Setting up and drawing your pet

My Story

The Artist

Peter McKinnon, creator of Cedar Skye gallery, worked for two great design firms in Seattle, then went on to design departments at Microsoft and AT&T. During his stint as a graphic designer at Microsoft, he designed product logos, print materials, publications and packaging for Windows and other software products. When he left Microsoft to set up his own design firm, he worked with a number of start ups to help them launch their brand, in 2000. He currently designs websites and consults on design projects for various businesses throughout the Seattle area.



Peter was raised in Seattle Washington, the son of an interior designer father and a locally known astrologist mother. In high school, he dreamed of becoming an actor, but shifted his focus to graphic design after his father encouraged him to pursue his creative talent in art. After graduating from the Art Institute of Seattle, Peter worked briefly for the design firms of Ted Mader and Associates (TMA) and Van Dyke Design. During his five-year stint within design firms, he designed book covers, brochures, signs, logos and annual reports for large corporations. Among other familiar projects, he designed the entire bus system map for community transit, in Everett Washington. All along the way Peter has maintained a passion for art, specifically watercolor paintings, illustration and computer generated photographic art and illustrations using Adobe creative suite.

How the process is done

It is importance for me to capture your pet’s essence. Once, I was commissioned to paint a portrait of 3 dogs together, and upon handing in sketches, was told in a disappointed voice that I had missed the “essence” of the dogs. Well… I had one reference photo and I had never met the dogs. What was I supposed to do?

This story illustrates an important point: like painting portraits of humans, painting a pet is not merely about capturing a camera-realistic image. It’s about capturing the essence and personality of the animal.

The fact is, you can’t capture a pet’s true personality without plenty of information. If it’s your own pet you’re painting, you already have a good idea of the pet’s personality. If you’re painting for someone else, you may not have a chance to actually meet the pet, but I do spend some time with the pet’s owner talking about the pet’s personality. I love to learn about its personality, mannerisms and any important or notable attributes.

My clients are the heart of this service, so I always ensure your drawing or portrait of your pet is just the way you want it, I will make any revisions needed until we’ve captured your pet perfectly.

Dog 1

Dog 1 painting

Dog 2

Dog 2 painting

My Mission

Pets give us a comfort outside of the stress and workings of life that give us a gift like no other. Capturing their essence gives us an image of them to last for our life time. During there time and beyond.


Woodinville WA

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