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Hello, I’m Sam. A Dog Portrait Painter, who makes bespoke paintings for dog lovers, which celebrates their dogs & creates a lasting memory.

In 2013 we got a family dog.   I’d wanted one since my early 20’s but the time never seemed right for me to take the plunge.  I lived in shared rented houses, opened my own shop then, when babies came along my arms (and my head) were full to the brim.  

When our children were five & eight, I threw my toys out of the pram and Barney, our beloved Cocker Spaniel became the fifth member of our family.  He was admittedly a rather a foisted-on gift for my husbands 50th Birthday, selected by both of us (but mainly me).

From the moment we bought him home, Barney has brought us joy.  A joy that requires not much giving on our part, apart from time, love, walks, food and discipline.  Barney bonded our unit of four in a way that surprised us all.   

Having Barney created down-time for us.  A centering, that forced us to take time out to walk him, play & interact with one another in an unacknowledged way.  He created time for us.

Barney is now six years old and the pleasure he brings us hasn’t waned.  

In 2016 I painted him.  Having been an artist all my life, I always loved drawing animals.  2015 saw me complete an online course in painting dog’s faces. Barney was the first dog portrait I produced (of course) in practise more than anything.

As my clients began to see his painting, on social media, in our hallway and on my website, they began asking me to make paintings of their dogs.

8 commissions down the line, I realised my calling and bought the domain name ipaintdogs.com  

Since I did that online course, I have now completed over 100 commissions ordered worldwide.  I have paintings hanging in homes as far as New York & Sydney. My wonderful testimonials, letters and photographs of people enjoying their paintings can be found here.

I found my thing through Barney.

Why do I do it?  Because I feel creatively super-charged when I’m representing a loved dog on canvas.  

I know that the work that I produce will be with the family (or owner) that it’s going to for years to come.  When the time comes that the dog is no longer, the family will have something special to glance over 100 times a day, to remind them of the love that they enjoyed.

I paint my canvases in celebration of our dogs and the love the connection we have throughout their short lives.  Many of my paintings are made posthumously, I can work from old, tired photographs (you can see some old photographs from the 70’s that I worked from here) or new ones of smartphone quality, your images don’t need to be amazing at all.  

I paint for those that love or loved their dogs as much as I love Barney. 

I’d like to invite you to join the ipaintdogs family.  I have a mailing list that I use to bring you my latest offerings, the chance to win a portrait here and there, invitations to exhibitions and also the chance to learn to paint your dog yourself!  I’m happy to share my techniques, there are no secrets.  

You can join my list below.




Barney, by Samantha Barnes, ipaintdogs.com