Behind the Scenes: How Pet Portraits Are Made

How Pet Portraits Are Made
How Pet Portraits Are Made

When you receive a custom pet portrait, you're not just getting a piece of artwork - you're getting a window into your beloved furry friend's soul. But creating such a vivid, expressive portrayal of a pet takes an intense blend of technical skill and artistic talent. Here's a peek behind the curtain at the detailed process most pet portrait artists follow:


Reference Photography

It all starts with quality reference photos that capture your pet's appearance from multiple angles. The more pictures provided of your pet looking natural and animated, the better. Top artists will study these images meticulously to observe your pet's unique proportions, posture, expressions and any distinguishing markings.


Rough Sketches

Using the reference photos as a guide, the artist will begin roughing out the portrait's composition with light sketch lines and shading. This initial drawing phase allows them to nail down the proper body dimensions, stance, facial features and overall portrait layout.


Detailed Line Art

With the composition set, they'll then proceed to tight, clean line art renderings using pencil, ink, or digital brushes. This line art "outlines" all the most intricate areas like the face, fur patterns and meaningful small details.


Color Study

Before applying any opaque color, many artists will first perform comprehensive color studies exploring the ideal palette for capturing the subject's coat colors, highlights, shading and textures. This advanced color mapping allows the finished piece to look extraordinarily vibrant and realistic.


Layer Building

Now the real artistic mastery begins as the portrait truly takes shape through careful layering of colors, glazes and brushstrokes. Layering not only develops rich, multi-dimensional color and depth, but also graduations of tone and texture. It's this meticulous layering that brings softness, shine and life to the portrait.


Final Details & Refinements

The last steps involve those finishing touches and hyper-realistic refinements - from watch-face detailing of individual strands of fur, to light-catching glistens in the eyes, to subtle environment nuances that make the portrait pop. These polishes ensure no whisker or glint is missed for peak authenticity.

Whether created digitally, in oils, charcoal or any other medium, this laborious step-by-step process is what separates pet portrait masters from novices. Through their patience and process, true artists are able to breathe life into those captivatingly realistic pieces memorializing our precious furry companions.


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Based on 338 reviews
Great Gift for anyone!

Great gift for family and/or friends. The quality of the picture is great work whether you go canvas or print. Highly recommended for any pet owner!

Absolutely fantastic

Lovely quality and print went for the A2 of my German shepherds, a real talking point when people come round, one of the prints was cut on arrival, contacted them and it was replaced in a few days. Customer service fantastic 5*

Cats as masters.

The portrait of my wife's cats in the masters outfits was superb. The whole process of downloading photos and ordering was really easy and from ordering to delivery was relatively quick. Would highly recommend.

My Son-In-Law is gonna love it!!!

I perused the numerous pages of options to Portrait My Pet and found the perfect option....the dog riding a motorcycle!!! James is also a motorcycle rider and I know he is going to love it for his birthday!!!

Cat of Thrones

This was a gift to my adult son. He is a lover of Game of Thrones and his cat. "This gift is beyond an A+" he said. Your idea was able to help me send my son an unusual and A+ gift!!!
We both love it!!

The very best I could hope for

Our cherished Tinkerbell died and I wanted to remember her as the queen she was. Potrait My Pet were kind and considerate with dry responsive customer service. the proof’s were shared quickly and the product was well packaged. Highly recommend.

Very good.

Very good.

Great gift!

The portrait was a great surprise gift!

Best Doggy gift

So pleased with this as a gift. Very easy to order and got shown an approval preview.very good quality image and paper. Blending in image amazing. Will be ordering one for my own dog.

Perfect Gift

Funny Pictures! Great service and fast delivery!

A beautiful memory

Following the loss of our beloved boy portrait my pet has brought back some amazing memories

Amazing service

So happy with the picture of my pup, nothing was too much trouble for them even though I asked for something specific!
We loved it so much we ordered another! Couldn’t recommend enough!


Great prorate at a good price.

The canvas is perfect! I'm sure my son will love it!

Fabulous artwork and product. Very happy with my purchase.

Great price and end result.
100% happy and satisfied.
Can't wait to see my partners face when she unwraps it on Christmas day.

Fantastic and great quality product. Would highly recommend this website. I love my cat poster, thank you

thank you for letting me see what it would look like beforehand.. and for getting it to me so quickly!! I love it.

Loved our photo and got exactly what we wanted! This was a gift and the recipient is super happy. The owner worked with me and couldn't have been nicer!!

We were under the impression and thought we paid for canvas. We just got a photo on paper. We had it framed and it turned out very nice. I sent two emails about the canvas and heard nothing. Not sure if we would use this site again.

They worked with me to make exactly what I wanted! I'll definitely use them again for any canvas work I need done!

I am extremely thrilled with the portrait.
Excellent quality through and through.
Seller was helpful throughout.
Can't rate highly enough.


Lovely result thanks

Wonderful picture! Really helpful and Gresham communication 😊

Absolutely amazing! Louise was so great to communicate with and sent over a proof before going ahead with the print. Not only did she do a fantastic job of the picture itself, the canvas is brilliant quality. Highly recommend!