I Can Has Cheezburger?

Australian Artist Paints The Portraits of 100 Shelter Dogs to Encourage Pet Adoption

  • Artist Stephen Gallagher's love of dogs saw him create oil paintings of numerous staffies, Jack Russells and border collies to represent dogs without a home in Queensland, Australia.

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  • "I guess this is my way of taking them all home."


    "I never had the chance to adopt a dog so this is my chance to overcompensate for it," he said. "Seeing all these dogs in the shelter and the look on their faces ... you want to take them all home".

  • The detail in the ears and nose was a challenge, but Gallagher said getting the eyes right was the key.


    "There's always many elements to getting the single character of the animal but the eyes are the windows of the soul," he said.

  • Gallagher approached the Animal Welfare League, which has shelters throughout south-east Queensland, to see if he could help highlight their cause.


    "I loved the work they were doing and the values they held, so I decided to draw their dogs to show the wonderful work they're doing," he said. "It was my aim to show people the spark that these animals have and the spark they can bring to their lives. Seeing this fraction of the total amount of shelter dogs makes you realise how many dogs need a home"

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  • How do you paint 100 dogs


    Gallagher said painting each dog was trial and error at first: "I did try to get them to sit still, but they wouldn't have it so I painted from photos. We would get their best expression as well as how they looked naturally. You want to show the dogs in their best light with the sparkle in their eye, but some were confused and depressed and I think it was important to share that also."

  • Even after painting 100 dogs, Gallagher said he was still happy to paint his four-legged friends.

    Yorkshire terrier

    "When I first started this I thought that I mightn't want to see another dog after the 20th painting, but it just grew," he said.


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