welcome to my pet and horse portrait commission website. My name is Ute and I am a painter and illustrator, living and working in the Reno, Nevada (USA) area. I have been trained in illustration and traditional painting in Germany and the US and have 15+ years of professional experience. One of my favorite things to do is depicting the character of a pet or horse or the relationship between person and animal in a portrait. If you are looking for high quality artwork of your horses, pets, yourself or others you came to the right place. These vibrant oil paintings will make long lasting memories or wonderful gifts for your loved ones. Let me know what you envision in terms of size, subject and technique (I also offer drawings and watercolors) and I'd be happy to give you a quote.

For inspiration see the oil painting samples below (click on the image for a larger view of the painting) and read about the work process and more information.

I am looking forward to answer any questions or inquiries. Please email me at or call +1 (323) 632 2291.

Blue Moon
Blue Moon

When you commission a portrait in oil please allow at least 2 - 4 + weeks (depending on size) turnaround time.

I generally work from photo reference, for example if you have a specific photo you would like translated into a painting. I can also work from multiple images, if you don't have that one perfect shot, to get the best lighting and close up details possible. If you are in the Reno area I can meet your pet or horse and take my own reference photos. This way I can see the actual coloring in neutral light and take shots from the desired angle. If you are further away travel arrangements can be made and travel costs would be add to the price of the commission.

Next, you choose the background you would like. It can be a plain color or loosely suggested background to focus on your pet. Of course we can keep the background from your photo reference (often slightly altered to perfect the view) or you can choose a particular setting - for example a favorite place in your home, out on the prairie, a renaissance landscape, or a background taken from a famous painting.

Finally you decide on the size. For horses the rule of thumb is to go with the biggest size your budget will allow especially if it is a full body portrait to maximize the impact of the painting.

Now I can start painting. If the portrait is not an exact copy of your photo I will email you a sketch of the layout for your approval. When it is finished, the oil paint has to dry 1-2 weeks before I can varnish the painting. I use a breathable varnish which means the paint can keep drying while it is protected from dust and UV rays by the varnish. It will also boost colors and enhance the values in the painting.

Portrait prices depend on the size of the painting, the medium used (oil is the default), portrait type (head, 3/4 or full body view) and type of background (amount of detail). As a reference point, portraits start at size 8" x 10", head view with plain background (i.e. Mato above) for US $ 640.-.

I also offer "Great-Gift-Size-Mini-Portraits", size 5" x 7" for $ 280.- from photo provided. Please email or call to get an estimate for exactly the painting or drawing you have in mind. The paintings are sold without a frame.
I ask for 25% as a retainer and prefer payment via PayPal or check.

I believe in the 100% satisfaction guarantee. I have yet to have an unhappy client, but if for some reason you are not thrilled with the result of your portrait, I will return your retainer.

I offer personalized portrait gift certificates. Depending on the project it can include a mockup of the portrait if it is for a specific painting based on a photo. Otherwise it would be generic so the receiver can decide what she/he would like.
You can view more of my work from different fields of illustration and fine art on my illustration website at

If you are interested in a children's book style watercolor portrait of your child and her/his pet, please browse the illustration samples under the "Illustration" tab.