In what feels like a thousand years ago, I used to paint your pets. It was an evening and weekend side hustle turned full-time job, which ultimately turned into a part-time job with full-time hours, and as life tends to do, our own renovations (and in turn, blog partnerships) and expanding family took over. From the beginning of that journey to the end – and thousands of pets painted! – there’s no question, it was a dream job. I can’t begin to tell you how many of your pets have made my day, snuggled their way into my heart and made me cry both happy and sad tears. To this day, I still receive emails from you asking if I’ll pick up the paintbrush again, and although there are no plans to do so right now, I hate saying never to something I once loved. But what I can tell you, the timing is still not right in this season of my life.
When we shared our refreshed workshop last week, there was a small glimpse of our DIY corner food station, where portraits I painted of Jack and CC hang above their bowls. The questions slowly trickled in again – will you paint my newest pup? – and although time is not on my side to do so (and I’m incredibly humbled that you’ve asked), I do my best to provide a handful of artists that I respect. Because when you have four-legged family members as sweet as the two buddies below, I understand why you’d fill your phone with photos of them, and naturally you’d wish for custom pet paintings to adorn your walls. It’s what we pet people do. They’re our ride or die!
Once and for all, I’m pulling together a resource for you to get your custom pet portraits! Some of the artists below have been personal favorites of mine for years, and some are recent discoveries. Either way, I spent so.much.time (and had so.much.fun) finding the best of the best in a variety of mediums, styles and range of budgets. Some are silly, some soulful. Some colorful, some subdued. I hope you find a new-to-you artist today, and may you go forth and fill those walls with your pets’ beautiful mugs!
Custom Pet Portraiture Artists You’ll Love
1| Renaissance era pet portraits from Crown & Paw, because your pet is an old soul.
2| Jaunita’s Colored Book creates realistic watercolor portraits – with a splash of color for good measure.
3| I’ve been lusting after Emilie Ferris’ embroidered pet portraits for years! These are the biggest investment in this list, and there’s almost always a wait list. Worth it? But how to decide which pet will get the floss + needle treatment?
4| Hannah Yoo’s work is done in ‘picture-book-style’ with a mix of watercolor and gouache.
5| Ellie Wilson uses oil paint on wood or canvas, broad strokes and a neutral palette (that I couldn’t love more).
6| These stylized illustrations from Kudzu Monster are colorful and fun! They immediately made me think of tattoo art, which made me wonder if I should start that sleeve now, or?
8| I first fell for Doggie Drawings when I found Boogie the Boston Terrier in the early blog days (so, like, 10 years ago? Ha!), and these cartoon style illustrations top my list.
9| Similarly, this custom portrait by Melinda Josie has been saved to my computer for years and years (after first seeing it here). One of these days, I’ll email her and ask for a commission of Jack on Scott’s head. Words I never thought I’d type, yet here we are.
10| Happy Moments makes your custom portrait even sweeter by including you!
11| I can’t get enough watercolors! Dimdi interprets your pet in that soft, dreamy watercolor way, but the eyes. The eyes!
12| KolanjArt uses colored pencils, achieving the most realistic fur. I can’t get over how detailed the portraits are; every nuance brought to life.
13| LeFlore Studio sends you a high resolution file of the finished piece, giving you the freedom to print your pet in a range of sizes! The floral wreath caught my eye, but the execution is what sold me.
14| I have coveted a painting from Megan Lynn Kott for-e-ver. I first met her at a Renegade craft show (back when I had a booth!), but she rarely takes on commissions anymore. I know, I know. But my hope is that maybe – just maybe! – you can convince her to take on your pet. She uses humor in a fresh way, which is so perfectly illustrated on her Instagram feed (linked here).
15| Movchun Art Studio uses broad brushstrokes on colorful backgrounds with a vintage feel.
16| Natali will paint your furry little lord, princess or lady, and she has fun with ornate detail and themes! Think: Game of Thrones.
17| Artist Stephanie Carter includes your pets’ favorite things – from carrots to sticks – and packages them up in a tidy white frame. It’s so cute, it’s ridiculous.
18| Watercolor Happy Pet is the most detailed watercolor artist in this bunch! It’s inspiring to see this level of detail brought to life, capturing the goofy personalities of our little loved ones.