3 Reasons to Work from Photographs for Pet Portraits

3 Reasons to Work from Photographs for Pet Portraits

January 12, 2021

 

I’m frequently asked about working from photographs when creating a custom artwork. Yes, I prefer to work from photos when creating pet portraits, and here are my top 3 reasons why: 

  1. Time. Dogs really don't want to wait for the time that it's going to take to finish their portrait. And cats? Definitely not! I prefer to leave those sweet little fur babies in the comfort of their own home. Instead, I'll use photos that their owners take of their pets in their natural environment.
  2. Character traits. Those physical aspects that separate one dog or cat from another are better captured from a photograph. Whether it's a little bend in their ear, a little patch of white fur under their chin or that extra little pink spot on their nose - those things that make us say, “wow, that's my pet!” If I can have photos to refer to frequently during the portrait process then it ensures that I’ll be able to capture key details just right.
  3. Personality. Photos help me capture a pet’s expression. We've all seen those little human-like expressions where a pet is laughing behind their eyes, slightly smirking, or lovingly showing you with their eyes just how much they love their human. It's those expressions that we can pull out of a photograph and put into a painting or a drawing to really capture a pet. I have found that a lot of pet owners already have one of these photos that captures their favorite pet expression - but it's not always a desirable photo to hang on a wall. For example, they may have a photo of their dog sitting on the floor looking up lovingly at them but there is a trash can in the background. The trash can is not exactly frame worthy even though the dog’s sweet expression certainly is! Working with a custom artist makes it possible to capture that sweet little expression in a portrait and preserve their personality for a lifetime.  

I'm looking forward to talking with you about your questions, comments and ideas for custom artwork! Contact me when it's time... talk soon! - Sonja 💜