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How do you go about finding the perfect pet portrait for you and your family?

We all have a favourite pet photograph don’t we? It may be a blurry smudge, or a picture perfect setting that captures a special moment we treasure, but there is another, very special way, to capture your pet. With the help of a professional artist, you can take your love for your pet to a whole new level.

The artist you choose may use watercolour, pastel, acrylic, oils or coloured pencil, so your first decision will be which medium appeals most to you. As we have examples of four of the five materials ourselves, we thought you might like an idea of how they look, check our an descriptions below.

Peanut (left) Little ‘Un (Watercolour) A. Moran

Some simple pet portrait tips :-

  • If you have a preference for one medium – go with that, you will start from an happy place.
  • Check what the artist needs to start a portrait. It’s often a good clear picture, sometimes a touch of back story..
  • Check the time scale – some take longer than others, including things like drying time. 
  • Too close to a birthday, or anniversary? Ask if the artist does pet portrait gift certificates.
  • Make sure you budget for professional framing. Not cheap but it makes a difference to the end result.


Our pencil portrait was executed with great skill by Michelle Wolff and we are thrilled with the portrait of Dash Kitten, Founder Cat of our blog. Mum keeps this where she can see it often.  It is a fine work and captures something of Dash’s life and his brave carefree spirit. Michelle is also on Facebook.

Dash by artist Michelle Wolff


We were blessed with the good fortune to win our Peanut pet portrait  (see top of this post) portrait several years ago, as part of a breast cancer fundraiser. Amber Moran painted Peanut, and really catches the slight stern quality 😉 that Peanut often adopted to keep the upper paw in the family! Amber also painted our Little ‘Un and we worked with her to capture the lovely look you see. Amber has moved to Florida and now focuses more on maritime based images, but her work gives you an idea of how wonderful a watercolour portrait can be – her work is also still amazingly dynamic.


After he was killed, Dash’s friends gifted us an exceptionally fine pet portrait by Joan Nardozzi. It is in pastel and has an ethereal quality that captures something of Dash’s spirit.  Joan was patience itself when working with me, a true professional. It was hard to see Dash sometimes – her understanding and sympathy was total.

Dash Kitten (Pastel) J. Nardozzi


The first portrait our family commissioned was from artist Vicki Boatright, BZTAT – Sooty passed from Lymphoma but the joy of her portrait is a fitting tribute to a lovely cat.

The bright colours and skilled execution shine though and the portrait hangs in Dad’s office where he can see his girl every day.  Vicki, as many of you will know, is supervised, in Canton OH, by our Twitter pal Brewskie Butt – and also works on superb murals and holds pet portrait classes.

BZTAT artist, Portrait of Sooty
Sooty, (Acylic) BZTAT

How to choose your artist and pet portrait style

  • Personal recommendation – if a friend had work done and you love it, ask about the artist – it’s a good place to start.
  • Look online until you find something you like – then follow the lead and check out the artist’s fee scale and availability.
  • Look at your local Vet office. Many artists and photographers will leave a small display, or cards, there. Take a card and check out their web presence.

Not all artists are active on social media, but they will have a presence or an online shop for you to check out.

Pet portraits remain a treasur long after our pet has passed, and we discovered there are many ways to memorialise your pets. Check this wonderfully curated selection

Miranda Kitten
Pet Portrait Reviewer
International Worldwide Pet Blogging





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  1. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Edie Chase

    December 8, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Great tips, my friend recently lost her dog and I think I may look into getting a portrait done.


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    The Swiss Cats

    December 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

    So many cool styles ! Thank you for the tips ! Purrs
    The Swiss Cats recently posted…Partie de chasseMy Profile


  3. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    The Island Cats

    December 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Those are all so nice!
    The Island Cats recently posted…Easy E Selfie SundayMy Profile


  4. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    December 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    There sure are some great artists out there!


  5. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Austin Towers

    December 9, 2014 at 2:53 am

    We’ve come across some brilliant animal artists over the las few years!
    Austin Towers recently posted…A paws pause!My Profile


  6. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    December 9, 2014 at 10:05 am

    We love all of the portraits of your kitty angels. Those artists are so talented!
    meowmeowmans recently posted…Easy Like Sunday-Selfie-SpecialMy Profile


  7. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Michelle Wolff

    December 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Drawing Dash was such an honor and you are so delightful to work with!
    Michelle Wolff recently posted…Winter CatificationMy Profile


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