Pet Portraits by Melanie & Nicholas

Pet Portraits From Photos

pet portraits

Hand Drawn and Painted...

All of our portraits are traditionally hand drawn and painted by Nick and myself. It takes many hours to complete each portrait and because there are just the two of us we have a waiting list for our work which can be seen at all times on our portraits in progress blog. We don't rush any of our pieces, every portrait is unique, so the amount of time it takes to complete each piece differs to the next, depending on the size, complexity of the portrait and the medium. The process can't be rushed and a portrait could take anywhere between one and three weeks depending on size and complexity.

Nick Painting in Oils

The photos below are a close up of Nicks hand painting a portrait from 2011, and one of Nick painting the portrait. The full painting along with the progress stages can be seen in our oil galleries.
hand painted pet portraits
hand painted pet portraits
Melanie Drawing

While Nick paints all of the oil portraits, I complete all of the pencil drawings. The following two photos were taken while drawing two separate portraits for the same clients of their wonderful Hungarian Vizlas. They ordered two close up drawings at 16 x 12 and a lot of work went into each drawing.
hand painted pet portraits
hand painted pet portraits
Watch Your Painting Develop

We try to show as many stages as we can of the portraits in progress so our clients can watch their painting develop on our Portraits in Progress Blog. This is a very early stage of one of Nicks paintings in 2012 on his easel and you can see his hand and brush painting.
hand painted pet portraits
Pet Portraits Signatures!

All of our pet portraits are signed by ourselves. The photo below shows Nick signing one of his oil paintings which was just about to be taken off to the framers and one he is just abot to sign. He uses small fine brushes both for painting the detail and for adding his signature.
hand painted pet portraits

Our Pet Portraits Canvases


The canvas we paint our portraits on has to be one of the most important elements for us. We strive to make our paintings the best quality we possibly can for all of our clients. We take time and care over our paintings, we use the finest quality oil paints, prefer using best quality brushes - why should the canvas be any different? It is the basis of which your beloved pet or family member will be painted on, you will be looking at it for years to come, it needs to last for generations.

For artists there are an abundant array of canvases on the market from cheap imitation canvas boards to ready made stretched canvases, however for our professional oil paintings, we require the higher quality of custom canvases. We prefer to source the right kind of canvas suitable for our needs and have a professional company create bespoke sizes for us.

pet portrait canvases

French and Italian Linen Canvas

There are primarily two types of canvas, cotton and linen. Cotton is the cheaper, not as strong, plus it hasn't been time tested like linen - the Old Masters used linen and we know that it lasts! So we have been painting on linen for a number of years, but more recently we wanted to have more options as to the quality and kind of linen we used.

So in 2011 we searched for the best types canvas that would suit our both our painting techniques and provide our clients with the quality they deserve. After a long search we finally found a wide range of canvas from coarse through to fine, in a number of weights and in both French and Italian linen. Perfect! The French linen is the more expensive of the two with it being a finer smoother yarn and is more suited to the finer detailed portraits, or the smaller canvases. The Italian linen, which is currently our favorite, has a more irregular weave but is superb quality and the perfect texture to paint onto. You can see an example of one of our Italian Linen stretched canvases below.

pet portrait canvases

Professionally Stretched Canvas


Our canvases are stretched bespoke here in the UK by a professional company. Everything is done by hand, so no mass manufacturing here. We can be assured that the job is done by a professional, someone who does this for a living every single day using the correct tools for the job with high quality control. They also triple prime our canvases too, ready for us to start work!

pet portrait canvases
Bespoke Canvas Sizes

We are able to to provide our clients with most sizes of canvas they require, that will fit with the composition of the painting. This is helpful to us as we don't need to stick to the standard sizes. We can also paint the edges of the canvas so you can hang them without needing to frame.

pet portrait canvases
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