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Faithful Friends Portraits - Beautiful pet portraits, animal art and wildlife paintings in acrylic by Nicky Jones



Nicky Jones  -  Animal Artist / Wildlife Artist / Botanical Artist

Covering a wide range of subjects including Animal Art, Pet Portraiture, Animal Portraits,

Animal Paintings, Wildlife Paintings, Wildlife Art, Nature Art, Bird Art, Miniature Art,

Botanical Art, Floral Paintings


The Time and Place

Photograph your subject outside in good natural daylight, avoiding direct sunlight which will cast shadows, and which can affect true fur colour.  Light levels in the winter are poor so do what you can with the amount of light available to you, but be aware that late winter sunny afternoons cast a lot of shade.  Indoor flash photography can also change the natural colouring, and you may also get the 'red-eye’ effect.  It is possible for me to work with several photographs, such as a mix of indoor and outdoor shots, especially if you have a particular pose that you like in one photograph, and the right colouring in another. 

Getting your Subject to Pose

Unless you have already decided on a favourite pose, I would suggest taking photographs at your level rather than pointing the camera down at your subject, otherwise you may get a distorted view of them straining to look up at you.  In the case of cats and dogs the subject should be sitting, rather than lying down.  For taking photographs of dogs, I have found that seating them in the back of the vehicle they are used to travelling in seems to work very well (see below).  

                     Nelle's photo taken on her level in the back of the car, with the image filling the frame          Nelle's finished portrait

Think of a pose that best captures the character of your subject.  Do you want your subject to have their tongue in or out (in the case of dogs), or ears pricked up rather than flat to their head, etc?  A pose slightly to the side rather than completely facing you can be more flattering (as above).  If the collar/bridle is required in the portrait, ensure it is in view.  If not, remove the collar/bridle as this can distort the way the fur lies on the neck, or in the case of horses the contours of the head will be obscured.

It is useful to have at least one other person to help while photographing your subject, using a favourite toy or treat to hold their gaze level or looking upwards slightly. Using a tripod for some of the photographs will also help to keep your hand steady - I am unable to use blurred photographs.

(View a selection of finished dog, cat and horse portraits with their original photographs)

Number of Photographs Required

Take as many good, clear photographs as possible, particularly in the pose that you would like the finished portrait to look.  Take several close-up shots of the subject’s face, with the face filling the frame, showing details of the eyes, fur, whiskers etc.

Close-ups with the subject filling the frame will enable me to create a 

more detailed likeness

If you are e-mailing digital images, please make sure they are of the highest resolution.  I can then discuss with you which I feel will best translate into a portrait.  Images should be printed on photo quality paper (at least 7" x 5" size), or preferably printed by a photo printing company (I recommend www.photobox.co.uk).  You can then send these photos to me with your completed Order Form and deposit.  If you would like me to print your images there will be a charge of 35p per 7" x 5" print.  These will be returned to you with your portrait.

Working from your Existing Photographs

You may already have photographs that you are happy with, and as long as they meet the requirements above, I can certainly use these.  Or perhaps you have unfortunately lost your beloved pet and only have a few photographs to remind you of them.  In which case I will discuss with you whether I can use them to produce a good enough likeness.  If these are not digital images I would recommend having copies made of the original photographs in case they are lost in the post.

If you are still not quite sure about the type of photographs I might need, then please do not hesitate to discuss this with me.  All your photographs will be carefully looked after and returned safely to you with your finished portrait.

Please use a digital camera and not a mobile phone for the best images

Personal Photographic Service

I also offer a free personal photographic service.  This will save you any worry you might have about the type of photographs required.  It is also a great opportunity for me to meet my customers and the subjects I am to paint, and to make any notes to help me further.  Although this service is free, I charge 50p for each photograph required for the portrait, and any extra images requested by the customer (7" x 5" image size).  Customers are welcome to bring their dogs to me to photograph, and a number of clients have already benefited from this service.  I can also travel to you, although I will charge for fuel expenses.

Some customers prefer to have professional photographs taken, or may have images already, in which case you will need to ask the photographer for copyright permission before I can use them to reproduce into a portrait.  A fee may be required by the photographer.

© Copyright Nicky Jones, Pet and Animal Portrait Artist 1996-2013.  All artwork on this site is protected by copyright law

and may not be copied, downloaded or used without permission from the artist.  All rights reserved worldwide.


57 Selwyn Crescent, Radley, Oxon, UK   Tel (01235) 529895



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Dog Gallery I   Dog Gallery II   Cat Gallery   Horse Gallery   Other Animals   Miniatures I   Miniatures II   Before & After Examples