Digital Pet Portraits: Here’s How You Can Make One For Your Pet Now!

This entry was posted on February 29, 2024 by Karan Bahuguna.

Sometimes, the most important person in your life happens to not be a person at all. For many of us, pets play a multi-faceted role in our lives. From being great friends that protect us, to little furballs that require our help with everything but love us unconditionally all the same, pets take up a special place in our hearts that nobody else can hope to fill.

So, why not make a piece of art that will help us commemorate our furry friends long after their passing?

How do you turn a pet picture into art?

That’s where digital pet portraits come in! Using various software tools, you can turn a simple picture of a dog into a full-fledged Digital Dog Portrait.

Pet portraits are becoming increasingly popular as people have taken a liking to oil paintings of their furry friends. They do so by simply putting pictures of their pets through a straightforward yet incredible process and creating quick art masterpieces.

What is a Digital Pet Portrait?

A digital pet portrait is quickly becoming one of the best ways to immortalize our furry friends in places other than our memories and random, cute photos. It’s a digitally produced painting that can capture the various nuances of your dog or cat’s personality.

The process of making portraits or royal pet portraits is also flexible enough for you to ask amazing artists to make them look ultra-realistic yet funny or like it came straight out of a cartoon!

Source: Pinterest

How do you make a digital pet portrait?

While the portraits are incredibly complex and produced at an extremely high resolution, the process of making them is straightforward. For starters, you need to click a photo of your pet. Ensure it’s clear of any blur due to shaking and that your pet stays still. Dog owners would know the pain of keeping their pets still for a digital dog portrait!

It is also important to note that you can capture your pet’s personality during this step alone. If your pet is making that cute face you love or doing a weird dance when they are happy, this is probably the best time to capture it.

Once you have taken the photo, you can select your artist of choice, and you can send them the picture. All you have to do is sit tight because they will send you a high-resolution image of your furry friend, with which you can then proceed to make your pet-inspired merchandise. Mugs, T-shirts, blankets, handkerchiefs, etc.- the possibilities are endless!

Source: Redbubble

It is important to note that different artists will use additional software to make the portraits, so the duration to make the picture will also vary accordingly.

What If I Want To Make A Digital Pet Portrait Myself? What Is The Best App For Making A Homemade Digital Pet Portrait?

Well, we can’t blame you. The prospect of making a personalized digital dog portrait or a pet portrait or a cat portrait unique to us and our furry friends by ourselves sounds fantastic too!

Here are some of the best apps that you can use to make an original portrait that stands out to you and your pet while being completely homemade:

  1. Procreate:

  2. If you are an iPad user, then Procreate is for you! Procreate is a powerful software available only to iPad users. It allows budding artists to make beautiful portraits of their four-legged companions. Procreate works best with an Apple Pencil, which allows for a highly responsive and efficient experience with the software.

    Procreate comes at a one-time premium subscription of $12.99 and is available to download on all iPads, 5th Generation (or iPad Air 2) and onwards.


  3. Photoshop:

  4. Photoshop is one of the most widely sought-after editing tools used by artists to design amazing images with life-like accuracy. The term ‘Photoshop’ has become a staple for people around the world upon seeing an edited image.

    Unlike Procreate, Photoshop is available on all platforms and offers an extensive suite of services for artists, available to subscribe at a monthly premium of $31.49. Alternatively, an annual prepaid subscription would cost around $239.88.

    Source: PCMag UK

  5. Befunky:

  6. By far the cheapest option, Befunky offers free services and a paid subscription that gives users access to a more extensive collection of services.

    Befunky is available to download on both the Play Store and App Store. The paid subscription to Befunky Plus would come at a monthly price of $11.99 or an annual cost of $71.88 (billed monthly at around $5.99).


Celebrate Your Furry Friend: Commission a Custom Pet Portrait

Capture the personality and charm of your beloved pet with a personalized pet portrait. Our talented artists specialize in portraying pets with lifelike accuracy, creating a timeless tribute to the unconditional love and joy they bring into our lives.

Get Started

How To Make Your Own Custom Digital Pet Portrait In Procreate:

As an iPad user, you can easily select any image of your pet through your native Gallery app or use Airdrop to send an image from your other devices to get started on Procreate. Using our step-by-step guide, you can make an oil painting-type digital pet portrait of your pet.


Step 1: Get your reference image onto Procreate.

The reference image will be the basis for your digital pet portrait. Once you’ve found a satisfactory image, you need to get the photo onto your iPad Photos app. Now, open Procreate and click on the Actions Menu Button (looks like a wrench in the top left corner of the Procreate App).

After clicking the Actions Menu Button, click on Insert a File or Insert a Photo, depending on the format that you’ve saved the image in. Now, you should see the picture in Procreate’s Canvas.

Step 2: Remove the Background of the picture.

Click on the Selection Tool (looks like an ‘S’ in the top left corner of the Procreate App) and click on the ‘Automatic' option from the options bar that pops up. After that, click on the image of your pet for it to automatically select the outline of your pet. This method can produce some errors while setting the outline, so if you have an Apple Pencil, you can click on the Freehand option and draw the selection by yourself.

After taking the outline, click the Copy & Paste option underneath the Freehand option. Now, click on the Layers option in the top right corner of the Procreate app (second app from the top right) and delete the layer that says ‘Layer 1’. You can reorient the picture using the Transform Tool (it looks like an arrow next to the Selection Tool).

Step 3: Here Comes The Fun Part! Let’s Get To Smudging.

You can select the brush of your choice by clicking twice on the Smudge Tool (looks like a finger, to the right of the Brush Library, in the top right corner).We recommend using the ‘Painting Brushes’ option for now. To change the size of your selected brush, click on the top option in the new one that has popped up on the left side of your screen. Doing this lets you modify your meeting according to a specific pixel count.

That means the brush will get bigger or smaller if you zoom the canvas out or in. Now, get to smudging out the details of the image. Remember, the finer the brush, the finer the details; however, it will be more time-consuming.

Return to the image’s more detailed parts, such as the eyes and nose, towards the end. To add more details to the portrait, remember that upstrokes will help show downwards-facing lighting, and downstrokes will help establish the shadows and darker areas.

Also, try to eliminate the specific lines made using the selection tool by smudging the boundaries and making the portrait look more realistic. For the eyeballs, making the brush extremely fine would help bring out the intricacies of the eyes.

Step 4: Adding The Final, Finer Details:

Click on the Brush Library in the top right corner of the Procreate app. After that, click on the Color Button (it looks like a circle on the absolute top right corner of the Procreate app) and choose your color of choice. For places like the eyes, using white to show off the native lighting reflected by the eyes is a must.

Step 5: Get Creative With It!

Rome was not built in a day, but using this step-by-step guide, a digital oil painting of your pet will probably be done within a few hours. Be sure to be creative with it to personalize your digital pet portrait.

To add a background, click on the Layer Button and add a new layer underneath your painted layer by dragging the new layer down. After that, click on the Brush Tool, select a suitable color, and get to coloring the image’s background.

Finally, to save your image, click on the Actions Menu Button and then click on Share. After that, click on JPEG or PNG to save it directly onto your iPad.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Making A Personalized Digital Pet Portrait In Photoshop:

Before using Photoshop, ensure your device meets the application’s System Requirements for a stutter-free experience. Our recommended device to use on Photoshop would be a Desktop or Laptop.

Source: Franklin OIT

Step 1: Get Your Reference Image Onto Photoshop.

Click on the File Button (top left corner of the Photoshop app) in Photoshop and then click the Place Embedded option. Then, click on the image of your pet that you want to turn into a portrait.

Step 2: Remove Unwanted Elements From The Background Of The Portrait.

Select the image using the Polygon Lasso Tool (shortcut key ‘L’) to do this. Then, click on the Edit Button, and click on the Fill option. A new window should pop up, in which you need to set the Contents to Content-Aware. You can use this to remove any unwanted elements in the Background.

After that, click an outline around the undesirable characteristics to get a complete boundary around them one at a time. After this new pixels should replace the old ones, effectively removing the unwanted components.

Step 3: Let’s Get To Smudging!

Like in Procreate, we need to add a new layer to the project. First, reduce the Opacity (found in the Layers menu) of the original layer to 15% and then click on the Smudge Tool (left side of the Photoshop App; if it’s not there, you can find it by holding down the Blur Tool).

After that, click on the Settings button in the popped-up Blur Tool Menu and select the M Brush type. A prompt should appear, and click on the Append option in it. Now, in the Brush Preset panel, select the Soft Oil Pastel and choose the Brush size. Then, use the Smudge Tool with the Sample All Layers option engaged and let the smudging begin!

Step 4: Add The Intricate Details.

While smudging, be sure to adjust the Smudge Tool’s strength to focus and put in more details in areas like the eyes and nose.

Step 5: Be Creative With It!

Use various other tools, such as the Pen Tool, and different colors to bring life to your digital pet portrait.

How To Make Your Own Digital Pet Portrait On Befunky:

Step 1: Getting The Reference Image Into The Befunky App.


Click on the Open option and select an original photo of your pet from your device.

Step 2: Remove The Background From The Image.


Click on the Cutout tool (2nd option in the Edit Main Menu) and click on the Remove Background button. After that, a pop-up window will show you the result. Click on the Export as Layer checkbox and continue.

Step 3: Prepping For The Artistic Filters.


Go to the same Edit Menu as before, select Background, select the ‘Transparent’ checkbox, and click Apply. Doing this will allow us to make digital art changes to our image.


After that, click on the image and then click on the Edit Image button on the left.

Step 4: Let’s Make The Digital Pet Portrait!


Go to the Artsy option in the Main Menu on the left, then to Digital Art. After that, you can try various Digital Art effects like Underpainting DLX or Oil Painting DLX.


Select the Number of effects you want on your painting after selecting your Digital Art Effect of choice.


If you want to add a colorful background, go to the Edit option in the Main Menu and go to Background again, but this time, select the Fill Color option and choose the color you like.

Step 5: Save Your Custom Pet Portrait!


Click the Save button, select your desired file location and type it in. For Befunky, saving in PDF format tends to retain the highest quality for printing and displaying.

We Hope You Get To Make Dozens Of Pet Portraits Of Your Furry Friends!

With the help of the three apps listed above, or an independent artist whose artistic style suits you, we hope you get to do justice to both your creative side and your pet’s good-looking side. Go down the delightful rabbit hole of creating dazzling and original digital pet portraits of your pet!

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