Portraits with multiple subjects

Commissioning a portrait of more than one subject does not require a reference photograph of all subjects together.  You may be lucky enough to have a perfect photo to use as a reference, but especially with pets and children, this is often completely impossible! Separate photographs can easily be used to place the subjects together in the portrait, with the client choosing to either direct me or requesting to create the layout myself.

These four were captured brilliantly all together in their reference photograph, their harnesses were removed in the portrait to create the impossible illusion of four stationary Jack Russells!


Rocco and Seren
Rocco and Seren’s portrait was created from two separate photographs placed together.


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With this portrait the client was lucky enough to have captured both subjects perfectly with the one photograph.


Two photographs were used as reference for these three vizslas.  The client liked the positioning of the first photograph, and I was able to add their brother with this great photo of him.  As one was taken indoors and one outdoors, I had to adjust the colouring to compensate.
Pets are addictive!!  Although there is no extra charge for extra subjects, the size of the portrait must be large enough to allow enough space to make each subject recognisable – this portrait was 16″ x 12″/40 x 30cm, just large enough for these seven tiny faces!


Published by gillianussherart

I am a pet and wildlife artist, originally from Ireland but now based in Frome, England with my husband and children, two rescue dogs Rua the Hungarian Vizsla and Ogie the blind terrier, and Jet the cat. I take commissions for pet portraits and draw original animal art, most of which is sold as fine art prints and art cards. I also teach others how to draw through online classes and short courses available through my website. I have been working as a full time artist for many years, and have fulfilled hundreds of pet portrait commissions. My client base is international, and I ship worldwide for free. My work has been featured in publications such as Dogs Today Magazine, Dogs Monthly, The Guardian, Talented Ladies Club and Country Living Magazine. I support animal charities whenever I can, by regularly donating art to various rescue group fundraisers, donating 20% of income from prints to various breed specific rescues and providing wildlife rescues and rehabilitations centres with original art to fundraise and create merchandise. If you are interested in purchasing or commissioning art, or if you just want to connect, you can contact gillian@perpetualportraits.co.uk

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