Is a Pet Portrait a Good Gift? Maybe Yes, Maybe No.



In terms of meaningful gifts, a pet portrait usually evokes a very emotional response, but how do you know when a painted portrait is the best choice?


"Sometimes, a portrait is not necessarily flattering"

You love your animals, as much as you love your people.


Portraiture, according to the acclaimed, Tate Gallery of England, is "a very old art form, going back about 5,000 years ago, to the time of ancient Egypt. A portrait's job is to flatter the subject, although sometimes not necessarily. Take the bizarre portraits of Picasso's lovers" or, albeit not in the same artistic realm, my self portrait done over 30 years ago.


Even with our potential to take thousands of photos of each other and our animals, pet portraiture is more popular now than the early days of photography.




When it's the perfect gift choice:

  • Yours and their animals are gone too soon. Anyone who felt deeply about an animal recently deceased will love a painting of their pet.

  • People whose only companion is their pet or animal-friend, will be deeply appreciative of your acknowledgement of their solitary struggle, and the respect you are showing for their relationship.

  • While someone is ill or in the hospital for an extended stay a painting of their pet can encourage them to feel brighter, and also remind them of their value, both, in your and their pet's world.

  • When a meaningful gift is the foremost goal for someone who has everything. The emotional response will be real. A group gift of all of the family's favourite animals while growing up can be a really perfect decision.

  • For parents who have had to adjust to empty nests; the animals now hold a different place in their lives, and they'll love them to be honoured in a painting.

  • For young people who have their own place and who think of their animals as their children (pre actual children)

  • Working through difficult feelings regarding an animal's life, and the process of healing is always a good thing. A gentle painting can soften thoughts of self-blame.


When it's not:

  • When a person's focus is now on their small humans.

  • When people's animals are not viewed as necessarily special to them particularly.

  • When a certain animal may hold more meaning for a particular person over another.

  • When other sorts of animals are preferred over the typical family pet: My Uncle Boyd admired, and cared deeply for his dairy cows. Bingo was appreciated for the work he did on the farm, but I'm not sure there was more of an emotional connection.

If you choose a gift that elicits feelings of love and longing, while reminding that person of happy memories, you've picked the right one.



Making life easier:

As well as having a painting of your pet, your portrait is finished with a colour coordinated frame; studio-made, and sustainably sourced from Canadian trees.


It's New: Three finishes in White wash, Black, or Raw.


A fully finished gift is exactly what your person will appreciate receiving.



Email a few photos of the pet:

I can help you choose a great one.


A few quick pose tips:

What kind of photo or pose makes a great painting?

  • A slight off to the side look can be nice.

  • The background of the photo matters NOT AT ALL. It will be painted abstractly.

  • Back lighting, where the light is actually coming from behind, provides lights and darks that translate well as a painting.

  • Choose a certain look that will remind them of their animal. Cats are adorable when laying sideways on the ground. Really, the same can be said for dogs. Truthfully, any animal looks cute on their side, or upside down. Multiple portrait groupings will look better if all the animals have a similar gaze.

  • Create an emotion for the viewer with your portrait gift. Try to pick any pose that's a little different.

A Free Pose Guide:

I offer a Free Pose Guide full of ideas like the ones above to help you choose a great portrait photo, with ideas for photo taking. Sign up for the Abstract Newsletter to receive it and other guides at the bottom of the main blog page.



Go to The Pet Painting Page or the Contact Me Page to start a conversation.


Add The Name of The Animal:

Names and personalized words are added to the artwork as papier colle', a type of paper mache effect.


Group Gift Giving:

Who hasn't almost wished they'd never thought up gift-giving holidays; Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, that big affection-showing day that none of us seem prepared for in the middle of February (Isn't that too close to Christmas?) All of them have a lot of emotional meaning behind them.

Multiple portraits of the 'animals of their past' is a group gift you can all give together.


Always save on multiple portrait groupings.


Just when you thought you would run out of gift ideas, pet portraits are fully in vogue. As an artistic piece, a painted portrait elevates your animal companion's image to match the place they hold in your heart. Sentimental gifts that touch the people we care about is what gift giving is all about. Read the post Gifts for Animal Lovers, to find gifts that coordinate with your animal portrait.




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