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Virtual Art with Diamond: Basic Pet Portraits

This video features my sweet kitty, Lady Gray, for two reasons: 1) this week I decided we should talk about pet portraits and 2) I wanted to raise awareness for Great River Rescue’s upcoming art contest.

Great River Rescue holds an art contest every year around this time to remind us humans about the importance of keeping our animal companions healthy. This years theme is SAVE THE DAY – NEUTER AND SPAY! The contest is for two dimensional art in any media done by children in K-12th grade. You can read more about this contest and find out how to take part here.

I figured now was as good a time as any to show you the basics of what a dog and a cat look like. In this video I show how to create a line drawing of a cat and a dog face and then also show how to draw eyeballs and noses. This lesson is for all ages and artistic abilities. It can be adapted and modified for young children as well as expanded upon for adults.

You will need:

• Paper
• Pencil
• Possibly a pencil sharpener
• And possibly your own sweet furry friend to help you out

Portraits are a wonderful way to preserve a likeness of a loved one for the rest of time. They have a personal touch that goes beyond a photograph. Practicing portraits is also a great way to get better at looking and really capturing what the world looks like. Seeing and recreating what you see is the first big step in becoming a skilled artist so encourage your young child to give it a try. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even “good.” It is all about practicing. I hope that after you watch this video you use the techniques to draw your own pet. Lady Gray and I would love to see what your furry friend looks like! Get creative with us! And then if you you feel comfortable please share your creation in the comments or email to

P.s. Please create a piece for the art contest! I am one of the judges and looking at all of the submitted art is one of the highlights of my spring 🙂

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts