Best Realistic Pet Painting

If you want to memorialize your pet forever, it’s tough to do better than a realistic pet painting. More than just a photograph, a pet portrait creates a permanent artistic rendering of who your pet really is.

For many people, this can be a confusing process. How does a portrait artist work, anyway? And what should you expect when you hire one? We’re about to take a closer look at how the pet painting business works, and what you should expect.

How Do Online Portrait Artists Work?

To create a good portrait of your pet, an artist will need a source photo to work from. After all, they have no idea what your pet looks like. They need to see the animal they’re painting.

Keep in mind that an artist can only paint what they see. If your beautiful dog is slobbering and licking its backside, the artist won’t know what they look like when they’re sitting up and smiling. As a result, you’re going to want to make sure you provide the best possible source photo for your artist.

Here are a few tips for taking a quality source photo:

  • Make sure the lighting is good. Artists can only paint what they can see. Natural daylight is best if at all possible. If you’re indoors, snap a sample photo and see if the color of your pet’s fur is accurate. Some paints and lightbulbs can distort colors in indoor photos.
  • Make sure the picture is in focus. If everything is blurry, the artist can’t see it.
  • Get close, but not too close. The closer you are to your pet, the more details the photo will capture. Just make sure not to get so close that part of your animal is out of frame.
  • Take the photo at eye level. This is a portrait, so eye level is the “plane” the artist will be working from.
  • Don’t worry about your pet looking at the camera. As long as you’re happy with your pet’s expression, they don’t need to be looking directly at the camera. Just keep in mind that they will be depicted as they are in the photograph.

Most artists will perform a photo check when they first receive your order. They’ll review your source photo to make sure everything is in focus and nothing is obviously wrong. That said, they don’t know exactly what you have in mind, and they’re counting on your photo to be their guide.

If your artist tries to contact you to get a new photo, call them back as soon as possible. If you don’t, you may end up with a lower quality portrait than you paid for. Remember, it’s your money, and you’ll get the best value if you work with the artist as a team.

Can Portrait Artists Add or Remove Things?

The downside of a realistic painting is that the artist needs something tangible to work with. In other words, there are limits to what they can add or remove from your pet’s portrait.

For instance, if your dog’s mouth is closed in the source photograph, the artist won’t be able to create an open mouth from scratch. On the other hand, if your cat has a little bit of crud next to her eye, the artist should be able to remove that.

The most common exceptions to this are collars and costumes. Most pet portrait artists are able to remove a collar without any issues. Similarly, most have a collection of costumes in which to paint your pet.

What’s the Difference Between Digital and Oil Prints?

In almost every case, the difference between digital and oil prints is purely a matter of how the image was originally created.

With a digital print, the original portrait was done in photo editing software like Photoshop. They may apply effects, put your pet in a costume, and add different furniture or scenery. With an oil print, the original portrait was done by hand, with oil paint, on a physical canvas.

In both cases, you’re still receiving a photo print, so there’s no difference in the quality of the portrait you receive. It’s just a question of how the artist chose to do their work.

Can I See a Draft Copy Before I Pay?

Because of the amount of labor involved in painting pet portraits, most artists will not provide a draft until they have received payment. That said, many artists are flexible. If you’re not happy with the work you get, it’s definitely worth asking the artist for a retouch or correction.

Any reputable artist will want you to be happy with their work, and will be willing to work with you on any fixes. If you’re in doubt, check reviews from their existing customers to see how they handle situations like that.