Custom dog portraits in Essex: We speak to Maddie's Paw Prints
PUBLISHED: 10:36 05 March 2019
If you're a pet owner and have treated yourself to a portrait of your furry friend, you may have been disappointed by the artist's inability to capture the character of your beloved pet. Janice Walker caught up with Maddie Lewis, the artist behind Maddie's Paw Prints, to find out what makes her work different
Every pet is different. They all have their own unique personality, which is very difficult to portray in a photograph or a drawing, but that is the challenge taken up by Maddie Lewis.
Maddie has been drawing and painting since she was old enough to pick up a crayon, and in 2018 she launched Maddie’s Paw Prints, giving her an opportunity to combine her love for animals with her artistic talent.
Growing up in Colchester, Maddie studied A Level art and then went on to complete an Animal Science Degree. ‘It was a difficult decision for me,’ says Maddie. ‘Did I pursue my passion for art or for animals? I chose animals and sometimes wish I had studied art to a higher level, but I do think my degree studies have helped me with my portraits.
‘Studying and handling a variety of species broadened my knowledge of their physiology and gave me the chance to see their different characters. Every animal has a personality, and that is what I really like to capture in my portraits.
‘Although I predominantly work from photographs, I find the character of the dog really comes out as soon as the eyes have been drawn in. Luckily for me, I’ve been able to meet many of the dogs I’ve drawn – dog
hugs are always an added bonus of my job!’
Maddie has always had pets and honed her skills drawing them along with dogs and cats belonging to friends and family.
‘I drew a pet portrait for my husband’s sister-in-law, and received so many compliments about it that it gave me the confidence to launch Maddie’s Paw Prints.
‘Selling your work is very different from gifting it, as any artist will tell you. When you receive positive feedback telling you you’ve captured the personality of someone’s beloved four-legged friend perfectly and your work will be treasured forever, it inspires you to continue.
‘I love drawing all animals, mainly in pencil, and particularly my own dear Lhasa Apso, who is eight years old and a complete diva. She really doesn’t appreciate the effort I put in! If I am pushed to name a favourite breed to draw, it would be Labradors, with their cheeky faces and adorable personalities.
‘At the moment Maddie’s Paw Prints is something I am doing in my spare time as I am working and just finishing a degree course in education. However, I plan to exhibit and promote my work more in the summer.
‘Combining my favourite pastime with a commercial venture is a dream come true for me and being able to produce a portrait that can be a thoughtful and personal birthday or Christmas gift, or in remembrance of a lost pet, is a great privilege.’
Find out more
To find out more about Maddie’s work and to view some of her portraits, visit her Facebook page @maddiespawprints