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Pet Portrait Commissions – Dogs


Dogs are such characters and every single one is different with their own independent personality!

It’s my challenge to try to capture the character – I’ve been commissioned to paint a number of dog breeds including the ‘Heinz’ variety. The commissions arise for a number of reasons but often for special gifts; a variety of occasions, birthday, anniversary and pet memorials are quite common. Most of my ‘pet portrait’ commissions have been hand painted on glass for gifts. I have also created a few traditional paintings and drawings too. However, the technique of glass painting is very different to traditional oil, acrylics or watercolour, where the canvas or paper is a key part of the artwork technique in the way it soaks in or builds up on the surface. Painting on glass gives a unique result, the paint has nothing to soak into and layers are visible front and back of the see through item; which gives an intriguing finish.

From a practical point of view, even though the painted area is delicate, each item can washed by hand and used regularly with care over a long period of time like normal precious glassware. Generally my clients have liked the idea of having something different; using the uniquely painted item as a ‘keepsake’ or usable decorative gift, personalised with their special pet.

The high quality glassware I have painted often includes:

Crystal Decanter sets – a whisky decanter and two coordinating tumblers

Highball tumblers – various sizes

Vases of various shapes and sizes

Here I’ve chosen a few commissions to highlight; which I hope will show the variety, in this case I have chosen just the ‘dogs’ as a subject

Often; I don’t actually meet the ‘model’ so the reference images are an important factor in accepting the commission. I need good quality detailed photographs. I use these to try to capture the character and uniqueness of each animal along with any descriptions or special stories the owner or person briefing me shares with me.

In addition, I do my own research before I start each commission, particularly relevant when painting a specific dog breed, to find out more about the breed and obtain any further reference images.

Generally, the composition comes about via information and reference given by the owner or an expression of what the animal likes to do or places the owner and pet likes to be. For example one commission was about a moonlit walk in the woods, while another commission involved a video of their ‘mum’ dog frolicking with her puppies; bounding around in the open space. Some commissions are simply based on a favourite image the owner has of their pet.

Occasionally a commission comes about following the loss of a beloved pet and the item I paint is a memorial about them, so a glass vase, decanter set or tumbler becomes a useable ornament.

Prize winning pets that have a ‘professional life’ too have been featured in a design. Such as a greyhound racing dog, where the owner wanted to celebrate the dogs outstanding performance during a race – on the example shown; the family celebrated the trainers special birthday with a Crystal Whisky decanter and two tumblers representing the amazing performance of their racing dog!

Find out more about how to commission me and see more examples of my work click here

Read some fabulous reviews click here

Check out my website shop to see all my available designs or contact me to commission your own special design (Most of my glassware can be personalised with initials or a special date, just ask!)

Angela x