paint your pet 2.jpg

Paint Your own pet

Want to come paint your own pet at a public class?

Want to host a private paint your own pet class? Email Maddy at

Please read through all of the directions and FAQs before sending in your photos. 

How does this work?

(See detailed steps below)

1. Purchase your ticket.

2. Submit a handful of photos of your pet to

3. Maddy will edit your photo into 2-D shapes.

4. You will transfer your edited photo onto your canvas.

5. You can paint your pet by number!

6. You leave class with a finished masterpiece of your special friend.


1. Purchase your tickets.

A list of all of my public classes is located at

Note: TICKETS SELL FAST. If you find available tickets, buy them sooner rather than later.

If you are attending a private party (like at your friend's home), skip this step. 

Don't worry about bringing your actual ticket to class. I will know it's you because of your pet photos / your name.

2. SuBmit your photos

Please send an email to with 3 or more HIGH QUALITY photos of your pet. You will only use one for painting, so if you have a favorite, we will try to use that one, otherwise I will pick the easiest one for you to paint. You will get a kick back email right away after sending. If you send more than one email from the same address, you will only get a bounce back email on the first one. If you do not get this automated response, you have sent your pics to the wrong email. 

Please send with your subject: Date / Location / Your Name

Example: March 12 / Maple Island Brewing / Elizabeth Miller

If you are NOT the ticket holder, please let me know who bought your ticket in the body of your email.

The best paintings come from photos that are:

1. High quality photos (Yes, your iPhone photos are fine, but please no screen shots).

2. In the daylight (daylight through a window is just fine), but not so sunny that the face is dark. 

3. Have great contrast (if you have a black cat, you can see different shades of grey, black, etc. in the photo)

4. The pet is looking at the camera (I know this is hard. treats help.)

5. There is nothing covering the animal / the animal is not sitting on something (for example: a photo of your dog dressed up as a clown sitting in a blanket is not ideal).

6. Your picture would make a great school photo for your pet. Think of a 3rd grade school photo. You want mostly your pets face in the photo. 

7. High contrast from the background. You animal pops off the page. You will have a really hard time painting an animal that blends into the background. Make sure your black dog is not sitting in front of a black wall. 

8. You can see your pet's full head. If the ears are cropped out of the photo, they will be cropped out of your painting. 

9. Your photo is close up (reference the dog laying in the field under bad photos).



good photos.jpg


bad photos.jpg

editing process.jpg

3. Photo Editing

We’ve got this one. Bekah (graphic designer of GDA) will format your photo into 2-D shapes. This will be used to trace your paint by number onto your canvas. We will crop your image into a shoulders and up type of portrait. Bekah will send you an email back with your edited image within a week for you to review.

This is not an exact representation of how your painting will look, this is only a guide, so everything is edit-able! You are starting with a completely blank canvas so you can decide to trace the leash, or skip the leash in the photo. 

4. Transferring 

At the beginning of the class you will start with a blank canvas, and two print-outs. One print out is the photo you submitted and the other is the photo I edited. You will use your edited photo to transfer your photo onto your canvas to create your own paint-by-number. You can use as much or little detail as you want. 


Paint by number!!.jpg

5. Paint your pet by numbers!

You will have a road map to paint each of the sections and have a full color palette to mix from. You will be mixing all of your own colors (with Maddy's help if you need it), so you literally have millions of color options. You can add shading (see bottom right photo), or keep it simple and stick to the paint by number. At the end, you will add your background to finish your masterpiece off! 



1. Can I paint more than one animal on my painting? 

A: Unfortunately, no. This is a 3 hour class per pet and even then, about 25% of people don't finish, so there is not enough time. There is also a ton of detail per square inch of your canvas, so if you were to try and put two dogs on one canvas, you will not be able to see or paint all of the details necessary. You CAN come to multiple events and paint all of the backgrounds similar so your pet paintings look awesome together! 

2. Can Gray Duck Art edit the collar, blanket, bandana, etc. out of the picture?

A: Unfortunately, no. But you CAN paint right over it/skip tracing that part. For the most part, it will be just as easy to skip painting the collar vs. painting it.

3. Can kids paint?

A: YES! Kids can come paint their own canvas if they are 8 or older. They are more than welcome to paint with the help of an adult if they are younger than 8. Most of the breweries and locations I partner with allow kids, but please double check with the host.

4. Can I just show up?

Pre-registration is required. 

5. Can I use a combination of photos?

Your painting will be based off of ONE photo. You can use different photos from your phone, etc. if you would like to make the eyes look a little different or change a few details here and there. 

6. Can multiple people work on the same painting?

Please ask Maddy at Every event is different.

7. Can I get a refund? I can't come to class anymore. 

Maddy will work with you to help you find another class you can come to. Refunds are not available. 

8. I want the whole body in the photo, is that possible? 

Yes, but you need to let Bekah know in your email. She does not recommend doing this because it will be more zoomed out, making the face have a lot more detail and harder to paint.

9. I didn't finish my painting at class, now what?

Check out Maddy's public event list, find one that works, and email to make sure there is space for you to come back to work on your art. 


Email Bekah at for photo/editing questions, or email for all event & other questions.