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Capturing the memories and showing off our dog’s wonderful personality is incredibly important to us. We all love to celebrate how much they enrich our lives; be it through photos or in more artistic ways, like dog portraits.
We’re celebrating our artistic appreciation for commissioned dog portraits. Paintings of our canine companions have been around since people could draw in caves, showcasing our fondness for the tail-wagging kind. Famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol also used their canine companions as muses for their artwork. Even the Queen has painted portraits of her Corgis at the palace.
We’ve been scouting dog portrait artists across the UK, so you can select the crem dela crem. Before we delve into that, let’s look at some of the reasons why you may get a dog portrait commissioned.
Why Get a Dog Portrait Commissioned?
The main reason is to commemorate and celebrate your pet. Our dogs only have a short and sometimes have an unexpected ‘tail. A portrait can capture their essence and continue to keep a special place in your home long after they’re gone.
Secondly, dog portraits can capture your dog(s) personality in a more creative way than a blurred photo can. This means you can bring out your dog’s spirit like it was meant to be showcased, in all of their goofy beauty. Some artists will also include extra features to make the portrait pop, including some of the dog’s favourite locations or toys. The detail and embellishment captured in a painting is worth its weight in gold – perhaps the reason why painted portraits were only reserved for the rich all those years ago.
Often when you think of a portrait, you imagine an oil painting or pencil sketch, but this is far from your only choice when it comes to dog portraits.
Artists work in different mediums, with different styles. Some work on the unusual canvas materials like wood, metal or glass. Others create quirky illustrations and comic portraits. There’s also plenty of digital artists who create some great pieces too.
We’re sharing something for everyone in this guide so you can find the best dog portrait artists to compliment your style and your dogs personality.
Ready to check out our favourite paw-cassos?
Watercolor Pet Portrait By Sarah Alicia Smith
Sarah is an experienced watercolour artist creating gorgeous art with dogs of all shapes and sizes. She takes time to capture your dog’s personality and provides you with the painted version. Compared to other artists, Sarah has quite a quick turnaround, and she even shares the process via her Instagram.
Realistic Acrylic Pet Portrait By Hannah Farrs
Hannah creates gorgeous hand-painted portraits with acrylic and takes great care and precision to capture your dog’s energy and character. She can also work in multiple dogs or animals should you want to get more into one painting. You can choose to have it in a small format (A5) medium (A4) or larger size (A3).
Miniature Pet Portrait by Zoe Fitchet
These miniature pet portraits are super sweet. Zoe Fitchet is a wildlife conservation artist from the south of England, but as a dog lover, she has spent many years working on pet portraits alongside her conservation work. “Dogs are such an important part of so many of our lives and it’s always a pleasure to capture the character and expressions of each pup!” Zoe is passionate about animal welfare and conservation efforts and always donates a portion of her proceeds to animal charities and projects.
Illustrated Pet Portraits by HollieMcManus
The detail in these dog portraits are incredible, both original and characterful.
Hollie Mcmanus is an illustrator and designer. She started her business 11 years ago and since then, Hollie has created designs for a variety of products and places!
“Animals are a massive part of my life, especially horses and dogs. I have always drawn inspiration for new illustrations from nature and animals, and recently I was inspired by my own cheeky dog Frankie, to start drawing dogs and other pets. I really enjoy capturing an animal’s personality, as well as their unique features within a pet portrait. I use my unique illustrative style to add lots of detail, colour and texture into each portrait.”
PEEKABOO Watercolour Pet Portrait by Pet Portrait Galaxy
Peek-a-boo! Just your dog’s adorable face popping up to make your living room look amazing. We love these from Pet Portrait Galaxy. These pieces are not digital, and are hand-painted and signed by the artist. They come in various sizes for you to mount onto a frame.
Watercolour Illustration Pet Portrait From By Kate UK
We love these personalised painted illustrations created By Kate. It makes you think of how your pooch would look if they were to have their own story book. She creates unique watercolour portraits to capture their personalities and bring them to life.
Wooden Keepsake Pet Portrait from Pebbble Paint
How about a portrait you can take with you wherever you go? Megan from PebbblePaint provides this quirky option for you, capturing their cuteness on a little wood chip. You can choose from four different colours of bakers twine tied through the wooden chip. You can also have your dogs name or a date on the back of the chip. Adorable!
Custom Caricature Illustration by Heart Shaped Home Print
If you want to truly make their personality shine, Rebecca will turn your pooch into a Disney like character with her clever line caricatures. You can choose to have the portrait created in a A5, A4 or A3. If you’re gonna go big with personality, then you might as well go big in size right? The originals are sent to you in the post ready to have their own special frame in the house.
Custom Cartoon Pet Portrait by Woof By Hollie
Okay, we are pretty obsessed with these adorable custom cartoon portraits from Woof By Hollie. Hollie turns you and your beloved pooch into cartoon form, using unique features to bring out their personality. Once created, these portraits can be printed as stickers, key rings, prints and more.
Not only can you find portraits at Woof by Hollie, but a super cute range of dog gifts for humans. All drawn and designed by Hollie and created with quality and sustainability in mind.
Pet Portraits by Pawtraits By Ell
Ellie is a 19-year-old illustration student from Swansea. She has an incredible eye for capturing the magic of every pooch, and captures them all into a unique portrait, in a range of different styles, you can treasure forever.
Hand Drawn Pet Portraits by Emma Keys Portraits
Emma’s portraits are incredibly beautiful, each oozing a tail to tell. Emma loves creating personalised commission art pieces for other people to enjoy. Hand drawn pet portraits are done via pencil and or charcoal and created in a selection of sizes. All that’s required is a couple of good quality photos of the dog(s).
Digital Cartoon Pet Portraits by Dingo Designs
The cartoon pet portraits from Dingo Designs are out of this world. These digital portraits turn your dog into their own cartoon character. Elizabeth is great at capturing your dogs personality and her designs are completely customisable.
“Dingo Designs was developed out of doing a cartoon portrait of my own beautiful pup, Willow. A few people on Instagram were interested, and it developed into a shop with high quality pet portraits and custom apparel. I never thought anything like this would be possible as I’ve never deemed myself to be particularly arty, but if you persist I’m doing what you love, things can just fall into place.”
Sophie Ella Fine Art
Is that a dog popping through your screen? Nope it’s a drawing – but boy the detail on it just makes you want to pet that floofy head. Sophie captures dogs in the most magical way, providing hyper realistic art, blended with a super soft and warm style. We are totally in love!
Royal Pet Portrait Painting by the Nifty Gift Store
Now this piece is a show-stopper. If you need to remind the peasants of the house who has the legendary status then this Nifty Gift is for you. This is created digitally using a tablet and pen brush painted over a classic portrait using a photo provided. It will make a great (and maybe kinda weird) addition to any home as framed art.
Share Your Pawtraits
Have you ever had some artwork commissioned to show off your dog in all of their glory? Share a photo of it and the artist in the comments below – we would LOVE to see them. Plus it gives dog owners the opportunity to find some other brilliant artists to show off their pooch.
We got our’s done from @novellastrations on Instagram. She did a fab job and turned the portrait into stickers for us to give out as a type of business card to promote Storms instagram. Doesn’t seem to be an option to leave a photo in the comments. Its on our instagram @storms_travelling_tails
So many lovely portrait ideas! ?
I had @pipacrafts.handmade on Instagram draw and paint and beautiful watercolour picture of my in-laws dog (and Lola’s best friend) Ralph. She kept us updated throughout the process and sent pictures of how it was all coming along.
Sounds amazing ??
I have dedicated our hallway at home to all different small businesses that do pet portraits. Do life like ones, Disney style ones, watercolour and even have one that’s embroidered!! I’m all over this haha