A Pet Portrait Pricing Guide

What factors go into how a pet portrait is priced?

  1. Size of the painting
    Paintings are priced by time. Smaller portraits require less time.


    11 x 14” oil painting on panel will start at $650

    18 x 20” oil painting on panel will start at $950

    Typically, the larger the painting, the more time it takes, so paintings are priced largely according to the dimensions.

  2. Material Costs
    Regardless of its size, your painting will be created using the finest archival materials, ensuring it will never yellow or crack over a lifetime. I only use light-fast super premium oil pigments, and every painting leaving my studio will be glazed to protect it from sunlight, and small scratches.

    Material costs can vary, depending on the surface selected.

    My basic paintings are priced upon on primed 1/8” masonite panel, making it very easy to frame. However, it should be noted that all panel paintings will require some framing after it’s finished in order to hang on a wall.

    Depending on your personal aesthetic (and the environment in which you will display the painting) you may opt for a painting done on primed linen canvas, mounted on 1” stretcher bars. This enables the painting to be hung directly on a wall, without a frame.

    Additionally, you may prefer the more polished look of a “floater” frame on stretched canvas, allowing for the canvas edges to be seen, yet with a deeper profile depth and finished edge of a frame.

    Canvases stretched on primed, premium-quality Belgian linen are typically more expensive, increasing material costs over my basic paintings by as much as $100.

    Regardless, before ever starting your painting, we alway will discuss the canvas and sizing options available to you. Depending on the composition of your subject matter, I may provide you with a general size recommendation, should you be open to it.

  3. Complexity of the painting
    Most paintings will be pretty straight forward, however it should be noted there are occasional exceptions to this.

    One example of a more complicated painting, would be a painting with two dogs. It would require more time to render the expressions of two dogs in a single painting, hence it would require more time, which would be reflected in how your portrait is priced.

Contact me if you’d like to have an informal phone conversation about pricing your pet portrait! >>>

What Kind of Photo Reference Makes the Best Pet Portrait?

One of the first questions I often get is “what kind of photo should I pick for my painting?”

This is a great question, because the photo selection is key to painting a wonderful painting that will capture the true spirit of your beloved.

Here’s a short list of what to look for in your photos, to guide you in selection process for the reference photo to be used for your painting:

  1. Pick a photo that captures the “glint” of light in your pet’s eyes.
    Many snapshots are missing that, and if your photo clearly shows your pet’s eyes, that will help me create a painting that will really capture the animal’s unique expression and personality.

  2. Pick a photo that does not “crop off” a paw, or a tail (especially in a full body portrait)

    If the main focal point of portrait is their face, well then, cropping off the body is just fine.

    However, if we’re working from a photo that is more of a full-body portrait, a photo that crops off just one paw (and not the other) can look a little weird in a painting. Keep in mind that what may work in a photo, doesn’t always translate as well to a painting.

  3. Pick a photo that has “complete” visual information to work from.
    Sometimes our snapshots of pets are missing information, and without that information, it’s hard to extrapolate what is there.

    Examples of this would be over or under exposed photos in extreme light (“blown out” or “dark masses” where details are missing.)

    This is especially true if your pet happens to be black, like mine is! (And you will notice that I have painted my fair share of black dogs.)

    Being able to see the form and direction of the light reflecting off black fur will help to define the form of the animal’s body, making for a better painting.

    Bottom line: Photos with optimal lighting will always work the best!

  4. Select a photo that “tells a little story"
    Sometimes dogs have a favorite chair, a toy, or can be captured “in their element” whether it be out in nature, standing on a boat dock, looking out a window, or sitting at your feet. These kinds of photos often will translate into superb painting reference material.

    Remember, your dog is unique in all the world, and so will be your painting!

Contact me today and we can talk more about your future portrait!