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Mary Ann Kitchell Art Blog

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Mary Ann Kitchell

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This watercolor was created using the same photograph that was reference material for a previous pencil drawing. I guess you might consider this a more "formal" portrait… Continue reading… 0 comments

A very cute photograph (you can't really "stage" these things!) taken during last year's Super Bowl was used as reference for this pencil drawing of my friend's dog, Lucky. I used colored pencil for the party hat and favor and a 2B pencil for the rest. It was used for a birthday card. I feel it's an appropriate post for this time of year: Best wishes for a happy, healthy Christmas season to the hardworking ArtId staff and my fellow ArtId artists… Continue reading… 0 comments

Pencil was the first medium used when I started selling art in the 70's. As my skill improved and I started exploring with color my work gradually evolved to using watercolor. I've been experimenting with pencil again, and like the look of this pet portrait completed with colored pencil and a 2B drawing pencil… Continue reading… 0 comments

This watercolor is the same as the kittens in my last blog… Continue reading… 0 comments

During almost 35 years of creating pet portraits I've completed many, many times more dogs than cats and I've always wondered why. Is it because cats are so independent ... and dogs are more eager to please ... i.e., sit for photographs? This portrait was rendered in colored pencil, one of my favorite mediums. I used Canson colored paper for more depth of color and texture in my drawing… Continue reading… 0 comments

These two dogs were rendered in colored pencil with the background kept simple. The dog in the lower part of the painting is an older dog. I understand, despite the age difference, both dogs get along just fine. It's not necessary to have two animals in the same reference photograph. With a little thought when taking the pictures, two separate photographs should work very well… Continue reading… 0 comments

This painting is a head study rendered in watercolor, a surprise gift at Christmas. The reference photographs were excellent to work from and the client decided to order a second painting, a full body portrait… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , August 16, 2014—12:00 AM

Topics: animal drawing, dogs, note cards, pet portraits, watercolor

This is the second portrait. The background here has been simplified to showcase this full body portrait. Both of these paintings were made into note cards… Continue reading… 0 comments

I'm pleased with the way the background in this watercolor flows into the dog and his blanket. It's always a challenge to make the paint do what you ask of it, and sometimes when it doesn't the result is just as good, or better… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , August 4, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: animal drawing, dogs, pastel paper, pet portraits

I find colored pencil more interesting than watercolor for pet portraits. I seem to be able to work more texture into the drawings and I love the different effect achieved according to the color of the paper selected… Continue reading… 0 comments

Working from great photographs can make all the difference in a painting's outcome. This colored pencil portrait is one of my all-time favorites. Rolf has a very regal look about him ( ... he's handsome and he knows it!). A great example of the German Shepherd… Continue reading… 0 comments

While there are many dog lovers in the world, this is the first cat portrait I've done in quite a while. Are dogs better at being part of the family than cats ....… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , July 14, 2012—12:00 AM

Topics: animal drawing, dogs, marketing, pet portraits, watercolor

One of the cutest little dogs I've ever painted, this watercolor was done for the winner of a prize I donated to a local pet fair. I loved painting her and the winner was very pleased with the result. Donations are a good way to keep your name visible ...… Continue reading… 0 comments

Rendered in colored pencil on colored paper, I believe the dignity of this older dog was captured. The client requested the backyard scenery be used in the portrait and I'm satisfied it contributed to a successful painting… Continue reading… 0 comments

This is an example of a pet portrait painted as a "head study". The format works very well with smaller sized works because it shows more detail than a "full body" portrait painted on the same size paper. The most important part of any portrait is the head and facial expression, especially the eyes. One of the last things I add to such a painting is the eye highlights. These small details bring the pet to life… Continue reading… 0 comments

I enjoyed painting all parts of this watercolor pet portrait: the way the background just seemed to paint itself, the Christmas bandanna, and especially the dog herself… Continue reading… 0 comments

This is a colored pencil pet portrait drawn on Mi-Teintes pastel paper. I match the color of the paper to the animal's coloring for the most dramatic effect, especially when doing a more "formal" portrait without definite background elements. This drawing was also made into blank note cards… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , March 22, 2011—12:00 AM

Topics: animal drawing, dogs, pet portraits, poodles

This little guy was one of the first images posted on my ArtId gallery when I started selling on the Internet three years ago. It remains one of my favorite colored pencil pet portraits… Continue reading… 0 comments

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! The reference for this watercolor was an amazing photograph forwarded to me by one of my realtors as a surprise gift for her client. The client had shared the image with the realtor and had no idea it would become a painting. I was told this fledgling robin wasn't harmed by the dog. Unfortunately, the little guy left .... or fell from ... the nest too early and didn't survive his adventure. Watching the recent Holiday snow melt here in New Jersey and seeing the robin in this painting reminds me, as always, I'm hoping for an early Spring. Whatever Mother Nature has in store for us, I wish all of you a Happy New Year… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , November 15, 2010—04:45 PM

Topics: animal drawing, colored pencil, dogs, pastel paper, pet portraits

Colored pencil on pastel paper. The paper I regularly use for these little pet portrait vignettes is Canson's Mi-Tientes Pastel paper. It is always the client's choice if they wish a vignette like this or a full background typical of their particular animal. Another option would be a head study… Continue reading… 0 comments

I just love this dog. The reference photo had a complex background and it took a while to come up with one that was simplified enough so it didn't detract from the dog itself. This has come to be one of my favorites… Continue reading… 0 comments

This pet portrait was rendered in colored pencil on pastel paper. The dog really was wearing a bib in the reference photo, as well as the pretty bow in her hair. I've seen many dogs with bows, but the bib was a first! Accessories do make the pet portrait more interesting ... and obviously this little dog is unique… Continue reading… 0 comments

I needed a sample for a local gift shop and came across a magazine photograph that caught my eye. The type of dog and his pose seemed just right. I rendered the dog in colored pencil, adjusting the background to suit my needs. He proved to be very popular with the shop owner and her customers… Continue reading… 0 comments

Among the many wonderful people I've met as an artist are the couple who live in Morgandy's house. They had a house portrait painted for their daughter and the wife later commissioned this colored pencil of Morgandy as a Christmas surprise for her husband. The surprise was a huge success! This is one aspect of painting I thoroughly enjoy: making people happy with my art… Continue reading… 1 comment


by kitchellstudio , December 5, 2009—11:29 AM

Topics: animal drawing, dogs, pet portraits, watercolor

I've worked from many pet photographs in the past and the quality is sometimes not as good as with photographs submitted for house portraits. While houses do not move, animals do. The rule of submitting several photographs for best results would apply here. This pet portrait was painted from two photographs: the pose came from an image of a middle-aged Casey, and the coloring from Casey's most recent photo as an older dog. Yes, dogs really do get gray hair, just like people… Continue reading… 0 comments

The best part of creating this dog portrait was the hair on the paws ... long and fluffy. The curly belly hair was a challenge. I eliminated all background shown in the customer's photograph but kept Molly's beloved pink toy. This portrait was rendered in colored pencil… Continue reading… 0 comments

I used this colored pencil portrait as a sample for one of the gift shops I work with. I tend to prefer colored pencil for most pet portraits as I'm able to capture more fur texture with this medium. I guess this preference goes way back to my earliest pencil drawings. I started with pencil studies and really enjoyed my pencil work. Clients kept asking for "color" so I gradually added watercolor to the drawings, doing the watercolor washes first, then adding pencil. My portraits are now either colored pencil or watercolor. A pet portrait in either medium would make a special gift for the avid animal lover… Continue reading… 0 comments

This is the second dog I've painted in the last year with the name Marley. No connection to the movie of the same name, but curious nonetheless! Several decisions must be made when ordering a pet portrait: Should the painting be a head study, or the full body? Generally, the small sizes are more appropriate for a head study, the larger sizes for full body portraits. Keep in mind a full body image on a small size makes the head and face small as well. Do you want the background painted exactly as shown in the photograph? Most of the time it is better to simplify the background, thus putting the emphasis on the pet. You may include all or only the most significant parts of the background. Using only a colored wash places added emphasis on the pet… Continue reading… 1 comment

I was delighted when the client allowed me to choose the medium for painting this dog portrait. His beautiful fur lent itself very well to rendering in colored pencil. I feel I was able to show much more detail and texture using colored pencil instead of watercolor. Of course, the final decision is always up to the client! This portrait was purchased as a gift from the bride-to-be to her fiance. As occasionally happens, the dog had died recently and she felt a remembrance would be a cherished gift… Continue reading… 0 comments

This poodle was rendered in colored pencil as a "head study". The portrait is always more interesting when it includes "accessories" such as a bandanna to bring out the personality of the animal being painted. Including a favorite toy with "full body" portraits is another way to make a client's pet portrait more personal… Continue reading… 0 comments


by kitchellstudio , April 18, 2008—06:54 PM

Topics: animal drawing, nature, pet portraits, watercolor

This little critter was done in watercolor and I used pencil to add more texture to his fur. I still supplement some of my wildlife or pet portrait watercolors with pencil strokes, but am now relying more on the detail I can create using size 0 liner watercolor brushes. My favorite brushes right now are Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold, the sable/synthetic blends… Continue reading… 0 comments