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Elizabeth Dryden's Pet Pawtraits Uses Paint to Capture Furry Personalities

By Courtney Clark

In today's society, people become closely attached to their pets and sometimes simple photos do not adequately capture a pet's personality. EDryden Pet Pawtraits out of McKinney not only designs paintings of beloved pets, but the artist captures personality and energy in a one-of-a-kind artistic result.

Elizabeth Dryden, the artist behind Pet Pawtraits, is classically-trained and graduated with a degree in art. Originally, she wanted to pursue a veterinary career because of her love of animals. However, she switched to art and found another way to incorporate this passion into her career. It all started when a friend of hers requested a painting of her pet. The friend's dog was getting older and she wanted a special way to remember her. Rather than a straightforward painting based off of a photo, Dryden wanted to capture the dog's heart.

The process is one she still uses today: she asked for 3 to 5 photos of the dog, asked the friend to choose a background color, and used her training to create a painting that captured the pet's personality. Even today, all customers have to do is upload photos, choose a background color and canvas size, and place the order.

"It felt great to be able to create such a personal connection using my art to carry on her beloved dog's personality/spirit," Dryden says of that first painting. Through word of mouth, her little business grew.

Dryden's mixed-media style is unique. According to the website, "she combines acrylic paint and other objects (newspaper, chicken wire, nuts to name a few) to create beautiful mixed media pieces of art that have many layers of detail to them." In addition to her love of pets and painting, she also enjoys seeing happy owners receive their paintings.

Dryden does more than just paint pets; she also helps save their lives. Ten percent of all EDryden proceeds are donated to an animal shelter of the customer's choosing. The artist decided to incorporate this into her business when living in Kentucky. While being commissioned to paint racehorses, she helped with several fundraisers. Proceeds benefited retired racehorses. Dryden liked using her art to help animals, so she decided to keep it going for shelter pets.

EDryden Pet Pawtraits is sitting with 5 out of 5 stars on Yelp. Reviews described the artist's work as "whimsical," "clever," and "unique." For those who want a way to always remember a beloved pet, Dryden's work is an excellent way to go.

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