Pet Portraits

by Kristel Peale, written by Rebecca Burwell

Carrie's akita
According to Kristel Peale, “Painting a dog or cat is a totally stress-free, joyous undertaking.” One of Houston’s great pet artists, she works with several medias that allow her a range of flexibility with her work. Working with paints requires an amount of forethought and delicacy, and Kristel Peale knows her way around a canvas. Her beautiful renditions in watercolor and acrylic have a quality and vibrancy specific to her work.
Watercolors can be particularly challenging for many artists, but Kristel has a lot of experience under her belt and she delivers beautiful work at a surprisingly great price point. So what’s the secret? perfection. “Watercolors, because one is not allowed to make a mistake (or I do them over), are difficult but I have to work fast in order to allow the transparencies to stay clean and emit light.The small ones only take about 30-45 minutes and cost $75. They mat up at 9” x 12”,” Kristel says, “The large ones (image is 8 x 10, matted at 12” x 16”) take about an hour and a half  to two on an average and run $175. They allow for more dog, [or] more background, if applicable.”
Her acrylic works take slightly more time, though remarkably less time than oil paints might take. Having to be built up with layers of paint, Kristel says she spends at least 4 hours on any small acrylic painting. For an 8″ by 10″ image you can expect to pay around $175. Of course the artist can create any size work needed and says she is happy to take orders for multiple works, and can easily provide custom quotes for either.
More important than the time or cost is the content. “Lori and Poms (2)The most important aspect is capturing the personality of the animal. The eyes are painstakingly rendered to convey what the owner knows about his or her pet. We all consider  the pets as members of the family and I do my best to ensure that the image I create is what you remember most. This is especially meaningful if the pet is old or has passed on. With paint, I can erase years and illness. With paint, the face you love is always with you” says Kristel.
Kristel offers some other, more unusual ways to imprint your work, including silk pillows with custom trim to match. The pillows are painted with specially formulated paints that heat set and don’t rub off. She also offers holiday cards, either in a variety of breed and holiday cards which she has in stock or as a custom work. A custom card can be created for any occasion. First a small watercolor is done from your photograph, for a minimal cost of $60. Kristel will then scan and design custom cards for your occasion. You can purchase a single card or dozens, and use them year round.
With the December holidays coming up quickly, it’s never too late to order a custom work of art for a gift. Kristel says she never misses a deadline, and with the big day (for some of us) arriving fast, promptness is very important. If you are interested in seeing more of Kristel’s work, you can contact her at peale@sbcglobal.net.