My portraits are done in oils from a photograph or multiple photographs. I like them to tell a story as in the "pilot portrait". I believe a portrait is more interesting if it animates the subject, as opposed to looking like it came from a sitting. These portraits almost always come from unique photographs. Pet portraits are the same. It is more enjoyable to paint a pet in its natural setting, as the adoring Dalmatian looking up at its owner or the close up of a pet on the rug. One doesn't need the whole dog to know the story.