I could spend hours looking at pet portraits online. I can’t help but feel like each of my dogs has a personality that would be best suited by a different artist; sometimes I sit and fantasize about what my custom commission might look like. Would they get the tilt of the ears just right? How about the freckle on the nose?
There are thousands of artists that specialize in pet portraits these days, but I wanted to feature a few of the artists I love and hope to work with one day.
The work of James Ruby, a Cleveland-area artist, is even more intricate in person. While he can do full body portraits, I love the way his subjects look in the close-ups. He captures the quiet, calm, loyal look that a dog sometimes gives his companion—the nose leaning in, almost as if the subject is willing you to give him a scratch on the head or share a bite of your lunch. He’s more than willing to paint several pets on one long canvas, allowing clients to own a great image of their pack at any moment in time. The details on a dog’s best features make Ruby’s subjects so endearing.
For a moment I almost stopped following Suzanne Leonard’s Facebook feed because I was becoming envious of all the remarkable commissions she was posting…but I decided that even if I can’t afford one right now, her work was too good to miss. She works in a variety of mediums to make her work affordable, and will feature cats, horses, and even people in addition to the stunning dog subjects. The use of shadows and brush strokes make me feel like the animal is resting in their favorite spot, so relaxed and at peace with the world.
Welcome to the Doghouse Studios, run by Alexis Trice, have successfully found a sweet spot in pet portraiture that is campy, eclectic, and tender all at the same time. Trice works with a pet parent’s description of their dog’s lifestyle, personality, quirks and favorite past-times, pulling together a portrait that encompasses all the glorious things that make that dog or cat loveable. By including Vespa scooters, Godzilla pop-art, Napoleonic costumes, and every theme imaginable, her work is not only catered to your pet but to your home. Want your pet’s image surrounded by bows, hearts, and sunflowers? Easy! Looking to showcase your Boston Terriers on a playground built with teeth and dental equipment? Done!
Portraits start at $350; Trice also offers tattoo design, drawings and more.