A Paint Your Pet workshop at the David Adler Music and Arts Center in Libertyville Saturday drew 11 people who immortalized their dogs, cats and rats on canvas.
Artist Tanya Leintz led the workshop and offered tips, encouragement and on occasion a professional touch for a canine nose that didn’t look quite right or whiskers that resembled pipe cleaners instead of the stiff bristles on a feline snout.
“All the dogs and cats in here are different,” Leintz said. “Some have long fur, some short, some curly, some straight. So you have to teach them how to make it like their animal. I would say the eyes are the hardest thing, just like on humans.
The workshop drew some people looking for a special way to capture their pet’s personality. For others, it was an opportunity to memorialize a pet that had died.
Caroline Schuler, 10, painted her uncle’s dog to send him as a gift.
Karen Shull, working off a pre-sketch, painted her two-year-old dog Dupree. Shull cast a critical eye on the dog’s nose and asked Leintz for help.
With a few quick, expert brush strokes, Leintz altered the nose and handed it back to Shull, who immediately saw the difference.
“Now he doesn’t look like a schnauzer,” Shull said happily.
Jennifer Schlung working off a photo of her four pet rats, concentrated on the different colors of the mother and three offspring. Schlung worked alongside her mother, Lori, who was working on a portrait of another family pet.
“Practice makes perfect,” Leintz said. “The more they paint, the better they are, and the more relaxed they are. They’re not as uptight and if something doesn’t look right, they can actually start figuring out on their own how to make it better.”
Denys Bucksten is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.