Pet Portraits – Capturing Memories of Dogs, Cats and Other Animals

Pet Portraits – how drawings and paintings of pets capture memories that live forever

Humans and animals have had a special relationship for some 10,000 years since dogs were first domesticated. Animals have become like members of the family, loved ones who we care about and who each have their own individual personality.

As we love our pets so much as think of them in this way, it has become more and more common for people to commission art work to be done of their dog, cat, or other animal. The range of styles being used has also increased. Sketches were once the most popular type of portrait, but now people are turning more to watercolour paintings, oil paintings, and even abstract artwork (abstract art is a good way of capturing something special about the personality of your pet that may not be expressed in a sketch).

Watercolour paintings

Watercolour is a great way of catching a good likeness of your pet and of the scenery around them. It is particularly good if you want the portrait of your pet to include a place they like to go, like their favourite field or the beach, because watercolour paintings can really make the landscapes look beautiful.


Sketches are a good way of really capturing the details of your pet’s face and individual features. This usually works well for close up portraits and allows you to really capture the individual personality, especially in the eyes. Sketches are commonly produced in black and white but can also look great in colour (consider this if, for example, you have a ginger cat). Pet Portraits

Oil Paintings

An oil painting is a great way to get a portrait of your pet in colour that can really look stunning and focus on the main features of the individual animal. Oil painting is a very old and classic technique that will often deliver the most beautiful results.

Abstract Art

With abstract art you never know what to expect. The portrait of your pet will largely be down to the artist’s impression, and sometimes the artist’s mood at the time the art is created. Abstract art is not always to everybody’s taste but it can prove to be a fantastic way of capturing a unique and fascinating insight into the personality of your pet. This is not a common choice of painting pets, but can sometimes produce the most amazing and interesting results.


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