When creating a unique portrait, I prefer to set up a photography session where I can meet the animal and get to know their personality.  I am able to discuss ideas with the owner as I am taking the photographs and gather important details about the animal that help entire portrait process.  These photographs are also given to the owner along with the completed portrait. 

If that is not possible, you can just email or mail me the "old fashioned way" good, clear, high resolution photographs.  The better quality of the photos the more detail I can see in the animal and create a better portrait.  Sometimes, a portrait composition is inspired by a favorite picture or photograph memory of your pet.  I like having several photos to use as reference, but usually one favorite is used for the main composition of the portrait.  All photos will be returned to you.

I like working with good clear photographs that are usually taken in the soft sunlight of early morning or late afternoon.  These should emphasize the desired position, expression and color of the animal.  It is important to have the camera level with the subject and include close-ups of the eyes, face and special markings. Sometimes, it may be necessary to place the animal on a table or chair for the best angle.  Avoid any indoor photos using a flash. 

If a portrait includes more than one subject, I like to have at least one photograph of them together for the correct size relationship. If this is not possible, individual animals and backgrounds can be incorporated into the composition.  A formal portrait such as a horse with full tack, requires additional reference photographs.

Include any specifics about the animal or any ideas you may have in mind.  I often incorporate special backgrounds or favorite toys your pet may have.  Sometimes, a simple background works best.

This is a great article to read if you are taking your own photos...How to Photograph Pets - Digital Photography School

Professional photographs are excellent providing I have obtained permission from the photographer.



I enjoy so many drawing and painting mediums such as Pencil, Pastel, Watercolor and Acrylic that I decided to devote a page just to that under "Medium".   I have provided detailed descriptions of each with samples.



I start on the layout and composition of your portrait within 2 to 4 weeks and provide a sketch which I email to you for your approval.  Upon final approval of the sketch, your portrait should be complete within about 6 to 8 weeks.  I enjoy including the client in the creation of their portrait.  Photos are taken as the portrait progresses through the final artwork and are available for you to see. 

All photographs are returned and if you had a photography session a CD or prints of the portrait photographs are given to you.  I also offer prints and greeting cards of your completed portrait through FINE ART AMERICA at Gail Dolphin - Fine Art as gifts or for your own personal use.  I also create gift items and cards through ZAZZLE at Dolphinart | Store



These are all examples of portraits completed with customers photographs.



8" x 10"      200.

11" x 14"      300.

16" x 20"   500.

20" x 24"  700.


8" x 10"      300.

11" x 14"      400.

16" x 20"   600.

20" x 24"  800.

Add $100. for an additional animal












Additional Info...

I use all ACID FREE materials in my art

I use all ACID FREE materials in my art

Size is based on the finished image dimensions of the completed artwork depending on the chosen design.

Acid free matting is included with Watercolor and Pastel Portraits.  I also offer custom framing of your portrait at an additional fee or you can choose your own framer.

Add 50% for additional subjects and 25% for complex backgrounds or special items such as tack.

A 50% deposit is required with balance and shipping fee due upon delivery of the finished artwork.

The cost of shipping will be added to the price of your portrait once it is packaged for shipment.  Shipping via Federal Express and UPS and all art is insured.




I reserve the right to use images of your painting or drawing for my own publicity, and retain the copyright.  This includes prints, cards, and other sales items.  You will be unrestricted on your use of the image provided it is not for resale or profit.