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For Pet’s Sake

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This watercolor-portrait artist has a passion for painting our furry friends. 

By Kathy Phan and April Cumming, Photo by Aimee Wenskee Pruett

Kathy Phan is an Austin-based pet-portrait and lettering artist who started painting pet portraits on ceramics in 2009 as a creative outlet while working a day job in e-commerce. In 2017, she branched out from ceramic pet portraits to a flatter and more easily transportable medium: 100 percent cotton watercolor paper.

Phan works from photographs of her furry subjects, asking clients to send photos of their pets from different angles so she can fully capture their essence. After reviewing all the photos, she suggests the best image based on resolution, angle and colors of the photo. Phan says she enjoys the use of color to bring out the character, dimension and texture of her subjects.

Oftentimes, her portraits are given as gifts to pet lovers who treat their animals as their children or for those who have lost a feline or canine member of the family. Phan says she feels honored to commemorate pets as an everlasting token for their human companions. Products available through her kathyphantastic Etsy shop include watercolor pet portraits, pet portraits on ceramics, lettering and illustration for event signage and paper goods.

Are you looking for something fun to do during your lunch break? Peruse Phan’s past pet portraits on Instagram @shopkathyphantastic.

Watercolor pet portraits start at $169. Pet-portrait mugs start at $65.

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