Custom Day of the Dead Portraits of People and Couples Now Available

I was originally contacted about painting a Dia de los Muertos portrait of a woman by somebody who had seen my Dia de los Muertos pet portraits. I was thrilled and really enjoyed painting it. Visitors to my studio who saw if on the easel loved it as well, and that was my sign. I am now offering these beautiful portraits in my shop. Order Day of the Dead couples portraits as a really special wedding gift for your engaged friends, or contact me for special arrangements to use them as your wedding invitation!

Click here to order your own Day of the Dead Custom Portrait. Many sizes are available, all on quality stretched canvasses, with deep sides which have the beautiful added detail work shown in the photos below.


Pet Portrait Sale Going on Now!

All of my custom portraits are on sale while I try to beat this Arizona heat by staying inside in the AC, painting amazing portraits for my customers!

Whether you’d like a traditional pet portrait, a colorful pet portrait, a Day of the Dead style pet portrait, a memorial pet portrait, or even a portrait of a person, it is all on sale!

Simply click here to go to the custom portraits section of my Etsy store, select your custom portrait style and size, and then in checkout enter the coupon code SUMMERHEAT for 10% off of your entire order!

This sale will continue through the end of July, so tell your friends… I hope you’re finding your own way to stay cool this summer!



What style of pet portrait is right for you?

I offer a variety of styles of pet portrait paintings. Check out your options below to decide which style best suits you and your pet. Remember, every pet portrait commission is completely custom, so you can make requests as well!

Ordering a custom pet portrait is easy and fun. Click below each style to go to the ordering page. Then I'll walk you through the rest (hint: you send me photos of your pet and some information about his or her personality, and I take it from there!)

Colorful Custom Pet Portrait

This colorful pet portrait is painted on canvas, with as much or as little bold use of color as you'd like. These portraits tend to have a lot of energy and really brighten up a room.

Click here to order your colorful pet portrait.

Traditional Pet Portrait

My traditional pet portraits are painted with more of a "realism" style and are an elegant accent to any room. You can always request a few extra pops of color to be added to these portraits if you choose.

Click here to order your traditional pet portrait.

Day of the Dead Pet Portrait

I create these paintings with a fusion of my painting style with the amazingly beautiful Mexican Day of the Dead style for a truly unique piece of art featuring your beloved animal. It is a dreamy and surreal take on portraiture.

Click here to order your Day of the Dead pet portrait.

Day of the Dead Pet Portrait on Rice Paper

These sugar skull portraits are painted in more of a "tattoo" style, on beautiful, hand-made rice paper with a gorgeous emulsion of sea shell powder that gives it a lustrous surface. They include your pet's name in a banner as shown.

Click here to order your Day of the Dead pet portrait.

Day of the Dead Style Pet Memorial

Similar to the previous portrait, these are painted in a Day of the Dead style with your pet's name in a banner. The difference is that these are painted on canvas, so there are more size options, and the entire background is hand-painted with flower accents. This is a popular pet memorial painting.

Click here to order your Day of the Dead pet portrait.

Pet Portrait Painted from Photo – See the Transformation

Pet portraits painted from photos are much more than just a replica of the photo…

A customer recently told me that she wanted a portrait painted of her dog because the painting would be able to capture the essence of her dog, while a photo only captures a moment. I thought that was a really beautiful way to put it. When we got started on her custom portrait, she sent me photos, videos and lots of loving details about her dog, Pepper. I felt like when I got started on  even just the preliminary sketch work, I knew her dog and he was coming to life in front of me.
When I paint pet portraits from photos, I don't just ask you for the photo, paint what I see in the picture, and deliver it to you like a painted replica. There is so much more to it! Every portrait involves communication about your pet. What were his or her favorite things to do? What funny little habits did he or she have? What about your pet just absolutely captured your heart?   A pet portrait painted from a photo takes on a life of its own, inspired by your pet's heart and personality. I like to say that when I'm done, the portrait breathes with the life of your pet. Every brush stroke is painted with your pet's heart and soul in mind.

Below are a few samples of photos and the painted portrait that I created from them.

If you'd like a portrait painted of your own pet, click here to place your order.

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Pet Portraits – Custom Painted Pet Portraits in Pocket Size

These small, custom pet portraits are absolutely adorable and are perfect as gifts or as “pocket portraits” to fit easily in your cubicle at work, on your bedside table, or even into your suitcase when you travel! Slide one into somebody special’s stocking during the holidays or tuck one into a little gift bag for a BIG surprise! These little beauties have the same high quality work put into them as my very popular larger portraits on canvas… they’re just smaller!

Order your “pocket portrait” here!

These portraits are painted on DaVinci Pro Panels – strong wood panels crafted from fine-grained Birch wood for long-term warp resistance and a fantastic archival painting surface. They are gesso-primed, painted with professional acrylic paints, then finished with a beautiful gloss varnish for protection, beauty and longevity.

You have your choice of a 4″ x 6″ or 5″ x 5″ panel.



Pet Portraits Painted from Photos – Tips for the Perfect Reference Photo

Capturing a great photo of your pet is the first step in getting an amazing painted pet portrait!

When you hire me to paint a custom portrait of your pet, quality reference material is the key to an amazing finished painting!

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. When I'm painting a memorial portrait, I know the customer can't follow my guide to capture an ideal photo, and that's OK. In those cases, I simply ask for as many photos as you can provide, from a variety of angles, and I create a great portrait anyway. I've even painted a portrait of two best buddy dogs together when one passed and their owner realized he'd never captured that "perfect" photo of the two dogs together.

Barring that unavoidable scenario, there's no reason you (yes, YOU!) can't capture a fabulous photo of your pet by following a few easy guidelines. This may even change the way you photograph your pets from now on!

Read on for my fail-safe guide to photographing your pet, and when you're done, be sure to visit my Pet Portraits page for information on ordering a painting created from your beautiful photo!

1. Get down to "pet level"

Photos taken from "human" height tend to look down on your pet, and that results in awkward photos. Get down on the ground yourself for some great angles right at eye-level with your pet. You'll be surprised how much better your photographs turn out with this simple adjustment in angle!

Tip: prop a treat up on top of your camera to encourage your pet to look towards the camera with a bright, eager expression!

2. Take your photos at the highest quality level your camera or phone offers

I can paint with great detail if the detail exists within the reference photo itself. Fuzzy, low-quality, grainy or pixelated photos don't give me a lot of fine detail to work with. Zoom in on the photos as you take them to make sure they're focused, crisp and full of all of that great detail I love to reference in the paintings themselves!

3. Light is your friend when taking photos of your pet!

Both overly dark photos, taken in deep shadows or dark homes, or overly bright photos with glaring sun, can destroy the subtle shadows and highlights that give the best result in your final photo. However, soft, natural light is wonderful! One great way to achieve this indoors is to take the photo by a glass door or large window, which will allow the light to softly wash over your pet for a beautiful effect.

Tip: Pro photographers call the time shortly after sunrise and right before sunset 'The Magic Hour" because the light has a gorgeous, soft, gold-to-red glow. If you can take a photo of your pet outside at this time, nature will provide you with absolutely stunning light!

4. Avoid these common errors

See below some examples of what not to do when photographing your pet:

Memorial Pet Portraits in Three Styles – Custom Portraits Honor the Memory of Lost Pets

I painted three memorial pet portraits this week, and as I finished the third, it struck me how beautiful it is that each customer had a very specific and personal idea about how they wanted the portrait created.

One wanted angel wings on their sweet boy, one wanted a more traditional portrait, and one wanted a very stylized portrait showing his beloved girl in the tall grass in which she loved to play, with a bird in the sky reminding him how she loved to chase after them.

It's such an honor to be asked to create these pet memorials.

It is never easy to lose a pet. They are members of our family, our "fur babies" as I call my own dogs. I think a beautiful custom portrait that will last for generations is a lovely way to honor their memory.

In addition to the three styles I mention in this article, I have more portrait options on my Pet Portraits page.

Ello – New social media platform!


This post is for all of you creatives out there! I’ve recently discovered a new social media platform that’s entirely for creators, and I really like it so far. Here’s how they describe the platform:

The Creators Network

Ello is the only network designed for creators, by creators. A robust and growing community of artists, designers, musicians, illustrators, photographers, architects, GIF makers – creators, who understand that our process, practice, values and passions can push the world forward in a better direction.

Unlike the status quo advertising platforms that masquerade as social networks, Ello is not in business to harvest as much of your personal data and sell you as many ads as possible. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Ello has a legal mandate to never sell ads or personal data to third parties.

We believe your content and following are yours. We won’t throttle your stream or nickel and dime you to reach your following.”

So, if you’re a fellow creative, I think it’s worth checking out. While you’re there, you can follow me at

Now selling on Vango Original Art

I'm happy to announce that you can now shop for my original artwork on Vango!

Vango is a website dedicated specifically to original artwork. It's a great way for buyers to shop for quality pieces outside of a brick and mortar gallery while supporting indepent artists such as myself. Shopping on Vango allows the artists to continue beautifying the planet with their creations, while allowing you, the art lover, to decorate your living space with hand-made goodness.

Please swing by my page on Vango to see my latest creations!