• Amy Elizabeth Fine Art

Small Furries Portraits- A Gerbil Portrait in Pastels


A realistic gerbil portrait drawing in pastel
A Pastel Gerbil Portrait- Creating a portrait of a small animal

When you think of pet portraits, naturally most people think of the classic subjects. A horse here and a dog there, the occasional cat. However, there are far more different kinds of animals that are kept in our homes than just these 3. So, I thought I would write a blog post about a portrait I recently did of one of these so called "small furries".


So, what exactly is a "small furry"? The clue is pretty much in the name, it is any kind of small furry animal that would reasonably be kept as a domestic pet. Think of your animals such as rats, gerbils, mice, hamsters. Bigger small furries, are also included in the category, such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Whilst these animals lack size, this does not mean they are any less a member of the family than other pets such as dogs. As all owners of small animals know, each one has their own unique personality and becomes a much beloved pet.


So onto the gerbil portrait. I have been a gerbil owner for over 13 years, and in my time have owned 4 pairs of gerbils. My first pair were 2 girls called Jemima and Josephine, these two fought and had to be put into 2 separate cages, after that I stuck to boys, having owned a further 3 pairs, Eddie and Maxwell, Teddy and Toby and now my current pair, Freddie and Rupert. They are such lovely little animals with their own personalities and appearances. I was first inspired to get my first set of gerbils after seeing my cousins gerbils, he has owned even more than me over the years.


Gerbil drawing with 3 pencils
A gerbil drawing on pastel paper

I created this portrait of the matriarch of his gerbil family, Tilly the gerbil. Tilly has had 1 litter of offspring of which one is named after me (!). I decided to create this portrait as a little birthday gift. I decided on a fairly small size, but not too small. The final gerbil in this gerbil portrait was bigger than Tilly. I think it is the first portrait I have done where the final piece is bigger than the real life subject!


I decided on a pale grey pastelmat for the background, with a white mount. As this portrait was to be a gift I decided to put it in a frame too. I knew the grey colours would go with the recipients' house decor.


A framed pet portrait of a gerbil
Framed Gerbil portrait- small animal portraits

This colour is my favourite colour of gerbil and I have always wanted to own one, however, there has never been any available when I have been in the position to get new gerbils!


The gerbil was a joy to draw, I always enjoy a new subject to tackle and there was something lovely about getting the gerbils fur just right. I posted this portrait out and was so pleased to hear back that it arrived safely and it was very well received. I think one comment was that it was now going to be impossible to buy him another birthday gift that could top it!




I would love to create more portraits of these wonderful little animals. If you have a gerbil or other small furry pet and would be interested in commissioning a pet portrait of them, do not hesitate to contact me. All I require is some high quality photographs of your pet. For a no obligation chat contact me at amyelizabethfineart@outlook.com. Alternatively you can find my contact details here.


Pet portraits make great gifts, so if you don't have a pet yourself, but know someone who does why not commission a portrait for a gift. I also offer pet portrait gift vouchers as an easy alternative.