With these Minneapolis-made kits, anyone can paint a personalized portrait of a furry (or finned or feathered) friend.

By Bryce Jones
January 06, 2020
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Courtesy of Gray Duck Art

Maddy DePaul painted her first pet portrait as a Christmas present for her cousin. The success of that gift inspired her to turn a side hustle she’d had since ninth grade (commissioned art) into a full-fledged business—one that puts the customer in the painter’s seat. Launched in 2018, Gray Duck Art specializes in paint-by-number pet portraits. You can order a custom kit by submitting photos or attend one of Maddy’s classes in Minneapolis and create the canvas template yourself.

Courtesy of Gray Duck Art

The kits start at $69 and ship with brushes, paint and even a plastic sheet to protect your table. Maddy says customers often have low expectations of their capabilities and are pleasantly surprised to create something worth hanging in the living room. The best part, she adds, is “giving adults the opportunity to do something creative and take a break from their crazy lives.” Spending her days surrounded by cute pet photos doesn’t hurt, either.