Custom dog portraits have become very mainstream and accessible as they are no longer only related to royalty and the social elite. Whether he went to dog heaven, you cherished a great moment with the whole family, or the pooch is the king of the house (and dog royalty always need a dog portrait); whatever the reasons you have, personalized dog paintings are cool idea to immortalize your pet love.
Of course, commissioning one can be quite complicated for anyone who is not familiarized, and expectations are usually excellent. A quality pet portrait depends significantly on the people behind the brush, the purpose, and the designated budget.
But you don’t need to be an art expert to accomplish your dream of having your very own pet portrait, because we’ll teach you the basic to define your ideas, and help you choose an artist or designer whose style best fits your taste, in order to help you definitely end with a beautiful family treasure.
Best Custom Dog Portrait Services & Artists
Reasons to Get Personalized Dog Portraits on Canvas
The first thing you must ask, Why I want a dog portrait so badly? Well, here are the three most common reasons.
If you want to surprise that significant other that uploads more pictures of its dog than the both of you, well, this is a perfect win-win situation for a gift.
Just pick a beautiful picture from his/her social media, and commission a great dog custom pet portrait. There is nothing more enjoyable for a dog-crazy person than having more dog-related memorabilia, and gifting a pet portrait is a guaranteed success.
Advice: Prepare yourself for the ear ringings OMG’s and neck breaker hugs.
After Pet Loss
Mourning your best friend’s loss is a hard time. you can have long moments watching your screen and photo albums remembering those good times.
After tattoos, dog paintings are a great way to pay tribute to our four-legged best friend (without risking our skin, literally). You can gladly stare at the picture and feel how its aura covers all the room which is touching in a certain way. Remember, even if your dog might not be in this physical world, wherever you are, he will always be at your side.
Just for Fun
Why not? Images worth more than a thousand words and painting indeed represent a story. There is nothing more satisfying than having a great time with family and friends and enjoy the flattering comments of that unique custom dog painting along with the living model and sharing the story behind it.
If you have the will and the budget, you can commission a beautiful dog portrait (doesn’t have to be expensive) and show the world how much you love that fellow.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Dog Painting
Having your very own custom dog portrait can be exciting, but before commissioning one you must first consider:
Mediums are the painting materials and surfaces used for your personalized dog portrait. They rank from the humble pencil and paper, the classical oil and its canvas, and even cutting-edge digital formats. Each of these elements and is combinations, have their particular characteristics that will enhance your pet portrait, although not all of them will favor all the chosen painting styles.
The type of medium will affect other elements of the painting, but that depends significantly on the execution of the chosen person, as there always some notable exceptions.
Dog portraits from photos have the benefit can commission a great portrait from the other side of the country or ocean. As physical barriers are more and more blurred, you only need a nice set of photography’s (and a reliable internet connection) to work with the selected artist or agency.
Not only a photo helps to erase distances but also comes in very handy. Even if the commissioned person goes t your home, dogs aren’t the most patient creatures to hold still for more extended periods. and a photo will capture that instant you want to fix forever.
Unlike other popular contexts, in art size does matter; as long is functional to you. Depending on the final composition and the chosen medium, you can have a portrayed head, full body o a complete scene with dozens of elements.
Usual size formats for dog portraits are 10×10, 10×16, 16×24, and 24×32. But like imagination, the sky’s the limit, just consider that the larger the dog portrait painting, the bigger the budget and so the wall needed it to hang it.
Artist or Professional Service?
Professional dog portraits provide a more extensive array of options to personalize your dog portrait. They follow certain standards to highlight aesthetic elements of the portrayed pet and will deliver a final product more quickly. There are hundreds of options online offering this services but is advisable to choose a reputable one with a strong background in this niche.
Specialized dog painting artists are chosen because of their perspective. Artists will indeed consider the aesthetic elements but also portray the personality of your pet, something perceived differently by each. Because of its uniqueness, a hand-painted dog portrait can also be considered a good investment as the artist can someday become a very famous person and the same will happen to all its previous work.
Dog Alone or With You and Family Members
This depends greatly on the moment you want to portray in your dog painting. A dog alone portray will frame its personality as its the single element in the art.
A dog and owner portrait shows the relationship of both characters, and it becomes an extraordinary one when they include a favorite activity or remarkable moment between the both of them.
If you want to show how the different bond together, there is nothing like dog family portraits. Like a solar system, there is a central element or personality that attracts the other ones, and the dynamics between each participant is what makes this kind of portrait a wonderful and interesting one.
Styles of Custom Dog Paintings
Choosing a style of painting best suits both dog personality and owners expectations don’t have to be an excruciating task. Here are the most common techniques for a cool dog painting.
A cartoon dog portrait consists of an exaggerated version of your dog intended to be humorous. there are infinity cartoonish styles as people get related to their favorite ones and can be even obtained from some online generators but this options will only provide generic results.
On the other hand, a specializes artist might have developed a style that fits more your taste and will provide a unique piece for you. Common mediums are acrylics, watercolor, and pencils for physicals portraits but digital versions are popular too allowing to further the customization of the picture itself without corrupting its essence.
Inspired from the mass consumer good advertisement in the late 50’s and infused with all the psychedelia of the 60’s, pop art establishes itself as a counterculture movement defying the reigning elitism in fine arts, by turning mundane everyday objects, into something extraordinary. Most iconic examples are Warhol’s Campbell soups and Marilyn Monroe’s portrait.
Having your pop art dog portrait will delight your eyes thanks to a colorful dog portrait that combines vintage comic books style, multiple frames of color saturation, mass production advertising printings, or turning your pooch into the new face of a dollar bill. A great form for those who like to defy conventionalism.
Custom digital dog portraits offer the advantage of having a high-quality art piece without the hassle of the materials drying period while having all the complete range of visuals aesthetics that mediums like oil, watercolors, pastel or any combination of them that has to offer. You can even have rendered your painting for 3D effects or even apply animations.
The best part? Your pooch’s digital portrait can be saved in any cloud and even print if you prefer something physical, just remember to not exceed the defined measures while printing as it can produce a pixelation of the image which is a big no-no.
Dogs by nature are playful and have very funny moments. Immortalize a laugh by portraying your dog while doing that awkward expression or in an absurd situation, like that famous ad painting of dogs cheating while playing poker.
Options are endless, as you can make people think about the oddities behind that wacky portrait, but the sure thing is, you can cause the stiffest viewer to crack a smile at first glance.
Royal portraits as the names describe are depictions of royalty members, aristocrats and modern era power personalities like businessmen, presidents, and socialites in postures or activities best fitted to the elite.
Dogs aren’t the exception and can be found together as companions of the rich and powerful, along with precious jewelry and elite backgrounds, or (my favorite) making a parody of their human counterparts in coronations, baptisms or glorious battle moments.
Most Common Hand-Painted Dog Portrait Mediums
Mediums aren’t necessary strap jacket, but the will define the visual effects and highlight better certain features as each medium allows certain techniques to achieve greatness, the most commonly used are:
Oil can be considered the standard medium for artwork paintings. Oil allows several complex mixes of colors by layering and at the same providing texture by the use of brushes and other instruments.
Commissioning a dog portrait oil painting requires some patience due the time needed for the oil to sit and dry, a process known as oxidation, which can take several weeks to complete for the painting to be correctly handled and the reason of those darker tones.
A downside of oil is that over time it yellows as is very sensitive to light, smoke and heat variations requiring some maintenance from curators as decades past.
Acrylics are in a mid among oils and watercolors as they are composed of water-soluted polymer pigmentations. Thanks to feature, is very practical to use over several surfaces like paper, canvas, even allowing the combination with other mediums like oil, pastels, and employing watercolor techniques. Perfect for cartoon style dog portraits.
Another benefit is that the artist can produce a much quicker artwork thanks to a faster drying process that once finished, makes the piece completely waterproof, the downside of acrylic painting is a smaller color pallet as some color tones cannot be captured with water or are too complicated to produce.
Contrary to oil paintings, watercolor offers a brighter color pallet, which helps to include more light effects and softens, even more, the expression of any pet model. Watercolor dog portraits have amazing fading, and watery effects as the artist can mix more water to the pigment to adjust the color saturation. Because of this mixture, watercolor painting must be done on a surface that quickly absorbs it to avoid drippings that can ruin our dog portrait.
Special care is required as any humidity source can damage the paper and further into your precious artwork. On the other hand, watercolor dog portraits can be quite an affordable option, but this can varies depending on the commission’s requirements.
Originally considered a draft, and guidelines for the final work, pencil drawings have gained popularity thanks to its lower cost, production quickness, and the beauty achieved with such simple materials.
Pencil dog portraits are small yet detailed art pieces because of graphite the core element of a pencil. Depending on its sharpening and hardness, pencils can produce an outstanding but precise line and achieve greater effects according to the shading applied. Because of its preciseness, larger portraits aren’t available as this type of paintings are very delicate and need a proper varnish and framing to ensure a lifelong artwork.
Pastel which can be transliterated as pale in color, and are paintings that use a combination of inert binders and oil pigments that can be molded to achieve a proper painting medium.
Pastel dog portraits are quite lively as the pastel itself allows very fine traces to recreate fur and more exceptional details even in larger scales. Even after being one of the most delicate and hard to work material having a dog portrait on canvas using pastel definitely will provide amazing results that worths the trouble.
Obtained from charred woods, charcoal is one of the cheapest material to work but don’t let this mislead you, as charcoal can produce intense black and white portraits with amazing color transitions and shading effects.
Charcoal dog portraits like pastels and pencils paintings require a fixative to avoid the portrait to damage and stain. Even with all the needed care for its proper maintenance, charcoal dog portraits offers the benefits of larger pieces at a very affordable price.
Black And White Vs. Colorful Dog Portraits
Much like the infamous Dorian Grey Portrait, your pooch portrait painting is not just a still image of your beloved pooch. It is a glimpse of its personality, joys, and experiences and depending on what side of the crystal you want to capture, the use of black and whites or having a colorful dog portrait will definitely highlight those characteristics.
Black and white will capture the essentials and of course remark, the breed’s main features in a more sober way or exaggerate them depending on the shading and lighting used. A color portrait will be more elaborated and quite lively as the presence of backgrounds will create contrast and the model will be highlighted even more.
What are Dog Portraits?
A dog portrait is an artistic representation in this case a painting, where the expression of your pet predominates and displays its unique character, personality, and even current mood. It is remarked with the size, type of medium, because you try to tell a story through that dog portrait painting, just like our ancestors did in those primitive cave paintings, to modern cartoonish and digital media. Art itself is another great statement from humankind’s long appreciated best friend.
How are Pet Portraits Delivered?
Like any artwork, a dog portrait, an investment, and should be treated carefully. Professional dog portrayers offer the option for clients to pick up the portrait to avoid liabilities. When there is no other option because of distance, shipping services are employed with the exception that the packing for artworks is way safer than those even used for your latest smartphone.
When commissions are made overseas, unfortunately, damage to the painting can occur by accidents or negligent handling while in transit. For these reasons, insurance is usually contracted to handle the costs of replacing damaged pieces, yet this can scale up the final price of your custom dog portraits.
In the end, the most important fact for both parties is making your desired dog portrait arrives safety at your home.
How Much do Dog Portraits Cost?
Price is mainly defined by the artist reputation, the hotter the work, the higher would be the expected price. Other aspects that influence the price are, the materials employed, and size.
A pencil or charcoal head pet portrait, commissioned to a talented but unknown artist will start from $50 and scale highly over the tenths thousand dollars if you choose a large composition with complex blendings by someone who only portrays pet celebrities.
A nice pet portrait doesn’t need to put you in an economic pinch, as long your pooch’s painting is meaningful for you.