Shady Lane- Animal Art



Creating animal art

Pet Art started out as a challenge to myself.  Being the proud owner of several Bengals and Aussies gives me an assortment of great models to choose from.  I wanted to be able to take a photo of a pet and using a wood-based product, create Pet Art.  Working with the features in the face using only stain and shading was a bit daunting.  I had done a wolf outline and a turtle but defining the details of my Bengal, I found it to be a lot different. FUR! Hard to capture the highlights of fur using stain.

Starting with our old scratching post, I first sanded the surface.  This wood top is over 15 years old and been used as a cat-post daily.  So, there are flaws in the wood but since this is for me, this is not a problem.  You can get these wood rounds from your local big box stores in the lumber store.  They make good lazy susans and in this case, scratching post tops.  You can easily add legs for a small table or even set the wood on top of a basket for instant furniture.

KatMandu is my male Bengal. The challenge was keeping Mandu off the working surface as he considers the post 'his' while I attempted to capture some of that personality of his.  Mandu has more attitude than any other cat I have ever enjoyed living with.

Let's Talk.

Got questions on how to put together your own projects?   Need help adding a design to your projects?   If you see something you would like, contact me.   I might be able to create something similar.. 


sketching Du
Pet art on wood round

Katmandu steals the show.

Grabbing a pencil, I started sketching out his features.  The eraser got a workout as I attempted to capture his details onto the wood.  The sketch is the most important stage of this.  Katmandu is my screen background, so I had a nice large image to focus on.  Of course, Mandu was also happy to pose (or maybe he was glaring as I was not paying enough attention to him.)

Once I was finally satisfied I began working on his features. Starting with the eyes, I spread out from there.  Working with the stain did make it harder to show the details  but I kept shading and somehow brought out his features.

I had planned on staining the outside of Mandu with a dark stain using two coats.  This would make his image POP.  But once I was done, I found I preferred a softer look which blended into the original wood color.  This works well Mandu, as he has that natural golden brown color throughout his coat.  So once again I chose a light weathered grey stain that allows some of the natural grain to show through.

Update: several years later the top is holding up great! Longer than the sisal rope that I used to wrap the post with.

Pet-art on wood stool

Kala styling her birthday hat.


We had the honor of Kala being a part of our lives, our tri-black Aussie. She grew up with a black kitten name Shadow. Kala picked up cat traits and well, Shadow believed he was part dog. The pair shared everything and went everywhere together, including this forgotten conservation area in Mississauga. Shadow would trot side by side with Kala down the paths. Everyone we met could not get over the two of them. When we added Du and Mia (our Bengals), Kala accepted them as part of her unique family.

Well, Kala and Shadow have passed on and our Bengals are now 14. Now that they are older, I decided to make a step bench to help them climb. What would be more fitting then adding Kala to their bench.

Pet art on wood stool

Animal Design Ideas

not all art needs a wall   :)