Pet Portraits: Arf Art for Your Heart

Neither the writer nor Good Dog! Magazine received compensation for this review.

By Christine Boswell

Have you ever wanted to paint a pet portrait picture of your pooch? I do all the time, but even though I’m an artist, I cannot paint dogs. It’s my kryptonite, so I decided to give Alisa Whitley Photography and “Art for Your Heart” a try. She does paintings of pets, and from what I saw on her website, I was very impressed.

charlotte easter

The Pet Portrait Process

She starts with a picture of your beloved pet– not just any picture will do so be prepared to have a little back and forth finding the perfect shot to use. I personally was thankful that she knew which shots were better to use as our painting came out better because of it. She then creates the paintings stroke by stroke with a Wacom tablet and pen. It’s very similar to putting paint to canvas but digitally. One important thing to note is that she does not apply a filter to the photo, but she does use it as reference so the painting might be slightly different than the image you provide. For us that meant that the mud that Charlotte was covered in disappeared, but the rest stayed the same.

charlotte original photo

She puts together a basic outline of the drawing and removes any distracting background elements. She then starts working on the eyes. “They are the most important part of the painting. Eyes are the window to the soul.” Next is the face, head, and body with additional detailing to the fur as needed. Then, she adds in the background and surroundings of your pet, and, if needed, missing parts of the pooch are added to make the painting more symmetrical. Lastly, she does a final once over, adds any needed details, and then prints it onto a canvas for you to enjoy.

painting arrival

Our Thoughts

We went with the picture below. In it, Charlotte was covered in mud and hunkered down on a dirty towel. We figured if anything could be made into something glorious based on the above information, this would be the picture. Oh boy howdy how we were right! Not only is this the most beautiful image of Charlotte we’ve ever had, but it is a painting on canvas that is pawsitivly purrfect. Charlotte does not look dirty; she’s soft and clean. Her towel is fluffy and looks like an expensive blanket instead of the cheap towel we use to dry our pooches when they are naughty and run in the mud. The canvas quality is superb, and the size is just perfect for where we ended up hanging it.

the final product

Our favorite feature though is her eyes… Oh my gosh her eyes are soul shatteringly beautiful in general, but on the canvas they are brought to life like we’ve never seen them (probably because she blinks a lot and we never get the full on power of her two toned-eyes). Oh, and let us not forget that her nose is perfectly portrayed. It was one of the main features to giving our precious pooch her name since she looked like the little piggy from Charlotte’s Web, and Art for Your Heart nailed it! We adore our painting and know that you will too.

Eight paws, four thumbs, and lots of smiles way up for this review of Art for Your Heart!

The Fees

A studio session fee is $250.00
An 11 by 14 inch canvas, the most popular size, runs $350.00.
Next, is the 16 by 20 inch canvas which runs $375.00

Then, if you live in Tennessee there is sales tax, and lastly, shipping is usually $20.00 to $25.00 depending on where you live in the U.S.A. Additional subjects in the same painting are $50 each. These prices are subject to change.

How to Get Your Paws on One

If you, like us, want to get your hands on a custom Art for Your Heart™ by Alisa Whitley, CPP, TCD to put on display in your home, visit

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Pet Portraits: Arf Art for Your Heart
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