Creating with Colored Pencil

Lauren Kline

Lauren Kline brings realism to pet portraits

Lauren Kline speaks softly as she describes the gentle strokes she takes while creating her portraits. Instead of wondering if the facial expression is just right or the hair is styled exactly the way her subject will desire, she wonders if the shade of pencil is just right for the fur and if the eyes—which she always draws first—bring the depth and personality to the works she creates. “People say you can see the soul in the eyes,” she says. Once the eyes are drawn—with an added level of saturation and detail—the rest of the portrait just seems to follow.

Kline, a Maryville resident, creates pet portraits. While she wasn’t new to the art world, she began drawing with colored pencils in early 2019. Photography was her original interest, and although she pursued it as a career, Kline realized she enjoyed it more as a hobby. So she picked up a set of higher quality colored pencils and paper and began investing her time in learning how to create realistic drawings of animals.

Kline eventually realized her talent could reach further, and she began drawing portraits of family pets. And as she continued to hone her craft, clients began connecting with fervor, eager to have portraits of their four-legged friends created for their home or as gifts, many to remember animals who have passed. Each portrait is unique in its own way, Kline says, capturing the essence of the animal whose owner commissioned it.

What once took her two months to create now takes her a week, giving her an opportunity to share her gift more often with others. “It makes me feel like I’m helping [them] fill their hearts,” she says. “They love seeing their pets.”

Kline recently started a web series helping others learn more about drawing animals with colored pencil. She is actively working on a full course offering for interested artists. You can see more of Kline’s work at  

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