An everlasting treasure

Courtesy photo

Cherie Vergos at work creating another pet portrait.

By Kassie Korich
Aug 22 2006

Cherie Vergos’ love of animals combined with her passion for drawing brings pet photographs to life.

The artist, who owns Pet Portraits by Cherie, recently moved to Bremerton from the East Coast with her son and husband, a lieutenant commander stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, and offers her unique, hand-drawn pet portraits locally.

Drawn from a photograph, her goal is to capture the animal’s personality in her artwork.

“People are amazed at how realistic and true to life my portraits are when they see them,” Vergos said of her customers’ reactions. “I include as much detail as I can get.”

Animals drawn by Vergos include dogs, cats, parrots, horses and exotic pets. In her 15 years as a pet portrait artist, she has drawn her share of interesting pets including a pot-bellied pig, a “beefalo” (half-cow, half-buffalo) and a sugar glider, which Vergos says looks like a squirrel. And although she gets requests for portraits of exotic pets like birds and iguanas, the majority are dogs, which are her favorite animals to draw.

“They have a lot of expression in their faces,” she said with a smile.

Vergos uses colored pencils (Prisma Color) as her medium of choice and heavy drawing paper.

“I can get a lot of detail with colored pencils,” she said. “I find them a lot easier to work with.”

As for the background of the portrait, which can be the actual background in the photograph or another of the customer’s choice, Vergos uses pastels.

She is often contacted by people from all over the United States and internationally who send pictures of their pets either via e-mail or postal mail.

Several happy customers have posted their comments on Vergos’ Web site

“Cherie really captured the beauty and the personalty of my two dogs,” said Shannon of West Palm Beach, Fla. “She listen(ed) to what I had to say and created a(n) everlasting tribute. I would recommend her to anyone looking for this special kind of gift.”

Unlike photographs, Vergos said, hand-drawn portraits can be created to the customer’s liking. She explained how a customer may have a picture of their dog that they like, but the dog is looking the other way. The customer can supply a second picture of the face which Vergos can superimpose on the body.

“I can do a lot that photographs can’t do,” she said.

Portrait choices range from small, an 8-inch-by-10-inch, to an extra large, a 16-inch-by-20-inch and can be a portrait of the animal’s full body or just the head.

With the busy Christmas season just around the corner, Vergos advises potential customers to put their orders in early. Gift certificates also are available for those who don’t have a picture of their recipient’s pet.

Portrait orders or more information can be found on Vergos’ Web site. She’ll be demonstrating her artwork from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Verksted Gallery on Front Street in Poulsbo.

© Copyright 2006 Central Kitsap Reporter