Happy New Year! Paint Your Own Pet … for the dogs of Colombia

“Have reasonable expectations,” Katie Favell reminds the crowd of about 20 participants who’ve gathered at Planted in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to paint their pets.

Ok, paint a portrait of their pet.

paint your pet fundraiserAlmost everyone here paid $50 for the opportunity to capture their fur baby’s image using only the paint and brushes supplied, and a little guidance from Katie who encourages people to get the paint on the canvass – but get the eyes right first. That’s important.

Katie Favell, a pet portrait artist, does custom commissions and ‘paint your own pet’ nights by appointment. A minimum of six people per session is required and all art supplies from paint, canvas and apron are provided. You provide a photo of our pet one week prior and Katie sketches an outline for you. Most everyone leaves with a hangable portrait of dogs, cats and even guinea pigs (within reasonable expectations, of course).

Today, however, fifty percent of the proceeds go to an animal rescue effort in Colombia. (Skinny pigs Sheldon and Spencer joined us).


Natalia Hanson organized this event to raise money for Colombian Animal Rescue, an organization that offers a two-day spay/neuter clinic in Bogota, Colombia where Natalia is originally from. The event ultimately raised about $500, adding to the $2500 she will take back to Colombia next month for the animal rescue and clinic.

I’ve been to paint nights before, but always created a picture chosen by the instructor. (See my abstract horse on horsetrotting.net). This one is specifically about my dog Victor, and I’m convinced that’s helping me paint better.


As instructed, I emailed Katie a photograph of Victor prior to the event, and she’s sketched an outline on canvas, set up on a table-top easel inside Planted, a vegan restaurant that closes at 3 pm on Sundays. I showed up at 2 pm in time for brunch and recommend it. Fuelled by spicy tofu tostados, I’m able to finish my best painting yet.

At least I think so. What do you think?

Side note: Paint nights in general are very popular, especially as fundraisers for non-profits. ‘Paint your Pet’ night is extra popular (and most sell out quickly) and a good fit for pet rescues. For instance, Pinot’s Palette – a paint-night franchise in many major cities including Toronto – offers a ‘Paint it Forward’ program partnering with charities for just this purpose.

If you’re in the Hamilton, Ontario area, there’s another Paint Your Pet night coming up January 26, 2019. Find tickets here.

One comment

  1. […] select months, and we recognized artist Katie Favell who helped me create a painting of Victor at a previous animal rescue […]

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