looking to translate your pets’ adorable bleps, sploots and fun moments into portraits? Here’s how you can do it

“That is the first thing I see when I wake up,” says 30-year-old Beenu of the portrait that hangs overlooking her bed in her new home in Chennai. The painting is that of her two cats, seven-year-old, golden-striped Kurmi, and 10-year-old, jet black Flopsy, huddled together. With rounded eyes, they stare as if surprised in deep thought.

“I commissioned the painting when I decided to move out of my family home,” says Beenu, “My cats were rescued when they were weeks old. Because of separation anxiety they couldn’t come live with me.” It was then that Beenu found Deepa Dhoria, founder of Furtraits through her social media page.

Deepa is one of a rising crop of artists painting portraits of pets. In the past year that Furtraits has been in existence, Deepa has found a niche but growing demand among animal-lovers across India, to get their four-legged best friends on to a canvas. Though working in the corporate sector, Deepa has been painting ever since she can remember; however, animals have been a special subject for her, given she grew up with seven dogs.

“Every dog has a different personality, and the pet-parent wants me to capture that in my paintings. My paintings have to reflect the bond they share,” explains the 30-year-old, who currently lives with a rescue dog, Snoopy, from Blue Cross in Pune.

“One of my clients showed me a picture of his Golden Retriever, and I could see the mess around it. I figured it was a mischievous dog, and the client confirmed that,” she says. Deepa and the client spent hours talking about the dog, and how right before the picture was clicked, it had spilt water, stolen T-shirts, and made a mess. “We bond so much over the pet that in the end it feels like I have known them personally since ages. That reflects in the painting; the retriever’s naughtiness can be seen in its eyes.”

For the ones who’ve left us

When Chennai-based Senthil Ram, founder of Splatter Studios, lost his pet dog in 2014, he regretted not having something permanent to remember it by. “My dog had been with our family for over a decade, but we only had a few photos of us on our phones,” he says.

These artists capture your pets’ adorable moments on canvas

So three years ago, when Senthil started Splatter Studios, an online art gallery to create a network of upcoming artists, pet art became one of its major branches. It started with a few pencil sketches of his own dog, and today, of the 150 artists he works with, six of them do various pet art, from portraits and sketches to caricatures.

The closeness between a family and their pets is one that echoes years after the pet’s death. This, Sabrina Siga, one of Chennai’s most prominent sporting artists, has learnt in her years of painting animals. Known primarily for her work with horses and dogs, Sabrina says, “I have seen how much pets mean to their families, they are a part of them.”

These artists capture your pets’ adorable moments on canvas

Unlike most artists, Sabrina goes to the families to see the pets first-hand. “I meet the family and the pet. While the family is around to keep the pet calm in one place, I do basic sketches. Then I go back home and work on them,” she says.

The medium she uses is either oil on canvas, or in some cases watercolour — “When drawing Tibetan dogs, that have fluffy hair, watercolours work better.” “Dogs have so much soul in them, their eyes tell you a lot,” she says.

On the lighter side

Much like Senthil’s Splatter Studio, Bengaluru-based Mithila Baindur doesn’t restrict herself to simple portraits. She offers what she calls, creative portraits: adding elements of the pets’ personalities and likes into the paintings.

These artists capture your pets’ adorable moments on canvas

“For one of the paintings I did, the clients told me that their cat was a Christmas gift for them,” she says. So she turned the cat into Santa Claus, made partially digitally. In yet another of her paintings, she added a toy train and gave the dog an engine driver’s cap. “That dog loved trains!” she explains.

Interested? Reach out here:
  • Deepa, of Furtraits can be contacted at furtraits@outlook.com, or through Instagram and Facebook, @furtraits
  • Senthil Ram can be reached at 9841721961 or splatterstudio@gmail.com
  • Sabrina Siga can be reached at 9962333142
  • Mithila Baindur can be contacted at theartegg@gmail.com, or on Instagram @mithilabaindur
  • More options:
  • You can reach out to Bengaluru-based artists Gumi Malhotra (gumi2001@gmail.com) or Tanisha Chauhan (tanishachauhan@gmail.com)

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 3:01:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/these-artists-capture-your-pets-adorable-moments-on-canvas-portraits/article26184393.ece

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