About Pet Portraits

Pet Portrait by Cassidy Alexander

German Shepherd

There is no finer piece of art to hang on a wall than a portrait of your beloved pet, and Cassidy J. Alexander has the years of experience and artistry to create it for you. A master portrait artist who is unabashedly a dog and cat lover, she carefully hand-creates the likenesses in oil or pastel to each customer’s specifications and satisfaction.

During the course of her thirty-plus-year career making a living as a commissioned portrait artist, Ms. Alexander has created many paintings and drawings of beloved pets from photographs. Dog portraits are her most common request, although she has painted many cats, horses, birds, a few lemurs, a kangaroo, a snake, lions, panthers, wolves and a number of other types of animal. Essentially, if you have a picture of it, she can create a painted portrait of it.   Note: you must provide the photographs of your pet, which will be returned.

Cassidy’s pet portraits, whether in oil or pastel, are startlingly realistic but with an artist’s touch, so that the painting is inevitably better than the photograph. Every marking, every turn of the ears, even the softness of the fur right down to the whiskers is rendered faithfully so that you know immediately this is your dog or cat. She is particularly skilled with the eyes, as no matter how flat they may look in the original photo, she will add shine and sharpness until the real personality of the animal comes through.

Unsolicited comment from D. Lounang, CA:
“I just wanted to thank you again for the fantastic job you did on my dog’s (Sir Mike) portrait. Your talent has precisely captured his look and character in this portrait.”

From L. Taylor, N. Carolina:
“Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did on the portrait of Nigel. It is about life-size and looks so much like him that I get the urge to feed him!”

You may have your pet reproduced in oil on canvas or in soft pastel – a permanent medium that will not crack, fade, yellow or peel – on four-ply non-acidic museum board. With proper framing, your custom work of art will maintain its vibrancy for decades to come. Framing is available from the artist for an extra charge, if the painting is picked up at her studio in Illinois.


There are many ways to customize your dog or cat portrait. The most obvious is to draw only the head and chest of the animal, by far the most popular request, from a full-body pose. This makes it possible to use photos that otherwise distort where the rest of the body goes farther from the camera lens. It also allows for a distinct artist’s touch in the vignette, or fading out, of the chest area. If the chest doesn’t show or is distorted, another photograph can be use for reference.

The background on a head-and-chest portrait is invariably a neutral color, or colors, in various light and dark shades. Everything that is not the animal will be eliminated. The collar is usually left on, but that is your choice. Tags can be removed if you wish. Also, the ears can be lifted, bent or turned (with photographic reference provided) and color can be corrected (with other color-correct photographs.) Other changes might be possible, but individual consultation is required.

Full body pet portraits may have either the neutral background as described above, or the actual setting of the photograph (cleaned and enhanced, if needed) for a slight extra charge.


Pet Portrait of Cats by Cassidy Alexander

Six Cats

If you would like to put all your pets in one painting, it is usually possible to do so even if they are painted from separate photographs. Each head is counted as a portrait in this case, and the overall size of the picture will have to be larger to accommodate them. In some cases I may recommend that the dog portraits be done individually, if the poses don’t particularly fit well. Please see PRICING for full details.


Ms. Alexander’s pet portraits make superb gifts, and she has hundreds of letters from satisfied clients attesting to that fact. Even people who wouldn’t have thought to have a portrait painted of their dog or cat on their own are immensely satisfied when they see the final likeness.

Unsolicited comment from M. Jackson, Los Angeles, after receiving a gift portrait:
“I didn’t think I would want a portrait of my dog.  Now I do.  It’s absolutely wonderful!”

Unsolicited comment from Charlene Costa, Glendora, CA:
“Just a note to say how I loved the portrait of my cat “Friskee.” My husband had it done for my birthday. I just love it. You captured her look so well….”

Unsolicited comment from G. Paximadas, Fresno, CA:
“Thank you very much for the terrific job you did on the painting of Francis and ChooChoo. Everyone who views the painting is astonished at the quality of your work, as I am..”

Pet Memorials


A person and his pet enjoy a unique relationship, communicating without language, based on trust, unconditional love and respect. There’s every reason a fine dog or cat should have a beautiful likeness hung in a place of honor in his master’s home. The need is even greater when a beloved pet has passed away. These paintings are especially cherished, and actually help the owners heal after the terrible loss. All you need are photographs. Even imperfect snapshots can be cleaned up and rendered into beautiful artwork by Ms. Alexander.


Unsolicited comment from L. & S. Upp,  Pearblossom, CA:
“We would give you the world if it were ours to give. We lost our “Blues” in January and you gave her back to us. Your portrait is so life-like we feel we could just reach out and touch her. We hurt so much and when we received the portrait, well you’ll never know how happy you made us. You are a very special person!”

Unsolicited comment from Toni in Saginaw, MI:
“Thanks so much for the beautiful picture of Austin. It looks so much like him that when I feel lonely, I just look at this picture. I’m so glad I had you do this. I can actually see his soul in his eyes.”

Unsolicited comment from D. Carter, Upland, CA:
“We can see God’s work in your hands and His work shows in your heart.”

Unsolicited comment from M. Rushford:
“The portrait is absolutely fabulous. You truly captured not only the physical features of our Norwich, “Mattie”, but also her spirit and character. When I opened it, I started to cry, it was so magnificent.!”

Unsolicited comment from W. Acquistapace, West Covina, CA:
“You have captured our “Norman” perfectly. The picture is stunning and I thank you for your talent and time.”

Unsolicited comment from B.& K. Turner of Hayward, CA:
“It’s hard to express in words how special our pet is to us. We were amazed how you captured his “look” without even knowing or seeing him in person. I am not one to get teary-eyed over things. But when I realized what this gift was, all I could do was cry…..This portrait will be cherished all our lives…”

See the Pet Portrait Gallery