Charcoal Pet Portraits

Beautifully Detailed Charcoal Pet Portraits by

UK artist Emma Gorton. 

Hello and welcome to my website. My name is Emma and I am a pet portrait artist living in Herefordshire with my partner Ed, our daughter Layla and our two rabbits Bridie and Bryn. You can normally find me in my studio drawing various animals, fuelled by copious amounts of tea! I specialise in drawing highly detailed and realistic custom pet portrait commissions from photos in charcoal pencil. With 20 years of experience, I have drawn for both UK and international clients.

Pet Portraits UK. Pet portraits by Emma Gorton

Order a Pet Portrait


Ordering a pet portrait from a photo is easy. Find out how to go about it here

More about Emma


I have always loved drawing and being creative. Find out more about me...

About Emma’s Charcoal Pet Portraits

I have always had a pet around the house, from guinea pigs and dogs, to house rabbits. Teamed with my love of drawing therefore, it has always been natural for me to use my pets as subjects. I started out by drawing lifelike pet portraits for various friends and family members as gifts. I spend most of my time doing dog and cat portraits but I have also drawn horses, rabbits, a hedgehog and even people!

Drawing is definitely a labour of love for me and my style focuses heavily on detail; subsequently my drawings can often take up to 30 hours to complete. Sometimes the hardest part for me is knowing when to stop working on a piece as I become so attached to each of my subjects! As a result I always strive to really capture the essence of an animal’s character.

Keeping a Beloved Pet’s Memory Alive

 “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”

Anatole France

For a lot of owners a pet is so much more than just a pet; they are another member of the family. Many of my clients come to me after losing their beloved furry friend; they are looking for something special to remember them by. A custom pet portrait is the perfect way to commemorate a beloved animal. In addition to this, they can really help with the grieving process.

My favourite part of being a pet portrait artist is getting to see someone’s reaction when they receive their portrait. It is often a very emotional experience because people are so attached to their animals. Very often my pet portrait commissions are for animals that have sadly passed away.

Pet Portrait Testimonials


“Pete was a gift to a dear friend who had lost him the year before. Emma captured his details so well that when my friend opened the gift she was very emotional – the likeness to Pete was incredible, the drawing captured his unique personality and it is a gift that will be treasured for a long time, thank you so much!”



“Hi Emma, just wanted to share this pic of Loki and her sister, Nyx, together. I can’t tell you how wonderful your drawing is to have. My husband said today ‘of all the pictures we have of Loki, this is the most real and life like’. It’s really made a difference to us and our grief and it’s like she’s here in some way.”


Why I use charcoal pencil


A lot of people ask me if I work in colour as well as charcoal. Although I love working with colour and have completed colour portraits in the past, I have always been drawn to black and white images.

Firstly, black and white is timeless. Secondly, it accentuates shadows, highlights and textures. I also love trying to bring out the huge range of grey tones in my work. 

Finally, I find that taking the colour out of an image strips it of any distractions allowing the subject to speak for itself and for its unique character to really shine through. It’s for this same reason that I also do not include backgrounds in my portraits.

I explain more about why I love black and white on my “Why Charcoal?” page.

Thinking of Commissioning a Pet Portrait?

My pet art prices start from £325.00 and the ordering process is simple; I just need a high resolution photograph of your pet. I complete drawings on a first-come first served basis but I will always do my best to meet a deadline.

If you’d like to order a pet portrait from a photo or find out more about the ordering process, please click on the button below.

Thank you for visiting my site!