I will usually draw from just one photo, but having other photos of the animal can really help with getting a good likeness.  If you need to take photos to send to me they can be hard to get right but  here are some tricks to getting the right photo:-


Always take photos outdoors and choose a day with good levels of light butif there is strong sunshine try to avoid deep shadows around the face and neck wherever possible.  The sparkling highlights from sunshine can work really well if you’re careful.

Get in close – crop your photos in as closely as you can and think about how to frame and pose your shot to show your animal off, and to be able to show your animal as you really see him or her.

Get on the animal’s level – this way you get the full character and, most importantly, a good view of the eyes.


Make sure the image is sharp.  Ensure it is focused correctly but also check the settings on your camera – go for the highest quality shot you can on a digital camera.  Camera phones and any other camera with less than 3mp will be unlikely to give the detail required.

Consider using a little optical zoom, this will ensure that the nose and ears aren’t out of proportion to each other.  It’s very easy for the nose to look much bigger than the ears.

A good example:

If your pet or horse is no longer with us I can usually find an old photo to work from within your collection, though it may limit the eventual size of the portrait.  Do contact me to talk further.