One of my favorite, if bittersweet, jobs is to paint small memorial portraits for clients of a local veterinary clinic (Rocky Bay Equine) who have lost their animals. The clinic gives gift certificates for these small works which are redeemed by their bereaved clients.
In these situations it's common that photo references are poor, so my goal for the portraits is to invoke a memory as much as it is to paint a likeness. The stories always reveal the strong bond shared with our animal companions. I feel privileged to hear them and try to build a bridge to all those special memories.
Don't wait until your companions are gone to honor them. Small format paintings are particularly good for capturing gesture and essence and perfectly suited for table top or wall display. Consider purchasing a Gift Certificate for yourself or for a friend. Holiday gifts of small works paintings are $60 (+tax) including delivery in the continental USA. More information on my website or contact the studio.