Pet Portraits with the W-Underdogs

Have you heard of the W-Underdogs yet? Spoiler alert - they are awesome! Led by Gracie Hamlin, The W-Underdogs mission is to lift up children in their community by helping rescue animals. They teach the kids in their community how to manage, care and train dogs and cats and vet them as needed. The children learn personal discipline and responsibility as they rehabilitate the animals. They learn how to care for animals and in turn, how to care for themselves and compassion for others. Through the work, the kids learn teamwork and how to work as a group. All the good stuff, right? We thought so too!

We were so excited to host the W-Underdogs on Saturday December 5th at our studio. Paint Love Artist Dustin Beaulieu wrote out the steps on the chalkboard for easy reference. The W-Underdogs arrived at the studio and after introductions and a few laughs, Dustin kicked off the class. Dustin led the class of 9 students in pet portraiture. Each student painted a portrait of a dog currently part of the W-Underdog program. Dustin taught the steps up at the main easel. After Dustin's demo, we distributed paint and the artists got to work. We walked around and helped each child individually through all the steps. We got into a good flow: demo, working, assisting, repeat.

If you have ever painted, I'm sure you know the frustrations of painting. There is often an intense desire for the piece to come together all at once and fast. We discussed the idea that you have to work slowly and wait for things to dry before adding another layer. It's often the small steps that make the biggest impact. A small brush stroke here and a nose appears. A small dot of white on the dog's eyes and the painting comes to life. It's easy to assume when painting that it's the largest strokes that create the work of art. But really, it's the small steady work on something you love. It's learning to rest between layers and being patient with yourself one small stroke at a time. 

The wide variety of dogs made it a fun project. It was so fun to see each individual artist create in their own style. We love their masterpieces! Take a peek!!

Here are the photos the kids used for reference. See if you can match them up! 

We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to serve groups like the W-Underdogs! Thank you to all our donors and supporters for making the smiles, the laughs and the joy that comes from creating something possible! Special thanks to Binders for supplying canvas boards for our artists! We're so full of gratitude! Thank you!