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Art Works: Alex MacNaughton's Pet Portraits

25 July 18 words: Alex MacNaughton

Alex MacNaughton tell us all abaht how her proper good pawtrait business came to be...

I originally got the idea for Pet Portraits after getting quite a few requests from friends to paint their pets, and it made me wonder whether other people would be interested too. I started putting them up for sale in my online shop and they’ve been really popular ever since. I always work from a photo provided by the owner. Each piece is hand-painted using acrylic paints and they usually take me between two and four hours, depending on the type of pet and how intricate their markings are.

I’ve had some really lovely reviews from customers in the past. To date, my absolute favourite is probably: ‘‘Lexie was amazingly helpful; the portrait was beautifully painted and a perfect replica. We gave it as a fiftieth birthday gift and she was thrilled with it. She said it was her best gift.’’

I’m currently working from home but would love to have my own studio at some point in the future. At the moment I only paint pet portraits part-time. I work two full days a week painting portraits, and the other three days I walk dogs for a living. Around Christmas, I have so many orders that I need to paint during evenings and weekends to get everything done.

I seem to have stumbled into painting pet portraits through trial and error. I actually studied textile design at university, but always really loved to draw. After graduating, I tried several different avenues for selling my illustration works and have really developed my painting techniques over the last few years. Pet Portraits was a happy accident which started from painting for friends and has slowly grown into a successful business over the last year or so. I love it because I’m making a living from my two favourite things: animals and painting. I also love hearing stories from customers about their pets. Some paintings are to remember beloved pets that have sadly died, others are gifts for loving owners, and it’s lovely to think that people have my artwork hanging up in their homes all over the country.

Alex MacNaughton website

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