About Rosemarie Donaldson

Rosemarie Donaldson lives on a farm in Hampshire and her studio overlooks paddocks where palomino pony Pablo grazes. Sooty, her Poodle x terrier, sits behind her chair as she paints her pet portraits.

It is wonderful being an pet portrait artist and being close to animals, I love it here, to love animals and to paint their portraits is for me, job satisfaction. I also paint the wildlife around me, foxes, squirrels, birds and rabbits. I work from good photographs of each animal, the cameras today are fabulous for getting the detail, and some people email their photos to me.

I started pet portraits in 1979 and my busiest time is the run up to Christmas, I think a portrait of your pet as a present must be the best gift of all, it is something you can keep forever and in a way immortalizes your beloved dog, cat or horse. I have even painted the portraits of tortoises and guinea pigs and hedgehogs for people, a prize Jacob ram and some Highland cattle and some unusual breeds of cats and dogs. I have never painted a snake, but I would if asked.

The eyes are the most important part of a portrait, mirrors of the soul, and it is important to capture the eyes clearly when taking the photo of them, best to take them outdoors and not blinded by the flash. I use several photos, to get a good idea of the animals colour and movement, and always ask the owners questions about the animals personality, it all helps to capture the whole of the animal you are painting, some people say I have caught their spirit or their soul in the painting.

I have always helped animal charities, and donated paintings and designed cards for them too. All my dogs have been rescues, all wonderful, and all have had their portraits painted. I don’t have children but every time I paint a new portrait I feel that I am leaving something for the world that carries my name – so in a way I suppose they are my babies!