When taking your pictures, it's best to get down on their level. Yes you might have to get down on your hands and knees. A shot taken from above is often awkward looking. Also getting in as close as possible is very important. A picture taken from across the room, or the other side of the yard will be very fuzzy.

I am very often asked to do a portrait of a pet who has, sadly, passed away. Sometimes clients seem uncomfortable asking me to paint portraits of animals who have passed away. But I understand. We've all had special pets that stay in our hearts and minds and continue to be part of our family forever.

The orange guy below was our Hagrid who left us very young. The wide load next to him is now 16 years old, still with us, and still hogs the pillows every night.

When choosing a photo to be used for your portrait, be creative in your selection. Your shot doesn't necessarily have to be  posed. Your guy could be playing with his favorite toy or begging for a treat with his best "I'm really starving" gaze.

Below is Mr. Frito in his original photo. "Good dog Frito!" He is very earnest, don't you think?

When choosing a look for your portrait, you can decide on either a plain or more detailed background. For example, the portrait below of my friend Frito was originally taken in a park. We decided it would be much nicer to have him shown in the family garden. I am showing him here with both a plain and a detailed background. As you scroll though all three portrait pages you will see examples of both styles.

To the left is the original photo I worked from to create the portrait below. Very often clients send me photos to work from like the one on the right. Painting from that quality of photo I never would have been able to capture his funny little Elvis lip curl. We chose a grass and sky background to add some fun.

Pet Portraits Two - Getting a Good Photo and Other Matters

All my portraits are painted from photos. A good quality photo is very important for the quality of the final product. The more detail I can see on your photo, the more  your portrait will reflect the beauty and personality of your best furry friend. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the individual hairs on your pet, so can I. 

I can work from either a digital photo or a hard copy. Digital photos should be at least 2mg if possible. Try not to shrink them down for emailing. This can easily remove most of the detail.