Pet Portraits by Pierre

Oil paintings of dogs, cats, horses...

Email or call me at +1-951-225-9624, Temecula, California



My Artistic Style - When painting a pet portrait, my goal is to create a fine piece of representational art that reveals the mood, character and personality of the dog, cat or other animal I'm working on. My style can best be described as a combination of traditional and expressive/impressionistic. In other words, I try to make the painting look real (although not like a mere photograph), as if you were to reach out and touch the subject. If, however, you prefer a more whimsical, caricatural or even surrealist style, try me. I can most likely accommodate what you have in mind. Remember, I'm an artist. Being creative is fun for me.

To see samples of my work, click on the "Gallery" button above or on the following link: Portrait Gallery. To find out more about me and my artistic background, click on the "About" button above or on this link: About the Artist.

Reference Photos - I work from your own photographs of your pet (ideally high resolution in jpg format). As you can imagine, the quality of the photos I use for references has a direct influence on how the painting will turn out. So, when taking these pictures, please bear in mind that morning or late-afternoon natural lighting is ideal (no flash is better). Photos should be clear, in focus and, if possible, taken at eye level (depending, of course, on the particular pose you have in mind). Close-up shots of the eyes and the mouth can also be very helpful. Here's an example of a painting with its reference photograph: Pomeranian.

Even though I will most likely use only one of the photos for the final pose, please send as many as you can. But, if you only have a few, no problem, just send what you have. I'll see what I can do.

You can send the photos either by email (the preferred way) or regular mail. [top]

IMPORTANT! The photos you provide as references for the portrait of your pet are assumed to be your own. They must be free of any copyrights.

The Design Work - Next, we (you and I) select the photo that will become the main reference for the painting. I manipulate the picture on my computer to get the framework for the finished painting. I send this preliminary work to you for approval. Once we're all in agreement, a 50% deposit is due to proceed with the project (see Payments below).

Painting the Portrait - Then, the "fireworks" begin. I start putting paint to canvas to make the animal finally come alive. I hand paint every portrait myself, using quality oils on standard stretched canvas (see Canvas and Stretcher Bars below).

If you prefer a portrait drawn in pencil, instead of oil paint, see "Another Option" below.

How Long? - Painting a pet portrait in oil can't be rushed. So, it may take a few weeks to complete one. This can vary for two main reasons: 1) It depends on the number of pieces I'm working on at the time and 2) Oil (unlike watercolor or acrylic) dries very slowly, so I have to wait for the painting to be completely dry before I apply the final coat of varnish.

If you can't wait (a special occasion, for example), see "Gift Certificates" below.

All Done! - Once the painting is completed, I email you a photo of the finished product for your approval. If "all tails are wagging", I sign the piece, seal it with a coat of protective varnish and prepare it for delivery (signed, sealed and delivered... as it were!). Final payment is due prior to shipment.

Shipping and Insurance (not included in the price) - I can ship via Federal Express, UPS or USPS. All paintings are insured for their full purchase price. [top]

Frames - To display their art, most people prefer a decorative frame that suits their taste and/or interior decorating scheme. Since I don't know your preferences in that respect, I provide my portraits without a frame.

Varnishing - To give a uniform look to the portrait of your pet and protect it from dust (and possible other soiling agents), I will varnish it for you. But, as I mentioned above, I have to wait for the paint to dry first. Depending on the painting technique used (thick layers of paint known as impasto, for example), drying time may take several weeks.

Canvas and Stretcher Bars (stretcher bars are the wooden structure to which the canvas is attached, usually with staples) - For a standard canvas these bars are usually 5/8" thick. A painting done on this type of support requires a decorative frame to be displayed on a wall.

But, if you prefer a more minimalist/modern look, I can use what's referred to as a gallery-wrapped canvas. With this system, the stretcher bars are 1 ½" thick. The canvas wraps around the edges and is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame. Because the staples are not visible from the front or the sides - and the edges are painted - the painting does not necessarily have to have a decorative frame to be put on display.

Dimensions and Prices - These are the most common sizes (in inches):

12 x 16
16 x 16
16 x 20
20 x 20
18 x 24
24 x 24
Add 10% for shipping/insurance and 8% sales tax for California residents

Prices are for one pet, head or head and shoulders only on a neutral background (usually one color or a gradation of two or three). [top]

Special Orders - Other sizes are available on demand. I can also paint different backgrounds behind the animal (a landscape for example), partial or full body poses and several subjects in one painting. The pricing for these will vary depending on the size and the complexity of the project. If that's what you want to do, let's discuss the details.

Another Option: graphite on paper - I can also draw smaller, 9 x 12 or 10 x 10, black and white portraits, using lead pencils. Price:$150. No extra charges, except California sales tax,
if applicable. Click on the following links to see some of my drawings of people and dogs.

Payments - I accept checks or cash. A 50% deposit is due after the preliminary design work (before I start putting paint to canvas). The balance is due prior to shipping.

Gift Certificates - A pet portrait makes an ideal present for a special occasion such as a birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc. But, in these situations, since the dog or cat to be painted is not your own, you may not have access to the photos needed to carry out the project. No worries! All you have to do is pay for the painting in full in advance, in the name of the person who will be receiving the present. I will then send you a personalized gift certificate to give to that person for the occasion. Later on, when the photos are made available (by you or the pet owner), we can proceed with the process as described above.

Copyrights - I retain the reproduction rights to my original artwork. Unless you tell me otherwise in advance, I reserve the right to post the finished painting on my website and/or to use it as advertising collateral for any promotional purposes of my art business. The portraits I produce are intended for the personal use of their owners. They are not to be used or reproduced for commercial purposes of any kind by anyone - except me, as stated at the beginning of this paragraph. [top]

For further details please email or call me at +1-951-225-9624

© Copyright 2009-2016• Pierre Mainguené - Pet Portraits • Temecula • California