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Pet Portrait Artist

Creatively Capturing Moments


I'm Paula and I specialise in portraits.

My passion for drawing, strive for detail and love of animals has led me to create incredibly realistic pet portraits. My work can be described as painterly, full of soul, and utterly life-like.  You have come to the right place if you want the very essence of your beloved companion encapsulated in a bespoke, hand-painted portrait.

I am able to create emotion in the picture I am painting to bring it to life. I do this by getting to know your pet - at the start of every commission, before drawing starts.

All the things you adore  - a quirk, 

mannerism, endearing physical feature, even a 'cheeky' behaviour  - make up your pet's spirit and will be captured.  

I inject their unique nature and everything you love most into the portrait. A single moment captured behind glass that will bring you joy for many years.

I believe that I can create something truly special in all my portraits, no matter how big or small, which is affordable and available to anyone. 

Scroll down to get more information about the wonderful experience of commissioning an original and deeply personal piece of fine art. 

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True Likeness

This is Loki and Rufus. I was very lucky to paint these two best buddies.  You can see the true likeness I am able to achieve. In this portrait I loved creating the different textures in their fur but I always emphasise the eyes and expressions to bring all my portraits to life.

“So many thanks for the portrait you did of Loki and Rufus for my husband’s birthday. I cannot tell you how delighted he was. Having seen your portrait of our son’s Caucasian Shepherd we knew how talented you were but the picture was beyond all expectations. Thank you so much for giving us a lasting reminder of our two little companions.”  Claire Sharples

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Book a portrait

Please include (if you can):

  1. Size you require

  2. Number of pets to appear

  3. A deliver-by date (if there is a deadline)  

  4. Collection or delivery preference

  5. In-house framing service (if collecting)​

Advice can be found on my home page

and if you are unsure, leave a question.

Either way, I look forward to replying.


Paula Prince, Nounsley, Chelmsford, UK

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Commission a Portrait



I want you to have the very best experience, whether you are gifting the portrait to someone special in your life, or if the portrait is just for you.

Commissioning my art is a simple and joyful experience. I get to know you and your pet/s well as you are involved in every stage of the commission. I work collaboratively, providing proofs and welcoming feedback, and I'm always available to discuss any questions or concerns, to ensure you are happy. 

Above all else, I make it my policy to only send completed artwork when the client is entirely satisfied.

The commission process follows these simple steps:

  1. Client makes contact

  2. Commission is booked/timescale agreed

  3. Client sources and sends photos

  4. Layout is approved/work begins

  5. Client gives final approval

  6. Artwork is dispatched, or artwork is framed and collected in person

The Commission Process - in more detail

I have produced guides that can be found after this section. They contain everything you need to know;  helpful tips from choosing and taking photos, to very important points that you will need to consider (paper size, framing, timings) when booking a portrait. You certainly do not have to read them all in one go! My clients like the idea that they can refer back to these at an appropriate time. But of course, you can always get in contact with a query, if you prefer a more direct approach.

As soon as you have completed the Booking Form

I will get in touch at once to go over details, answer questions and schedule the work.  Guides to read: BOOK A PORTRAIT and SIZE & PRICE below

You will receive written confirmation and a request for a 50% deposit  

This includes the order, all fees, delivery costs and payment information. A deposit of 50% of the balance is to be paid upfront to enable me to start the commission. This is non-refundable but it does secure your slot and gives you the advantage of paying in 2 instalments.

You will need to source and post/Email reference material (photos/video clips etc) 

The most vital part of the whole process (the bit I like best) is getting to know your pet.  Read my REFERENCE PHOTO guide below - it will make the thought of taking and selecting photos less daunting.  I'm also here to help. You don't need fancy equipment - a good phone camera and natural light will suffice. Once we have agreed on the best photos to use, we can move onto the layout.

We discuss layouts and agree on the final composition then painting begins

I find many of my clients enjoy being involved in this part of the creative process. The portrait will begin and you will receive ongoing progress photos that you can review and give provide feedback. On occasion,  reworking could be necessary if something isn't quite right. If you have any concerns (at any stage) let me know, as I am very happy to make changes to ensure your satisfaction.

You can approve your completed portrait 

When you are entirely satisfied, with your permission, your portrait will be carefully prepared for shipping and the remaining cost of 50% has to be paid in full, prior to posting. If you have chosen to use my framing service because you can collect your portrait, or I have agreed to deliver you portrait, I will contact you with additional information. Guidance on FRAMING your portrait can be found below.

You will receive your portrait

As soon as the remaining balance has been received into my account. Your portrait will be either:

1. Posted. All relevant courier details and delivery date will be sent for your perusal and for tracking purposes. While you are waiting, this is a good time to find a professional framer.  Read more in my DELIVERY and FRAMING guides

2. Ready for collection. If you are local you may want to collect your portrait or even take advantage of my in-house framing service. This is explained on my FRAMING page. Just let me know how you want to proceed on the Booking Form.

To recap, the guides I have mentioned can be found by scrolling down:

Sizes and Prices

Booking a Portrait

Framing Service

Delivery or Collection

Reference and Character Photos


Art Materials I Use

If questions arise, don't hesitate to get in touch. I will be pleased to hear from you. You may also like to visit my Q&A page for assistance.



Commissioning a piece of fine art is a wonderful thing to be able to do. I offer a variety of portrait sizes to suit different budgets to enable anyone to purchase an original piece of fine art. 

The sizes listed are the most common in terms of matching up standard frame sizes. However, I can produce art to any size and would be more than happy to accommodate your needs to keep you on budget.  If you like my work, please get in contact. I am more than happy to see what I can do.  

My price structure

The price of your commission will depend on the paper size and number of pets in your portrait. I have produced a list showing the ideal number of pets you can have for each format and the cost.  


A great deal of time and care is taken to add the high level of detail into your pastel drawing to create the sense of realism that brings it to life, so it will naturally take me longer to complete bigger formats and portraits with more than 1 pet as these require more work.

Besides your budget, you may not have realised there are a few other things to consider when selecting the best size for your portrait. 

Where it is going - whether it is for you or a loved one
Large portraits suit larger wall spaces like the living room. A larger image creates impact, draws viewers to attention and brightens up any room. Another bonus is that I am able to put more detail into the artwork, making it even more realistic. 

Smaller portraits are more intimate and sit perfectly on a table, book shelf, bedroom wall or hall way, although they can go anywhere.

The size of your pet

For larger animals such as a Labrador or Border Collie, I advise working on slightly larger formats (16×20, 18×24) so the intricate detailing - which is so important - is not lost,  as this really brings the artwork to life.

Your pet's unique personality is actually conveyed through their face and eyes. Head profiles showing just the head and some of the chest area work extremely well. For example,  I have more scope to show off the kinks in the hair and whiskers, and sparkle in the eyes because I have more space on the paper.  However, showing off your pets beautiful features in a full body profile could be the key aspect in your portrait.  A full body painting will result in the head being much smaller than if it were just a head and shoulders portrait of the same size,  so you may wish to go for a slightly larger paper to really bring out the wonderful character of your pet.

As a guide,  paper sizes start at 11x14" for 2 small dogs and 12X16" for 2 larger dogs.  Smaller sizes are not available as the high level of detail and realism simply can't be achieved.



1 pet £80

1 pet £115

1 pet £145

1 pet £185;  2 pets £285

1 pet £215;  2 £315;  3 £400

1 pet £275;  2 £385;  3  £475

1 pet £335;  2 £445;  3 £535

Please note:

The mount that sits inside the frame will take up 1-3 inches of paper.  For example, a 10x12" sheet of paper will have a mount of the same size with a window 8x10" - this is what you see.

Square Portraits

I am also able to offer square portraits. Costs are based on the price bands above and is calculated by the area of the paper;  for example, 9x9" is the same price as 8x10".


The prices assume a plain coloured, blurred or non-detailed background. If you would like more detail in this area I can provide a tailored quote based on your preference. 

Unsure or after something else?

If you are not sure what size you need, it is not specified or you'd like to include more than 3 pets, please get in touch for a tailored quote.



To book a portrait, please complete the Booking Form page with as much of the following information you can tell me at this stage. You may not be entirely sure so include any questions, I will be more happy to go through anything with you.

1. Delivery deadline
If you are gifting a pet portrait to a friend or loved one for a special day, you may need the portrait by a particular date. If this is the case, please mention the deadline so I can ensure delivery in plenty of time.

2. The size of your portrait

Please read my SIZE AND PRICE page above, for help and guidance; factors like number of pets featured, size of the pet/s, where the portrait will go, head or body profiles need to be taken into account. The guide will help you make the right choice for your budget and if you have any doubts you can always get in touch for advice. I am always happy to help.

3. Delivery by post or collect?

I can ship your portrait anywhere. Costs to deliver can be found on my DELIVERY page, below. But, if you are local to me you may want to collect your portrait (you can even take advantage of my framing service). Just let me know. 

4. Utilise my framing service or have it outsourced

Important information about framing your portrait can be found on my FRAMING guide, below this page.  Have a read through and let me know how you want to proceed on the booking form. 



Your finished portrait will be delivered to you safely, unframed as standard. This is because I will not risk sending framed artwork in the post due to the high possibility of glass breaking in transit and causing irreparable damage. Unfortunately, the array of plastic alternatives to glass are not appropriate for pastel either. However, if you can arrange collection of your portrait in person, or are local enough for me to drop it round, I can offer an excellent framing service. I use conservation grade materials to ensure your artwork stays secure and preserved.

All my 'local' clients have opted for the framing service. They have benefited hugely in cost savings, time, convenience and piece-of-mind. If you would like your artwork framed by me,  you can if you are local to me or can arrange a collection in person. Just tell me what style and finish you would like for your frame. I will be happy to guide you, supply and frame your portrait. There is plenty of choice to suit all budgets.

If you are not getting your work framed by me, a professional framer should use the same high grade materials with acid free mounts, tape and backing boards to prevent the artwork from browning or yellowing. 

I do not use fixative on my pastel portraits as the results are unpredictable, causing colours to dull and bleed into one another. I'd rather not take the risk. Plus, I'm a perfectionist. Instead, I make special gutter mounts. These collect minuscule dust particles that become loose and fall down behind the mount (hidden from view) instead of landing on the edge of the mount. Your professional framer should add a gutter mount for you too, and help you choose a frame from samples, that compliments the portrait, your decor and personal style preferences. 

To ensure your artwork is well protected it must be framed behind glass. Plastic alternatives such as acrylic, styrene and perspex are not suitable for use with pastels. These plastic materials lift dust particles from the surface of the paper that then 'stick' to the underneath of the plastic creating dark, blurred, shadow areas on your portrait. These flexible surfaces bend under light pressure and scratch extremely easily,  so it is best to avoid plastic substitutes entirely. 

Like me, the framer should always seal the back of the frame to prevent dust and tiny insects from getting inside, and attach suitable hinges for hanging.

There is a lot to know about framing, but please don't worry. All my clients receive practical information on how to care for their portrait and special notes for the framer.

Get in touch if you would like to take advantage of my in-house framing service and receive a well-priced quote.  In the mean time, take a look at my portfolio where you can see some of the portraits I have framed. 



I can post artwork to customers in the UK and internationally. 

Time and great care is taken to prepare your package for transport to ensure it arrives in the same condition it left. 

My estimated shipping rates are listed below and include packaging.  This is a guide only as courier prices do change. Please get in touch with your address for an accurate shipping quote in your currency, especially if your location is not specified below.

UK deliveries (including Channel Islands) - from £10
Europe deliveries vary by country so get in touch for an accurate quote.
US deliveries - $80 upto sizes 11x14. Larger sizes from $110

You will be given tracking numbers and all relevant information to follow your package to its destination.

In the area?

You are more than welcome to collect in person. 

I'm based in a beautiful part of the Essex countryside that is near Maldon, in a leafy village called Nounsley,

I may even be able to drop it round if you live in a neighbouring village. Either way it will be lovely to meet you.



I love, love, love this part of the commission. Photos are such a great tool for me understand your pet as I get to see their personality in action. I really do want to know all about their character before I  set to work. Show me your dog's spirit and I promise to inject life and soul into your portrait.

Simply send me your photos by email or by post,  and I'll work with you to choose the best reference and character images for your portrait to capture your dogs likeness in striking detail and the best things you love about them.

What to take
The photos you submit need to portray their personality in the way you love best. If you do this, you can't go wrong. Your pet may have a pose when he is begging (my dog's head rests on the edge of the sofa and he stares - for ages!) or a certain gaze when he is listening.  Does he pull a face when he is playing?  my dog's jaw drops slightly when he is waiting in anticipation for a ball to be thrown.  In fact, I have done a portrait of Ernie and he is on my portfolio page. You might think your dog loves his bed more than you! What physical features do you love most?  The long ears, the asymmetrical beard, the little grey hairs peeping above the eyes. Keep these things in mind when you take your photos. Identify the best attributes - the things you don't want to forget - as it will help me capture your pets true likeness in a way that leaves you feeling love and warmth, every time you see the portrait. 

Don't have decent photos?

Sometimes new photos are not going to be possible to obtain, if you do not have the means to take pictures, or if the pet has sadly passed away. I can still produce a portrait you will certainly treasure, from old photographs. Depending on the quality of the photos, I might ask questions about the hair texture, colouring and any features you can remember. Please get in contact if you are in any doubt -  I am more than happy check the suitability of the photos and chat with you before any commitment has been made.


I normally have about 3-5 images to work with, out of a selection. These are for true colour likeness, detailing, getting a '3D' impression plus the image we have agreed on for the portrait itself.

The photos you submit must clearly show the direction of the fur, markings, eyes, nose and true colour. My clients have taken photos on their phones successfully, so please have a go. Take as many photos as you can. Set your phone's camera to the highest resolution setting and follow these instructions for greater success:

  • Use the highest resolution setting.

  • There has to be good lighting to see the true colour of your pet's features. Take photos in natural light, by a large window or outside on a fairly overcast day.

  • Avoid bright sunny days as this creates cast shadows making finer details unclear on your pet, alters colours and makes your pet squint.

  • Keep the sun behind you.

  • Don't photograph at night or use interior lighting - it alters colours too. Please wait until you can take photos outside or close to natural light like a large window or door as mentioned above

  • Get closer and fill the lense with your pet. Don't take shots too far away.  I need to see a good level of detail around the pet,  the background is not important. 

  • Keep in-focus so that I can see individual markings that make up your pets unique character.

  • Go back and check the photo to see if the image is fuzzy when you zoom in; if it is, I won't be able to use it. Delete it so you don't mix the good pics with the bad.

What I can't accept:

  • Images that are too dark or overexposed. It is very hard to impossible for seeing the finer details.

  • Photos that have low resolution, poor lighting or out of focus, for the same reason.

  • If your phone is a few years old and  isn't upto the task, a friend or someone in the family may be able to assist.


Please submit photos from several different angles so I can create a '3D' image of your pet, which is necessary for any editing.

For the pose, take pictures at eye-level so the head and body stay in proportion and the pose is more natural.  If the image looks distorted, try the portrait mode on your phone's camera - this might stop the 'long-nose' effect. And lastly, go with a pose that you feel best reflects your pet's nature and beautiful features.  For a Head and Shoulder profile,  3/4 poses are very nice - the head is turned at a different angle to the body, but looking more towards you, rather than facing flat forward or a side profile,  but the choice is yours. 


The quality of the photos are so important, as I can only paint what I see. Have some treats and toys - even a friend - as back up if your companion isn't sitting still. These things can take time. Tricks my customers have used include squeaking toys, rustling objects  and making animal noises to get their attention.

Don't feel disheartened if you don't get the perfect photo straight away - this rarely happens. Also, this experience might be new to you and your pet, so make it fun and have a few runs at it.  Be patient. Try later on, but don't give up. It will be worth it. You will get a photo you are proud of.


I can usually remove these items from your chosen photo so that there is more focus on the animal: collar, name tag, lead or harness. I can also easily remove tear stains, dirt from paws and noses, and grey colouring to make your pet appear more youthful,  if you wish. Please let me know when we are discussing the composition of your portrait if you wish to make any changes to your photograph.


It might feel like an impossible task capturing each pet perfectly in one photo.  If you prefer, I can work with individual photos of each pet and combine them all in one portrait, but the key is consistency.  The rules above still apply, and you must ensure:
1) Photos of each pet must be taken from about the same angle and level
2) The light for each pet must be the coming from the direction

3) The pose of each pet must be consistent

I am always happy to take the time to discuss your reference photos with you, offering tailored advice to suit your needs.



How do I send you my photos?

You can email them to me at

How do I pay?

Once we agree a time scale, I have received reference photos and the portrait size has been confirmed a 50% deposit is required to secure your booking. Details will appear on the invoice. Payment can be made on Paypal, by bank transfer or by cash if you are local. Your booking will be confirmed on receipt of the deposit.

The remaining balance (50%) is to be paid when the completed portrait has been approved.

How long will it take?

I will be able to give you a completion date when the reference photos are confirmed and the deposit has been paid. However, delays can occur, for example if adjustments need to be made and I am waiting for feedback. I pride myself on customer satisfaction, therefore my artwork is only shipped when the customer is happy.

I need my portrait by a certain day. Will it reach me in time?

My work load varies throughout the year so if you are gifting your portrait and need it by a specific date, please contact me in the first instance so I can do my very best to work out time frames and accommodate your needs. 

Can I see how you are getting on?

Yes. Definitely. I like to stay in contact with you throughout the commission process to ensure your complete satisfaction. You will be sent images and short clips of work in progress.

What if I want changes made to the finished portrait?

After emailing you a photograph of your finished portrait, I am more than happy to make some last minute tweaks to get it perfect for you, at no extra cost. However, if the alterations are significantly different from the initial order, there may be an extra cost. It is my policy to make sure you are completely satisfied with the portrait before posting it out to you.

What are your busiest periods?

I get busy in the run up to Christmas when bookings start to build up a few months beforehand. Other special occasions include Mothers' Day & Fathers' Day. Please make sure you give yourself plenty of time to book your portrait and get in contact to check availability.

Can I book in advance?

Yes, you can. This is the best way to ensure you get your portrait in time. A 50% deposit will be required to secure your order.

Can I monitor where my portrait is in transit?

Yes you can. I will be in close contact with you. You will be sent the tracking link and necessary details of the courier.

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I use pastels. Pastels are a fabulous, versatile medium for drawing animals. I stock a variety of hard and soft chalks to create many layers of varying textures with soft and vibrant colours which add dimension, depth and realism to my work, creating large areas of diffuse colour and for precise detailing.

My wide range of high quality, professional materials have excellent light fast ratings - a term used to grade a pigment's or dye's resistance to fading under UV light. This ensures your portrait is highly protected against ageing. 

I have listed a variety of brands I use the most - they all have different qualities and effects;  it depends on what I want to achieve.

Stabilo Carbothello
Faber Castell Pitt Pencils 
Derwent Caran D'Ache
Pan Pastels 

Faber Castell Polychromo

Conte a Paris

I use PastelMat for all my pet portraits. It is a sanded paper that has the ability to hold onto many layers of pigment, keeping colours vibrant. It enables me to create the correct tones and textures to bring your pet to life. This special paper is also acid-neutral meaning your drawing will never yellow over time.

I know how much your portrait will mean to you. After all, your pet is a special member of the family. The utmost care and attention is given to all my portraits and when it arrives, care instructions and framing notes will be included to ensure you get many years of enjoyment. 

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