Commission a Pet Portrait: Your Pet Through an Artist's Lens

 Rolo the dog in front of her gallery wall of portraits, including a painting by UGallery artist Jessica JH Roller
 Rolo the dog in front of her gallery wall of portraits, including a painting by UGallery artist Jessica JH Roller
 Rolo the dog in front of her gallery wall of portraits, including a painting by UGallery artist Jessica JH Roller

Why do we go to such lengths to pamper our dogs, cats, and other furry creatures? Perhaps it is because their time in our lives is more limited. We only have our pets in our worlds for a season of life -- a glorious but fleeting chapter in which they brighten our homefront with their snuggles and wet furry kisses. Our animals comfort our children when they are struggling and they sit by our bedsides (or in them, as the case may be) when we are sick. They share their unique personalities in varying ways but almost always as an expression of love for their humans.

40 percent of people who keep pictures of their spouse and children in their wallet also keep pictures of their pets, "because it is a member of the family."

Given our obsession with our pets, it is no wonder that pet portraiture has become increasingly popular in recent years. Navigating the best option for creating artwork of our animals presents several choices, from the quick and low-tech duplication of an image to the detailed and deliberate painting by a professional artist.


Why Choose a Professional Artist for Your Pet Portrait?

There are infinite possibilities when it comes to online and in-person services that offer pet portraits:

  • Print your own photos on paper or canvas
  • Hire a professional photographer
  • Submit your photos to an online service that turns them into a digital painting
  • Commission an original painting by a professional artist

While many of these options have benefits in terms of convenience, if you are looking for a piece of art that you can proudly display in your home and incorporate among your other original and fine artworks, we contend that commissioning a seasoned artist is the best choice to pursue.

Commissioning a pet portrait through an artist’s rendering is a wonderful way to capture both their image and their spirit for posterity.

What Can a Professional Pet Portrait Artist Offer That a Typical Online Pet Portrait Site Cannot?

Capture Your Pet’s Personality

If you are interested in commissioning a portrait of your pets, you may be inundated with hundreds of online options including many sites which allow you to send an image of your pet that will be reproduced in a simplified manner. However, an artist can provide meaning and context to a pet portrait, and incorporate the quirks and characteristics of an animal that can only be obtained through personal collaboration.

Pet Portraiture That is Unique and Personalized

Through art commissions, the client can request a unique and personalized painting. Artists can incorporate any desired setting, for which animals can do unusual things or take on human characteristics. This was the case with client Mark, who approached UGallery art advisor Samantha Greene to fulfill his vision of his three dogs playing monopoly together, similar to the famous portrait “Dogs Playing Poker,” the 1894 oil painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. (The story behind the original series of artworks is quite fascinating for the Coolidge curious.)“Dogs Playing Poker” by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

Direct Collaboration and Feedback

Samantha was happy to accommodate the request and the client chose artist Kat Silver to carry out the fun and whimsical oil painting. Through their collaboration, Mark shared the amusing and unique characteristics of his three dogs in a way that allowed Kat to incorporate their distinctive personalities, all the while having fun with the project. Mark sent a blurb about each of his dogs so that Kat could get an idea of their different dispositions:

"Yoshi - English Bulldog; Lazy and loving, she’s always down to take a nap or eat enough to feed a small village.

Zelda - Black Lab; Proud and Protective, if it came to saving her family, she could down a dragon, but you better pet her after, or else.

Ganon - Pug; Blind and Happy, after being saved from a meat market in South Korea, he’s just happy to be in a loving home. Don’t get him barking about that dogtator to the north, though."

“Monopoly Pups” by Kat SilverAs described by Samantha: “You can see that in the commission, Kat included Yoshi reaching into a box of Milk Bones, and Ganon is wearing glasses since he is blind. The painting on the wall is a nod back to the original dogs playing poker.”

Memorializing Your Pet

Paying tribute to our departed pets has been occurring since the dawn of time.

While we hate to even think about it, it stands to reason that our pets aren’t with us forever and most of us have endured these losses. A commissioned portrait retains their memory in a respectful and endearing way.

Not a One-size-fits-all Proposition

While a realist impression can be a wonderful representation of our pet’s image, professional artists can provide a painting that is not cookie-cutter in nature or looks mass-produced. You are not limited to any one style of work. Many pet owners choose a more abstract option, with a visual portrayal that is less literal and more fun and funky.“Rolo” by Jessica JH Roller

Your Path to Custom Art - in Six Easy Steps

UGallery works with many artists who are particularly talented when it comes to pet portraiture, and commissioning a pet portrait through the gallery is a straightforward process. We utilize a six-step mechanism to ensure a smooth and seamless experience:

  1. Send us a message via the Contact link below with your vision for the artwork
  2. We will offer suggestions of artists who would be a great fit for your artwork
  3. We then arrange a phone call with you, the artist, and our advisor Samantha to discuss the details
  4. Payment is sent in two parts -- half now, and half after the artwork is completed
  5. The artist creates your vision and we keep you updated with photos
  6. Finally, we securely ship your piece in a custom art box to hang in a prominent spot and enjoy every day.

Looking to procure a pet portrait utilizing UGallery’s simple six-step process? Contact us on our website to get started with your special commission.