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East County Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 1 year ago

Lakewood Ranch 12-year-old spends her summer drawing pets

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Greenbrook 12-year-old enjoys the challenge of drawing people's pets.
by: Brendan Lavell Staff Writer

Greenbrook’s Francesca Bisordi began drawing pets as a way to cheer up her sister.

About three months ago, Bisordi’s 31-year-old sister, Jade Satariano, was in the process of moving from Delray Beach to Sarasota. She was feeling stressed.

Bisordi, 12, said Satariano loves her animals more than anything else, so Bisordi drew a picture of Satariano's four dogs and one cat, giving the finished product to Satariano while they were eating in a restaurant together.

Satariano cried tears of happiness when she saw the artwork her sister made as a special housewarming present. Bisordi said Satariano now shows the drawing to everyone she meets.

For Bisordi, a new hobby was born. Although Bisordi had been drawing as long as she can remember — becoming serious about it when she was 9 years old and started teaching herself by watching YouTube videos — she decided she was going to start drawing for other people. Specifically, she wanted to draw their pets and give them the same joy she brought her sister.

Francesca Bisordi made this drawing for her sister, Jade Satariano, the first she ever made for someone else. It contains Satariano's four dogs and one cat. Bisordi tried to give each of the dogs a distinct personality.

Bisordi's father, Ben Bisordi, said her creativity and intelligence are the greatest gifts behind her artistic ability. He also said his daughter finds comfort in drawing.

"When she is working on a picture, she really focuses in on it, like she gets into her own world," Ben Bisordi said.

Francesca Bisordi, an R. Dan Nolan Middle School student, gets the basis for her drawings from photographs people send her. She usually requests a few different ones so she has a variety of angles to choose from. On average, it takes her about two days to finish each drawing, but sometimes she can finish one in a day, and others it takes up to a week or more.

"She's kind of a perfectionist when it comes to this kind of thing," Ben Bisordi said.

Francesca Bisordi said she will have less time to draw when school starts Aug. 10, but she still plans to make time for it.

“I always have something to draw,” Bisordi said.

The most difficult part of the job is getting an animal’s fur color just right.

Francesca Bisordi said the most difficult part of drawing Charlie was his blond fur. She said there is not a color that easily corresponds to such fur, so she plays around and mixes shades until she's satisfied.

“It’s hard to match a natural color,” Bisordi said. “Blond is not a specific color and to make it look more realistic, it takes a while.”

Shaggy animals can also be a little tricky, though Bisordi enjoys the challenge of trying to capture the texture of their fur.

She tries to inject some personality into each of her drawings. For example, the drawing for her sister had four different dogs with four different poses or facial expressions to indicate each pet's character. She enjoys drawing animals she knows because it is easier to create a facial expression that truly embodies their spirit.

Bisordi said she also enjoys creating a customized background for each animal. Sometimes it is a color that emphasizes their personality or brings out the color of their fur. Other times she plays off their names, such as when she created a background consisting entirely of peaches for a dog named Peaches.

Bisordi doesn't expect her hobby to turn into a career. However, she plans to continue art as a lifelong hobby.

She loves when she receives notes from the people who tell her how much they love her art.

Francesca Bisordi said she likes to draw backgrounds that have special meaning. In Mochi's case, she chose green because mochi is a Japanese rice cake that often comes in a green tea flavor.

"Sometimes she's not 100% satisfied with her work, but she's thrilled when someone tells her they like it," her dad added. "She's happy when others are happy."

Of course, it doesn’t hurt when they tip her, either. She charges $40 for each drawing, with an extra $20 for each additional animal if there are more than one in the picture.

Bisordi did a handful of drawings over the summer to save up money for a Nintendo Switch. At $200, she has made almost enough money to get one, and she still has about 20 people on her waiting list, including a request for parrots, which she has never drawn before. 

She said she plans to donate about 10% to 15% of her earnings to Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue.

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Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

See All Articles by Brendan

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