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Del Mar artist specializes in painting pets

Del Mar artist Jill Williams casts a wider pet portrait web to include exotic animals.

DEL MAR, Calif. — Move over dogs and cats, a Del Mar artist wants to paint pet portraits for all animals. In this Zevely Zone, I revisited a stroke of genius. 

I never thought I'd say this, but apparently there is a limit to how many cute puppy portraits a person can paint. Del Mar artist Jill Williams is now casting a wider web and painting exotics.

Lorenzo Navarrette, the owner of Cali Kings Reptiles showed us his animals. "I got a whole little zoo for you guys. I brought a little bit of everything," said Lorenzo. "This right here is a Corn Snake. This is Chino, this is a Crested Gecko. This is a Pacific Western Rattlesnake."

Credit: CBS 8

There's a reason, Lorenzo has a special love for reptiles. "These guys have just changed my life. What started the collection was my mom. She passed away about two years ago from cancer and I was lost. I didn't know what to do," said Lorenzo. "These guys saved my life for sure. They gave me a passion, something to look forward to."

Credit: CBS 8

Lorenzo brought his prized collection to Jill Williams who is a well known pet portrait artist. Jill showed us some of her art. "This is a Bengal cat. This is a pug and I do lots of pugs. That's a lab. This is another retriever," said Jill.

Jill has a process.  You e-mail her a picture. She paints it. Jill painted my dog Raleigh when he was a puppy and now, she's branching out to exotics. "A lemur, look at the diaper on him," laughed Jill. She is painting sugar gliders too. "I've already done fifty of them, fifty paintings," said Jill who has painted 1,500 pet portraits. "My favorite pet to paint is my own is my own Fatty Cat," said Jill.  

Credit: CBS 8

That's just how Lorenzo feels about his critters. "They are pets, but they are family, they are sure family," said Lorenzo. "They are almost like my kids. Like I come home, and they are they are the first things I talk to, I make sure they are okay I make sure everything is perfect with them." Which is why he's hoping Jill can work her magic and weave her web two more times.

Credit: CBS 8

"This is a female Mexican fire leg. This one is named Fire Crotch," said Lorenzo while showing me his tarantula and gecko. "This right here is Hell Boy. He is a gargoyle gecko," said Lorenzo.  

RELATED: Zevely Zone: Beloved pets showcased in lifelike portraits

It was time for the big reveal. "Open your eyes," said Jill holding the paintings. "Wow. It is a spitting image," said Lorenzo.  Now Fire Crotch can hang on a wall forever.

"Wow, that is amazing," said Lorenzo. "Oh my god, she does look like it. That's fabulous," said Jill.  

RELATED: Balboa Park dog lover says her job is a 'Walk in the Park'

"I am blown away by this," said Lorenzo. Both Jill and Lorenzo would like to share their passion with you.

Jill's pet portraits range in price from $55 to $200. If you'd like more information about the Del Mar artist, go to her Facebook Page  Or email Jill at jill.williams123@yahoo.com

You can contact Lorenzo on his Instagram page _calikings_reptiles_ .

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