The Complete Guide to Pet Portrait Sizing

Art Sizing Arrows

Choosing what size you want for art and custom pet portraits can seem intimidating, but in my experience there are really only two things to take into account.

  1. Your Display Space
  2. How Much Detail You Want to See
If you’re just struggling with what art would fit best in the space you have, scroll down to the bottom and check out my “tape method” of estimating art size. 

Otherwise, let’s look at the difference between the different sizes of Pet Portraits.

Small Portraits
6x6 - 12x12

6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Dog Portrait by Zann Hemphill

Small Pet Portraits are a great choice when you have limited wall space in your home, or the piece is being commissioned as a surprise gift and space might be an issue. 

Small size also means the reference material doesn’t have to be as good, because not as many details need to be pulled out during the painting process. 

On the flip side, the details in the final piece won’t be as fine—because brushes only go so small! 

If you’re looking at a small portrait, here are a couple more examples of what you can expect.

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Puppy Portrait by Zann Hemphill
colourful pet portrait pink chihuahuad og
12" x 12" Oil on Canvas Chihuahua Portrait by Zann Hemphill

Medium-Sized Portraits
12x16 - 24x24

Mid-sized portraits are the most popular size range. 

…Probably because they offer a sweet spot between having enough room for details, still being affordable, and staying small enough that you don’t need to redesign your living space to display them.

These paintings are good examples of mid-size portraits, and you can really see the difference in brushstrokes!

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas Dog Portrait by Zann Hemphill

They’re life-size for many breeds, if you’re looking for a head-and-shoulders portrait. 

Happy Dog Painting, Happy Corgi Art, Dog Portrait
18" x 24" Oil on Canvas Dog Portrait by Zann Hemphill
24" x 24" Oil on Canvas Dog Portrait Painting by Zann Hemphill

Large Portraits
24x30 - 48x48

Big, impactful Pet Portrait Paintings are the way to go if you need artwork that can hold a room together without getting lost.

They’re great for locations like above the couch or mantel. There, you need something that can comfortably fill the space. A large portrait can provide a welcome focus for the whole room.

36" x 48" Oil on Canvas Portrait of 3 Dogs by Zann Hemphill

For larger breeds, these can also be life-sized, even as a full-body portrait. You can also feature several pets together without cramping anyone.

The biggest difference between medium and large-sized paintings is how they make a space feel once they’re on display. If you have large walls, you might just need large art!


24" x 36" Painting on Display beside Fireplace

In these two examples, the painting above looks as big (or bigger) than the one below. It fits snugly between the brick surround and the far wall.

But in reality it’s exactly half the size of the chocolate lab below. Room size and display space really make a difference!

36" x 48" Painting on Display Above the Mantel

Tips on Finding the Right Size for You and Your Home

Despite all that, making sure the art you want will fit in your home is easy. 

All you need to do is grab some tape, and measure it out.


Too small...

It doesn’t matter if your tape-art is square or off. You can get a really good feel for size by doing this! 

Stand close and stand back. 

See how you feel.

This should fit!

The “Tape Method” of art sizing works for prints, too! 

If you have questions about other aspects of getting a custom portrait made, like reference photos, timelines or colour schemes, I’d love to hear from you. Use my contact form to upload images, or get in touch with me directly at [email protected].

For more art tips and to get fresh art and prints as they become available, sign up for my mailing list using the form below! 

My print artwork is also available at

Sporadic News!

Pet Portrait art of a dog and kitten by Zann Hemphill

Pet Portrait Inquiries

$25 OFF

Your First Portrait

Subscribe and save. Get new paintings, tutorials & videos fresh from the studio every 2 weeks. Enjoy!