Portrait of a pet from a photo

Most of us have pets. Very different and most beloved. They bring joy and comfort to our home, and give their warmth to all the household. Pets also give many of us inspiration, become key figures in our photos, artwork and crafts. Some help with our household chores, while others watch with interest. 

The work begins with the selection of photos

Here, of course, everyone has different tastes and we’re not going to argue about them. Master can draw pet portraits from any photo, but there are key points. You should take into account these nuances.

  1. It is not a photo in macro mode, because this mode distorts proportions of the animal, and often in a given frame completely the animal does not fit. You can use this photo as an extra to clarify details.
  2. Photo without flash, because you lose the volume and light source, and the colors get distorted. Ideally, a photo in natural light.
  3. Photo size: the bigger the better, but the minimum of 600 pix.


In this point you should define the genre of your work: portrait, full-length animal, portrait with fantasy elements (anthropomorphic), close-up muzzle, or macro portrait (eg. only eyes). Next we decide with the background elements and additional accents in the work: the environment, jewelry, the main colors of the work. In a close-up portrait the background is usually generalized, as the central element is the image of the animal. It is only possible to add some detail, such as a butterfly, toy, flower, etc. An abundance of accessories in this case would be distracting. In this case, in a portrait with fantasy elements, you can heartily add accessories, jewelry, outfits, whether it’s a Venetian mask, ball gown, necklace or tailcoat and tie.

The colors of the work are determined by the customer. Best look portrait on a restrained pastel background (beige, gray, white), or on a contrasting, emphasizing the tone of color or, for example, eye color.

Portrait painting

After deciding on the photo and composition, taking into account all the wishes, the author makes a sketch with a simple pencil. The sketch is worked out thoroughly and the main outline and details are highlighted. Often the sketch has contours and lines that will not be visible in the final work, but only a sign for me (the boundaries of light, shadow). Once the sketch is approved by the customer, no changes are made to the composition. Then comes the creation of the portrait.

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