Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Custom pet portraits by Gillian Ussher

For the dog lovers who enjoy keepsakes of their companion, check out artist Gillian Ussher! I got my hands (or should I say paws) on an original portrait of my dog, Henry.

Gillian Ussher is an Irish artist based in Derbyshire, UK. She's covered many subjects but specializes in animal portraits due to her love of pets and wildlife. She also is the proud of owner of a Vizsla, named Rua, who came to her from Learn more about Rua here.

A commissioned portrait is the perfect way to capture the personality of your pet, and it's a great keepsake. I've got my portrait up on the wall (more about this soon). Many clients who have commissioned a portrait for the first time have had questions, so feel free to ask away!

Original pastel portrait of Henry the Vizsla, 10"x10"

You can either commission a portrait from Gillian (shoot her an email at, purchase prints of originals in her store, or buy other things like pillows and tote bags featuring her work.

Working with Gillian by email was a breeze. She even sent me updates of her portrait of Henry (my Vizsla), which was pretty cool and a nice surprise. It got me excited about the final product.

...And I was beyond pleased with the finished portrait - Gillian's talent is truly amazing. I've told all of my Vizsla-owning friends about her, and she deserves the recognition. I highly recommend her for a commissioned portrait. Don't hesitate to ask her about putting your pet on paper!

10"x10" pastel portrait of Henry the Vizsla, 12"x12" maple frame

The portrait came in the mail safely and was well-protected and secured. I bought a mat and frame so I could hang it up on the wall, and now it's hanging in our living room as you'll see above. Looks awesome, right?

I might have to ask for one of my cat, Jasper. Poor guy has to see Henry up on the wall everyday but not his own portrait. It's only fair he gets one...

Talented Ladies Club asked Gillian, when and why did you decide to focus on pet portraits?

As nobody had heard of me before and I didn’t have money to invest into an exhibition, I knew my only chance to earn money was by taking commissions.

I already knew how popular pet portraits were -everyone I know who has a dog seems to have a portrait. Also I had always drawn and painted animals, especially horses and dogs, so it was something I had a lot of practice in and was quite fast at.

I did get a shock when I realised what a saturated market it was, but I hoped that that meant there was a huge demand for it, and with lots of practice and realistic pricing I might earn enough to replace my administration job income.

Turnaround time for a custom portrait is generally 2-4 weeks, which varies depending on size and Gillian's waiting list. For busy times like Christmas you'll want to book a portrait at least 8-10 weeks in advance to ensure availability.

A one of a kind painting is waiting for you!

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary product in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

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About Me

I'm Seth, owner of the Giveaway Guy blog. I live in the suburbs outside of Boston with my wife and have a career in SEO. I enjoy writing reviews and entering giveaways in my spare time.
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