The Process

Pet portraits are custom pieces of art. I work from your photo, which is a key component of capturing the spirit of your pet. Reference photos need to be clear and in-focus. Some examples are below.

I paint in acrylics on wood or Strathmore 300 Series Bristol board. Originally, I was painting stall plaques for horse owners and chose wood because it would stand up to the environment in a barn. The longer I worked on the wood, the more I liked it. I began offering paintings on Bristol board to accommodate those who prefer to have a matted or framed painting.

Once you have decided to commission a portrait, the first step is to provide a clear reference photo (more on this below). I do require payment before starting to paint. Once I am finished with the painting, I will email a photo proof to you. For wood paintings, I clear-coat each portrait to give it a protective finish, apply a felt backing, and attach a hanger. Paintings on Bristol board are matted and come in a clear sleeve to protect the art until you find a frame you like. I can also frame the painting for an additional charge. The entire process takes about 3 weeks and then shipping generally takes an additional 3-5 business days.

IMG_0484REFERENCE PHOTOS: This is an example of a good reference photo. In this picture, Daisy is clear, in-focus and fills the frame. You can clearly see her expressive eyes, which are the window to her soul. To take a good reference photo, I suggest going outside with your pet so you can take advantage of some good natural lighting. You might want a helper if your pet won’t sit or stand while you back away to take the picture. It is my opinion that portraits done from a 3/4 view are the most visually pleasing and show the pet’s features in the best way. Take a bunch of pictures – the more pictures you take, the better chance you have of getting a nice quality photo.

The photos below are POOR reference photos. The photo of Daisy in the creek is poor because the leash crosses over her head and you cannot see her facial features. She is also in an awkward position, which makes it hard to see her body type. Daisy is too small in the photo where she is standing on the tree. The funny picture of Daisy in the pool is a very strange angle for a portrait; her eyes are not clear, her tongue is the focal point of the image, and the water distorts the proportions of her legs. The last photo where she is playing with her friend is not good because she has her head turned away from the camera.