Custom Pet Portrait – Start to finish!

This week I completed a pet portrait for a new client & I’d like to show you a brief start to finish example of a custom painting request.

First I ask my new client to provide me with a few photographs of the intended subject/subjects.  In this case the portrait was to be a gift and the client had a very limited selection of photos.

custom personalized pet portrait reference photo.

To start with I need a clear photo of the subject.

Less shadowing across the face would give us a clearer view of his eye, but in this case we just didn’t have any alternative.  And, as you’ll see, the portrait turned out quite dramatic and beautiful.

Next I create a rough graphite sketch for the client to approve, at this point I may be find it necessary to make some alterations (in this case the carriage of the head).  Upon approval I use this study as the basis for the oil painting.  If the client wishes, the sketch will be carefully packaged and shipped along with the finished portrait.

graphite sketch of a horse for client approval

I submit a rough sketch for client approval before beginning the painting.

Finally I begin applying paint to canvas.  As my paintings take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to complete, I like to send a photo or two of the work in progress to keep the client up-to-date on its status.

oil painting portrait work in progress

A shot of the portrait in progress.

When I feel that the portrait is complete I send another photo to ensure that my client is pleased with the final result!

completed equine portrait of a palomino quarter horse by joyce brandon

The completed portrait of a Palomino horse. My client and I are both very pleased with the result!

All portraits are allowed to cure before shipping and are packaged for their trip home with the utmost care.  Each parcel is fully insured and will have a tracking number to allow both myself & my client to keep an eye on it’s journey.

If you are interested in a personalized portrait of your pet or other beloved animal, I hope you will visit my etsy shop for details on sizes and prices, or if you’d rather, just drop me an email at:

Thank you!

~ Joyce Brandon


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