For many pet lovers, their animal companions are a part of the family. They value and cherish their furry friends abundantly, always looking for ways to celebrate them. So, often, pet owners pay homage to their animal friends by painting pet portraits or getting them commissioned by talented artists.

Famous And Professional Pet Portrait

Many artists specialize in drawing animals and pets since it is a rich and diverse genre. Several artists simply enjoy the pet and wildlife art style, whereas others might see it as a way to express their passion for animals. Some creators might choose this niche because there is a lot of scope for commissions.

Regardless of why they are in this field, countless famous and professional pet portrait artists worldwide produce fantastic artwork. Custom pet portraits make a heartfelt tribute to your little buddies or can even be a lovely personalized gift. Let’s check out some of the most popular professional pet portrait artists across the globe:

1. Naomi Jenkin

Based in Cornwall, UK, Naomi Jenkin loves both animals and art. This combination has resulted in her wildlife and pet portrait artist career. She hand draws the pictures on acid-free paper using chalk pastel sticks, which helps with layering and texture. Naomi Jenkin aims to achieve hyperrealism and depth through her style.

Naomi Jenkin

Credit: Naomi Jenkin

Dogs are her forte, especially because she enjoys working directly with them to capture their personalities truly. She also creates feline paintings, making it a point to portray their characteristics through her work rather than just their outer appearance. Additionally, Naomi enjoys drawing horses, rabbits, ferrets, and even seascapes.

2. George Stubbs

George Stubbs is an 18th-century self-trained artist known for his realistic oil paintings of horses. The specialty of his work lies in his detailed study of a horse’s anatomy, which he attempted to recreate accurately every time. In fact, his research publication was titled 'The Anatomy of the Horse', and he also drafted a painting with the same name!

George Stubbs

Credit: George Stubbs, The Milbanke and Melbourne Families

He used to commission equestrian portraits for hunters and those with racehorses. He would also paint random, casual groups of horses, such as in Mares and Foals in a Landscape. Other animals, such as tigers, giraffes, lions, and monkeys, were also his subjects. For example, one oil painting he created, Horse Frightened by a Lion from the Romantic era, portrays just what the title describes.

3. Max Siebel

Max Siebel is an American artist whose unique style blends absurdism and realism. His works have the potential to be endearing or mildly disturbing, according to your perception! His pet portraits combine human characteristics with animal bodies to produce jarring and somewhat humorous depictions of furry beings.

Max Siebel

Credit: Max Siebel

For example, he painted a Jack Russell Terrier’s head on his brother’s body and another dog wearing Christopher Columbus’s clothes. Essentially, he does research and mixes his knowledge of the pet’s personality and art history to create this type of pet portrait. For example, he painted a cat inspired by the famous historical portrait of Napolean by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

4. Sarah Alicia Smith

You can find numerous skilled pet portrait creators with shops and studios on Etsy for commissioning custom pet portraits. Sarah Alicia Smith is one such talented creator based in Leeds, UK. She specializes in watercolor dog portraiture, with no limitations on the dog breed. Sarah’s Etsy shop is under her name, and she also uses Instagram to share her process with everyone.

pet portrait

Credit: Sarah Alicia Smith

She uses cotman watercolors to paint dogs, cats, horses, and rabbits. However, she is open to drawing other pet portraits as well. Like many other such artists, she attempts to capture the pet’s personality in her creations. You must send her a pet photo via the Etsy chat to proceed with the commission. These personalized hand-painted pet portraits are guaranteed to be a hit amongst pet lovers who want to commemorate their fur babies.

5. Amy Mckimm

Originally from Surrey, UK, Amy Mckimm is a self-taught pet portrait expert. She is a capable artist who studied horse anatomy intensely, inspired by her curiosity surrounding ponies. She enjoys being able to amalgamate her love for animals and art. Her driving force in this career lies in her ability to evoke strong emotions, like love, through her art.

Amy Mckimm

Credit: Amy Mckimm

She will use pastel-colored pencils to create your pet’s portrait in her realistic painting style. You must send Amy Mckimm a good-quality photograph according to the instructions and tips provided on her website.

There is also an option on her website for purchasing gift vouchers. She frequently holds ‘Draw Your Own Pet’ workshops to teach budding artists her skills and share drawing tips. So you can sign up to meet and learn from her how to become a pet portrait artist.

6. Gustave Muss Arnolt

New York-based Gustave Muss Arnolt (1858-1927) was a 19th-century painter whose main subjects were gun dogs, horses, and wildfowl. He is most known for painting pets such as sporting canines, although he also painted upland wildlife and game. This pet portrait painter was also one of the directors of the American Kennel Club.

Gustave Muss Arnolt

Credit: Gustave Muss Arnolt

One of his famous works is titled The Meadow Brook Hounds Meet at the Old Westbury Pond on Long Island. It depicts a foxhunting scene in a field comprising several hunters and twenty-eight horses. He created many more such realistic portraits using oil paints on canvas, and his works have been part of public auctions countless times.

7. J. Penry

A commission for Vice magazine introduced Brooklyn-based J. Penry to the world of pet portraits. He discovered that drawing animal fur was relaxing, though capturing their eyes was tricky. He describes himself as a ‘pet painter’ and a ‘cat lover’, producing artwork for commercial and personal purposes.

J. Penry

Credit: J. Penry, Lola

He is willing to recreate the specific requests of his clients in his sketches and watercolor paintings. For example, some might ask for custom portraits with their fur baby wearing Superman’s costume. Others may ask him to add a bow tie to their pets or make them embody an actress. According to J. Penry, there is no limit to how weird these special requests can get in his ‘judgment-free’ zone!

8. Roma Lena

Bulgaria-based artist Roma Lena has made thousands of sales on Etsy, owing to the popularity of her hand-painted pet portraits. She uses watercolors, colored pencils, oil paints, and pastels to create these highly-detailed paintings by hand. As a professional pet portraitist and wildlife artist, she uses photographs to recreate visuals of people’s pets.

professional pet portraitist

Credit: Roma Lena

She also provides ‘peekaboo’ illustrations besides standard single portraits and collections. This series gives you an adorable picture of your pet seemingly peeking over the frame. Roma Lena is also candid about her painting process and the costs involved, depending on the size of the picture. Sometimes she donates part of her sales to relevant charities or fundraisers.

9. Shannon Marie Schacht

Self-taught American artist Shannon Marie has had a penchant for drawing since childhood. She values attention to detail and experiments with unique techniques, although her style can be broadly classified as contemporary realism. The range of animals she covers is quite expansive, from owls, bears, lions, and foxes to cows, horses, and rabbits.

She creates custom pet portraits and wildlife art using acrylic paint on canvas protected with varnish. Apart from acrylics, she uses charcoal, colored pencils, and dry pigments on high-quality materials sealed with varnish. Thus you can commission portraits in the black-and-white style or choose to have a pop of color if desired.

Shannon Marie Schacht

Credit: Shannon Marie Schacht

Shannon Marie Schacht is passionate about nature, animals, wildlife, art, and creativity, which this job allows her to combine. She can convey your pet’s personality through her compositions. Some of her works are displayed at Grand Teton Gallery in Wyoming and other US fine art galleries.

10. Lucien Freud

Although Lucien Freud’s reputation goes beyond his pet portraits, his dog paintings were a significant part of his legacy. As someone who loved dogs, he and his first wife were once given a bull terrier as a gift. He painted her and the dog together in a famous picture titled Girl With a White Dog.

Lucien Freud

Credit: Lucien Freud, Pluto Aged Twelve

Later on, he also adopted a white puppy and named her Pluto. She was the charming subject of many of his pet portraits. He would also paint her with his friend David Dawson’s dog, Eli, and sometimes even featured David in these portraits. Pluto’s last painting was called Pluto Aged Twelve. After Pluto passed, he continued to enjoy Eli’s company since he was close to both dogs.

11. Walter Sutin

Walter Sutin is another contemporary artist with an unconventional take on pets. He provides commissions for custom pet portraits that try to reflect the animal’s unique traits rather than just their external and tangible presence. He also attaches a lot of value to the settings and surroundings in the portrait because he finds some of the photos’ background details fascinating.

custom pet portraits

Credit: Walter Sutin, Hubert

To achieve all this, he gathers information such as what the animal likes, their favorite haunts, the meaning of their name, etc. He then uses pen and ink to create whimsical drawings while incorporating the client’s visions. Walter Sutin further claims that the pet parents’ love for their animal babies makes the task very easy for him.

His paintings include visuals of felines strolling among trees or napping on top of books. Some are more experimental, like Bobby, in which the cat is portrayed as dreaming of a desert. Several clients approach this pet portrait painter with truly out-of-the-box avant-garde ideas, even some sensual ones.

12. Hannah Farr

UK-based freelance illustrator Hannah Farr has made thousands of sales on Etsy with outstanding reviews by many happy customers. Pet portraiture is her preferred art niche because she wants to encapsulate the “fur babies’ love and energy in paint form”. Hannah Farr also makes dog-themed greeting cards, gift wrappers, and hand-painted ceramic plant pots. She is immensely passionate about her job and animal buddies and enjoys immortalizing pets through art.

Hannah Farr

Credit: Hannah Farr

She illustrates animals in children’s books as well. Hannah can provide your pet’s portrait in multiple sizes, such as A3, A4, and A5, while acrylic is her primary medium. Her realistic artwork aims to communicate the dog’s personality and attitude. She is also open to doing group portraits showcasing more than one animal, so commissioning from her is ideal for those who want pet family portraits.

13. Sema Martin

Sema Martin is an award-winning pet portrait artist from Wales, UK, although she is open to commission requests worldwide. She uses colored pencils to create realistic pet portraits that reflect the animal’s characteristic spirit and nature. Her masterpieces make ideal gifts for pet parents and animal lovers.

Although she primarily paints dogs and cats, she can also capture rabbits, horses, and other animals. She does landscapes and paints children as well. The life-like attention to detail she provides in her artwork makes them a feast to behold, and your pets are guaranteed to appreciate them.

pet portrait artist

Credit: Sema Martin

Several publications and magazines have featured her as one of the UK’s best professional pet portrait painters. Her website offers an option to sign up for her newsletter and other resources, such as tips for business creatives who want to make a career out of art. She also presides over one of the world's only pet portrait artist clubs.

14. Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Japanese artist and printmaker Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s love for cats came through in his paintings. Apart from cats, he is also known for painting nudes. He created these throughout the early 20th century when he came to Bohemian Paris to experience their culture. It started with his fascination with Mike, a stray tabby cat that used to lounge around his vicinity.

Soon, Foujita started including the kitten in his self-portraits, such as Self Portrait in Studio. Painting Mike was just the beginning, as his area was swamped with stray cats. He created so many cat paintings that he published a Book of Cats in 1930. This work contains 20 pet portraits etched on plates.

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Credit: Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Each cat or kitten in the book, whether resting or playing, has a specific pose that captures its psyche. These etchings reflect Foujita’s magical realism style. Today, he is known best for employing Japanese ink techniques in Western artwork. Thus, his creative breakthrough after meeting Mike was significant to completing his extensive opus.

15. Melissa Smith

Commisioning paintings from Melissa Smith, a self-taught pet painter from New York, is effortless. First, send her your pet’s photo as a digital file and a few words describing your pet. She will then create a hand-painted portrait catered to your needs and specifications.

There are various sizes and options to choose from, as you can explore on her website. Using such paintings to decorate the walls of your house is one of the best ways to enhance your space perfectly.

Melissa Smith

Credit: Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith is incredibly passionate about painting candid photos of pets to celebrate their life and honor them. Apart from growing up fascinated with animals and nature, she is inspired by the love between pet owners and their furry friends. Although dogs and cats are the main subjects of her work, she can also paint horses and other pets.

16. Pablo Picasso

Spanish artist Pablo Picasso loved animals, which manifested in him gathering a group of pets for himself. He chiefly had dogs, but cats, owls, doves, and even a goat were a part of this collection. However, the shining star who modeled for most of his pet portraits was Lump, a dog he met by accident.

Lump was David Douglas Duncan’s dachshund who got along with Picasso more than he did with Duncan’s other dog. The artist created many portraits of this canine, including a famous minimal line drawing called Dog. He also painted Lump onto a ceramic dinner plate and gifted it to Duncan.

Pablo Picasso

Credit: Pablo Picasso, Dog

His abstract style consisted of light, simple lines, and he also did paintings and sculptures to represent his animal friends. He would draw cats, camels, and penguins, among other animals. Picasso captured the creature's essence, even if it was a simple sketch or pencil drawing.

17. Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is another well-known painter whose pets were a part of his artistic fascination. For a long time, he only had his feline friends as pets. Later, a dachshund called Archie entered his life and became one of his closest companions. A while afterward, Andy Warhol got another dachshund named Amos to give Archie company.

Andy Warhol

Credit: Andy Warhol, Archie

He soon started creating pet portraits of the doggy duo in his usual technicolor pop art style. There were also individual portraits, like Archie from 1976. He also commissioned Jamie Wyeth to paint a picture of him posing with Archie, called Andy Warhol sitting with Archie (No. 9).

Warhol created a lot of animal portraits in his lifetime, including many of his own cats, some horses, his friends’ pets, and private commissions. He even published a print collection of watercolor lithographs called 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. These furry beings were significant subjects of the artwork he produced during his ‘Factory Period’.

18. Eddie Kagimu

Eddie Kagimu is a celebrated UK-based pet portrait artist who also manages an Etsy shop where he has made thousands of sales. His watercolors of different dog breeds reflect his light, flowy style, whether you opt for a custom pet portrait or prints. These prints of pre-existing pet portraits are available on cushions, ceramic jars, mugs, lockets, t-shirts, and framed wall pieces.

Eddie Kagimu

Credit: Eddie Kagimu

He attempts to depict the pet’s unique nature through free-flowing, minimal brush strokes. He believes that uncomplicating the composition in this way will reflect the transitionary aspect of the subject. Eddi Kagimu also claims that he always tries capturing the essence of the animal on paper.

For commissions, send him a close-up photo of your pets in which the eyes are visible. He also paints wildlife, birds, and livestock, so his animal painting ability is not limited to pets like dogs. Kagimu occasionally dabbles in mixed media artwork by combining oil and acrylic on canvas. Many reviewers on Etsy attest to the quality of his creations.


These are some of the best pet portrait artists from around the world, but the list could go on. Some of these are 18th or 20th-century artists who revolutionized the world of animal drawing. Others are today’s well-known professional artists who are active and largely open for commissions.

If you want to gift your loved one a hand-crafted drawing of their beloved pet, commissioning a trained and skilled artist to do the job is a stellar idea. Custom pet portraits are lovely gifts for animal lovers, especially those who recently lost a pet. You can choose a pet artist based on the style, size, and budget you have in mind.

You can also use apps like BeFunky to turn your pets into paintings or cute icons and avatars. So, go on and appreciate the beautiful pet paintings created by some of the world's most talented and experienced artists.

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