A Guide to Portrait Sizes


Extra Small – 8″ x 6″ / 15 x 10 cm

As a general guide a 8″ x 6″ size is suitable for a single pet’s head and shoulder portrait:

Ruby’s 8″ x 6″ portrait suited her perfectly


To fit Sasha’s entire body into this size would have been impossible, but 8″ x 6″ works really well for just her head.


Small – 10″ x 8″ / 25 x 20 cm

A 10″ x 8″ gives a portrait with much more detail or a horse or larger pet’s head and shoulders. It is also large enough to show up to two small pets:

The 10″ x 8″ allows for much more detail than 8″ x 6″ portraits, especially for larger pets such as Hungarian Vizslas.
These two friends fit perfectly into a 10″ x 8″.

Medium – 12″ x 10″ / 30 x 25 cm

A 12″ x 10″ gives lots of detail for one pet, can fit a full body portrait and allows enough space for two or maybe three pets.

A lot of detail can be captured with a 12″ x 10″ size.
A full bodied portrait in general looks best in at least a 12″ x 10″ size.
There is lots of room to add a background with a 12″ x 10″.


Large – 16″ x 12″ / 40 x 30 cm

This size allows for a lot of detail, even on full bodied and multiple pet portraits.

The 16″ x 12″ size allowed enough space to add detail to each of these three gorgeous Vizslas.
Horses take up a lot more space than smaller pets, and at least a 10″ x 8″ size is required to do them justice. This 16″ x 12″ gave ample space for a detailed portrait.
Untitled design (1)
This is generally the minimum size required for a detailed background.

My standard sizes also include A2 (23″ x 17″) and A1 (33″ x 23″) which increase the detail and the amount of pets that can be depicted. Custom dimensions are available by request.




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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