Pet Portraits and Commissions Sussex

I am very lucky as my studio is in such a lovely setting my inspiration and desire to paint never wane, plus it doesn’t feel like work at all, it feels more like telling a story. The view from the studio in Sussex is woodlands so I am often visited by local wild deer and just about every species of UK bird I can think of! We also have our own bee hives in the woods so we are never short of delicious honey. All in all the Woodland Studio is idyllic as a work space.

If you are looking for Pet Portraits in Sussex then look no further. I love to paint animals and particularly pets. I know how important it is to have a lovely painting that captures your pet’s character and personality. Without that magic ingredient it’s just a painting of an animal that looks a bit like your gorgeous dog or cat. This is also true when painting larger animal pets like horses or cows (yes a cow!).

As soon as I get approached to complete a commission for someone the first thing I want to know is: ‘do you have some good photos of your pet?’ Sometimes the answer is yes and I get sent some really good ones to choose from. *The ideal photo reference pictures are described below.

Pet Portraits Sussex
Pet Commissions Sussex

Sometimes the commission is from someone in my area so I am able to go and meet their pet and get lots of good reference photos myself as well as use some of there’s if they have them.

Sadly, sometimes their beloved pet has died so we have to rely on whatever photos are available. I can always get more information by knowing the character of the pet as well, this helps to build an image in my head that I can then use for reference when painting.

Once I have all the reference material I can get or need, I will discuss with the customer what size canvas they would like. This is personal choice and I am happy to do small A4 size portraits right up to 4ft sq. It will all depend on the customer’s preference, budget and final location of the picture.

Pet Portraits Sussex - The Process

So, we are all set to get started! I always start with a tracing or sketch of the chosen pose directly onto the canvas. The next part of the process is an underpainting, usually in burnt umber thinned down with oil painting medium.  This stage is then followed by blocking in where tonal colours are added, darks and lights emphasised and tones softly blended. I generally like to paint the eyes of the pet at this stage as it brings the picture to life and I can really start to get the feel of them on the canvas. The final stage is the details and finishing touches, of things like whiskers, highlights, glazes and a little magic to bring it all together!

All of these stages and processes take anything from one week to three months, depending on the size and complexity of the pet. I like to let each stage fully dry before starting the next so my colours remain true.

Pet Commissions Sussex - Pricing

Customers can choose the size of their canvas and this choice, as mentioned above, can depend on budget and/or hanging location. Prices start from £200 for an A4 portrait and £960 for a 4ft by 4ft canvas. Prices do not include framing but I can arrange this at an additional cost if required. These prices are for one head and shoulders pet per portrait with a tonal background. Additional pets, whole animals and painted backgrounds can be included at an additional cost. Please include these criteria if required when submitting your pet photos to get an accurate quote.

All uploads, questions and quotes are free of charge and carry no obligation at all. I make a small charge to come and photograph your pets.

Ideal Pet Photo Reference

  • Good lighting
  • Show your pets face clearly
  • Close up of pets eyes if possible
  • Clearly show fur colours and patterns
  • Be a face on profile and not from an unflattering angle
  • Be of sufficient quality that I can enlarge it for detail work and the image doesn’t pixelate too soon
Commissions - Sue OMara Art

Delivery of your Pet Portrait

During the painting process I will give regular updates on progress. I will arrange delivery by the agreed date and your pet portrait will either be delivered by me, if you are Sussex based, or sent by secure parcel service. I do make a charge for delivery and this will depend on the canvas size and your location. This will be agreed at the commission stage.

I want all my customers to be happy and completely satisfied with the final portrait and if for any reason they are not we work to resolve their concerns.

FREE No Obligation Pet Portrait Quoation

Simply complete the form below and I will contact you with an price for your Pet Portrait.

  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf.
    Upload the photo of our pet here. Please try to find a good quality image of your pet with a maximum file size of 8Mb. We accept jpg, png and pdf files.