Guinea pig portraits

My friend has two hairless guinea pigs, also known as skinny pigs. I had never heard of such a thing before she got them, and even now that I have met them a number of times, I still am not sure that I approve of their creation. It seems like a weird use of human ingenuity. It does allow allergic people like my friend to have a pet to cuddle. But they are… well, some people find them cute. That’s all I will say for now. This is a photo of them that shows their cute fuzzy noses and does not show their disturbing naked spines or bulging testicles:


Anyway, my friend loves them and so I said I would draw their portraits. I started with sketches from photos:


Then I put aside the drawings while I thought about how to make them into portraits. I don’t know when I decided that one needed an Elizabethan collar and the other needed one of Henry VIII’s most famous outfits. But once I made the decision I couldn’t think of anything else to do. You see how deep and serious my internal world is. So I found these guys:

Sir Christopher Hatton, artist unknown, from Wikipedia

Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger

And I did these drawings…

Guinea pig as Christoper Hatton by Sarah LeavittGuinea pig as Henry VII by Sarah Leavitt, after Holbein

Then I decided they needed a coat of arms… The motto is “Kale is in our hearts.” The symbols on the shield are a sunrise/sunset because guinea pigs are crepuscular animals, a cave for hiding, a wheel for exercise and a grape because it is another roundish symbol and these particular pigs like grapes.

Guinea pig coat of arms by Sarah Leavitt

And then I coloured them with Derwent Inktense pencils. Colouring is a new thing for me so I am not completely happy with the results. But here they are:

Guinea pig as Sir Christopher Hatton by Sarah Leavitt, coloured and framed

Guinea pig as Henry VII by Sarah Leavitt, coloured and framed

Guinea pig coat of arms by Sarah Leavitt

Now if only I could bring this sort of focus to my graphic novel in progress, that would be awesome.

3 thoughts on “Guinea pig portraits

  1. These are absolutely memorable! What a good friend you are to have done these! Quille says she loves guinea pigs and once had one called Myrtle.

  2. OMG, so beautiful! Who knew that guinea pigs could be ennobled? I have new respect for them.

  3. A brilliant tribute to Kojak and Mr Magoo! I am now teaching them to whistle to their motto instead of the simple announcement of “freshies.” Thanks for this amazing gift!

Comments are closed.