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Just imagine the final moment when you receive your unique one of a kind commissioned piece of art. Your hand painted pet portrait or a wildlife painting, or perhaps a painting as a reminder of a distant wonderful memory, perhaps somewhere with a loved one.

I’m the owner of two dogs, a giant breed and small dog and I am constantly taking photos of them. 

When you commission a painting of your pet either past or present, it is something to be treasured for a life time.  It is a reminder of the joy and bond you always have with them.  A painting is far more unique and special as it captures their spirit which is something a camera cannot do.

I’m based in Staffordshire, U.K. and have had various other pets whilst growing up and I understand how much our animals mean to us. They are a huge big part of our lives. After all, our pets are part of our family, and deserve not only a special place in our hearts, but also on our walls.

black dog painting
black rabbit painting
horse painting

What I can create for you…

Although I specialise in painting animals, I also paint seascapes, landscapes and city scenes and can discuss your requirements.

Each pet portrait (or in fact any painting) takes me many hours of love to create. I use the very best high quality artist paints, with high pigment, and some with rare minerals from all over the world. Sometimes I use inks. I also use only superior quality exquisite archival watercolour paper. It is made with 100% cotton here in the U.K. and won’t fade

My style is unique in that I do my very best to capture the spirit and character of your pet, rather than an exact photographic likeness.

Working from a clear photograph, every piece is lovingly and carefully hand created. The richness of each piece is built up layer upon layer, creating a unique quality to the overall image.


What My Customers Have Said…

watercolour pet portrait

"She really captured Lola's personality" ...



” I met Joan at a makers market and loved her work so much I asked her to paint a portrait of my dog as a surprise gift for my girlfriend. She did a fantastic job, really capturing Lola’s personality, myself and my girlfriend absolutely love it. It’s now hung pride of place in our living room.”



Oliver Barlow
Lola’s owner


“Joan conferred with me every step…”



I love her style of painting animals, so expressive and vibrant!

She was commissioned to paint a portrait of my very special
tortoiseshell cat, when I met her at a craft fair and though
I deliberated for almost 2 years, I now have the beautiful
finished work of art.


I am very grateful to her and have also bought other items
she has created. I will probably buy a lot more of her art over time.


dog portrait

Commissioning A Painting –

Here’s how it works


  • Get in touch via my contact page
  • We will chat about your requirements and choose the perfect reference photo.
  • I will forward you the total cost and time scales.
  • If you are happy to go ahead I will require a non refundable booking fee
    of 50% of the full costs prior to starting the painting.
  • Once received, I will then start the painting and keep you updated.
    I can forward progress pictures if requested.
  • There can be a waiting time so it is advisable to book early to schedule in.
  • Once the painting is completed, I will contact you for approval
    and arrange for you to collect.
  • The balance of payment is required prior to despatch.
horse painting

 I decided to contact Joan to get two paintings for my daughter’s 20th birthday in December: her beloved horse and our tiny rabbit. And I had no regret!

Despite the kms between Joan and me (10.000kms!), we exchanged photos, questions, answers and the results were just fantastic!

As a professional she asked the perfect questions to capture the best of our loved ones.

And she was so generous to organise a surprise meeting with my daughter so that she could receive the two paintings as I could not make it. We are fully happy and are im love with the two spendid and trueful paintings by Joan.

Many thanks again and again!
Martine and Adèle, 

Paper Size Guide


Please note this does not include a mount which will add extra height and width to the over all size

A4 – (8.3″ x 11.7″)

A3 – (11.7″ x 16.5″)

A2 – (16.5″ x 23.3″)

A1 – (Slightly smaller 22″ x 30″)


watercolour pet portrait

Frequently Asked Questions



How long does it take to paint a pet portrait?
This is a question I get asked a lot of times. Unfortunately there is no easy answer, because there are many factors in creating a unique piece of art. Not all photographs make for great paintings, and when I receive your photos, I spend some time studying them to see what would be suitable for the best composition. If you require more than one animal to be painted, you may have different photos that need to be blended together. This all takes time.

I then arrange a scan of the final images, and may have to alter the contrast to see the various tones. Then draw a rough pencil sketch, checking all the time it meets with your approval.  It’s only at this stage, once you are happy with the shape and composition that I start to apply paint.

After that I then start painting initally with larger brushes, and build up each layer, leaving it time to dry. Sometimes I have to leave it and step away to come back with fresh eyes as a lot of concentration is needed. I then move forward to smaller brushes, then very fine brushes for the final tiny details such as reflections in the eyes.

As a general rule it can take anything between 4-8 weeks to complete a painting, especially if in between I am preparing new work for fairs, or have a waiting list already. However, it is always best to get in touch if you require a painting for a special gift, and need it for a specific date.


I have two pets on two different photos – is it possible to place them on one painting?

Yes, I am able to create a mock-up which I would show you, of working with separate photos to create an image showing all pets as if they are sitting together. You can see this before we begin the painting, so you are kept fully aware and happy along the journey.

Can you do a bespoke size painting?
Yes if you are looking for a particular size painting rather than the sizes here, we can discuss if it is possible, depending on the pose of your animal.

Can I use my painting for commercial purposes?
The copyright of the painting belongs to Joan Kennedy Artist and cannot be used for commercial purposes.  I will never use your painting to sell as prints or various products, however I will display the final painting on my website and social media links and liturature. I am happy and grateful when you share my work on social media.

Can you paint other things such as a building or sea scape?
Yes! Depending on what is involved,  I can paint a variety of subjects. Just get in touch through my contact page and we can have a chat

Can you supply gift vouchers?
Yes, if you are unsure which image would be best as a commission for a gift, or you are short on time, then a gift voucher is an ideal gift. You can find out more here

Is there anything I need to be aware of before I go ahead?

I try to be as transparant as possible, so please read my terms and conditions below particularly, section 19 here and if you have any further questions at all, please get in touch. 


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vibrant cat watercolour commission
horse painting in watercolour

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