Commissioned Portrait: House With Dog

painting of house
The portrait of the house with a dog in the doorway, watercolor, 8″ x 10″, 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

That wasn’t quite the way it happened—it was actually a commissioned painting of a house that wouldn’t have been complete without their standard poodle sitting in the door waiting for them. It’s only 8″ x 10″ so the dog is really just a light shape against the background and two dots for eyes, but that’s all it takes to show what “home” means.

This was commissioned as a gift, a painting of a new home just moved into. I’d formerly done another painting of a home for the same person to give as a gift, below, this one when those who lived there were moving as a remembrance of the home they’d loved. No dog in the door of this home though I know the persons had another dog at this earlier time, I guess we just didn’t think of it.

watercolor of house
Painting of white brick house, watercolor, 8″ x 10″, 2002 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I had actually met the person who commissioned me to do these through my animal portraits and though we’d talked about our pets we’d not decided to do a portrait of them. But when she wanted to give this special gift of the painting above, she called to ask if I painted houses. I paint just about anything and enjoy the details of architecture, especially in watercolor. So while she and the recipient and I all loved animals, in this first portrait there’s not a hair anywhere, but the animals brought us together.

But that was why, when we came to do the second house painting, we decided to at least add the dog in the doorway, so that it really looked like home. Our animals are always part of our lives, and though they may not always be the subject of our thoughts, they are always there for us. This is the only house painting I’ve done that includes an animal in this way and I actually always encourage it though it rarely works out because the paintings are often 8″ x 10″ or 10″ x 12″ and even a larger dog is tiny.

I have sketched and painted many artist’s renderings of homes as well as a few planned trails and structures for parks and conservation areas, usually in watercolor, and it’s fun to turn that more technical skill into art.

. . . . . . .

Another couple had me paint their house and their dogs in two portraits to hang together: Star and Pepe, and Their House.


Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair
Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski
Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs
Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski
Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table
After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.

Download a Brochure

cover of brochure
My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.


Purchase a Gift Certificate

sample portrait certificate
Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.

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“Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one and includes non-feline artwork such as my landscape paintings and photography. I host online seasonal art “exhibits”, greetin cards and handmade merchandise. If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski



From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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