I have had the honor to paint many pet portraits over the years, but it always gets me in the heartstrings when it’s a pet memorial painting.
Pet portraits are available on my website periodically, as I only open them when time allows. Still, I usually will accept a custom pet painting if someone reaches out to me. If the painting is for a friend who just lost their pet, I will most likely paint the pet as I know how much a custom pet painting means after losing your furry friend.
I had the honor of painting this sweet girl who recently passed. It takes me several days to complete a pet portrait painting. I take my sweet time to make sure I’m accurately capturing the pet!
Supplies I use for my pet portrait paintings
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Starting the portrait
I learned quickly in my art career that efficiency is so important. Time is money, so when I can save some time, I do it. I use a lightboard to trace my image or sketch onto my watercolor paper. Even though I could totally freehand it if I wanted, I like to save time and make sure the sketch is perfect.
Once my sketch is penciled on my watercolor paper, I tape down my paper to an artboard and start my pet portrait painting.
Layering the paint
I paint most of my custom pet paintings in watercolors. So, a lot of layers are required especially if it’s a darker-colored dog. In the beginning, it always looks a bit funky but once you start to layer in the details it starts to come together. This pet memorial painting came together great.
After my watercolor base is down I go in with other materials. Colored pencils, ink, and gouache help me add more details. I love mixing different mediums as it’s so fun and it always makes the final piece more interesting to look at.
I did use a lot of water for this painting as it took many layers to build up the black. After the painting was finished, I flattened out the painting with the water on the back and let it sit overnight technique. You can read my blog post on how to flatten watercolor paintings here.
Custom Pet Portraits
Though I paint many pet memorial portraits, I also paint many sweet pet portraits for pet parents who want some art of their pet up in their house!
Pet portraits are for anyone, and make an excellent gift. I’ve had the joy of creating so many pet portraits in my career so far and will continue to do so for as long as I can. It makes me happy if I can create a piece of art of a beloved dog, cat, or whatever little furry friend you love. I love being an artist!
If you want to see if I’m currently taking pet portrait painting commissions, check out my website for availability here.
Thanks for reading my process of creating this painting!