Commissioned Classical Dog Portrait By Susannah Carson (Full Length)

An oil portrait of your dog in a classical style, in the unique frame of your choosing.


1. Decide whether you would like a bust portrait (another listing), a miniature jewelry portrait (another listing), or a full-length portrait (this listing; stay here).

2. Decide on the posture of your dog in the painting. For visual drama, I prefer a standing silhouette for most dogs. Pointy-nosed dogs are best with their heads also in strict silhouette. Snub-nosed dogs can work either in silhouette or with their heads looking straight at us. (I prefer not to do 3/4 face portraits because I prefer the drama of front and side, but of course 3/4 can be done too.) Regal postures seated and lying down are also possible. A small dog curled up on top of a cushion is another traditional pose. The choice is yours, but the simplest compositions tend to have the most visual drama.

3. Go through the gazillion photos of your dog to find the perfect photo, or do a photo shoot and take a new one. The quality of the painting will depend on the quality of the photograph! For full-face, make sure it's precisely straight on; likewise, for silhouette, make sure it's precisely from the side. Lighting can be important, especially for full-body portraits so make sure there's nothing too off with the lights and shadows.

4. Attach the photo (above right).

5. Let me know about your dog in the "Customize your order" box (above right)! What is his or her name? What breed? Favorite things to do? Most adorable bad habits? Anything else you'd like to share?

6. Decide roughly what size of frame you'd like. Large (longest side 12"-16"; $1200, extra large (longest side 16"-20"; $1500), or extra-extra large ($2000). Even larger frames are available upon request. Some very nice frames will come with a surcharge, but these are the usual prices. Let me know which range you'd like in the "Customize" box.

7. Decide if you would like to consider rectangular frames, oval frames, or both; add this info. Rectangular frames will usually be best for full-body portraits, but a small dog on a cushion would also work well in an oval frame.

8. Decide if there is a particular color, style, and age of frame you would prefer; add this info.

9. Click "Send Custom Request".

10. I'll get back to you with photos of available frames, and you'll select the one you like best. Most frames will be included in the above prices; some will have surcharges and I'll let you know here. Since each frame is unique, I can't guarantee stock, but I try my best to have a decent selection at all times.

11. We'll discuss lay-out, background, props, color schemes, etc., until we both feel like I understand your expectations.

12. I'll paint. Give me 4-6 weeks to make sure I have enough time to work the portrait into my schedule and devote enough time to it. I'll try to do it as soon as I can, and I'll send ETAs when available. Feel free to check in. If this is a rush order, please let me know in the "Customize" box so I can let you know immediately if I can accommodate.

13. After the painting is finished, I'll send a photo for your feedback. Since you know your dog better than anyone and I'll only have a photo or two, you'll be the best judge of whether or not the portrait has captured the right likeness. Please keep in mind, though, that this is a painting in a classical style, not a photo-realistic style, and that it certainly isn't a photo. At this time, we can also, for instance, deepen the background, move a small tree, or make another minor change. For changes such as pretending the collar that's in the photo isn't there, please let me know in advance, if possible. I'll work with you until you're happy with the result, but let's both try to keep it to a couple of rounds of revisions.

14. I'll wait until the paint is dry (4 days to a week, depending on the weather), and then wrap it carefully and send it off! Very large paintings will require longer delivery times.

15. Please write to let me know what you and your dog think of the painting once you've seen it up close. :)


The painting is yours, but the rights of the image remain with me. I'd love it if you'd authorize me to share the painting and photo of your dog on my social channels and in listings such as this, but I'll respect your wishes if you'd prefer I didn't.

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Made in St Helena, CA

By Susannah Carson Fine Art


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