One in 1,000

JT Harding1000DogPortraitsCover

Cover of 1000 Dog Portraits

JT Harding 1000DogPortraitsInside

(Right page): Painting of Vern the Great, Oil, 16 x 16″

I recently received some great news that my pet portrait of Vern the Great was published in a new book called 1000 Dog Portraits. The book is a compilation of quirky, fun, fanatical illustrations, paintings, collages, and drawings from designers and artists around the globe.

Will your pet portrait be the next one to be published? Take a look at my new commission page to learn more about my process and commission your very own painting today!

Equine Portrait of Majestic Mystic

JT Harding

Mystic, a 23 year old thoroughbred and retired polo pony, was the subject of this recently completed commissioned painting.

I met the client and her horse at the family property which had a stunning new stable with green barn doors.  Mystic was just getting bathed and prepped for her photo shoot.  The stable made a great backdrop so I took numerous photos of the horse and stable.  I chose the best of the bunch and sent the client the selection.  We both loved the one of Mystic in front of the stable door.  The verticals, horizontals, and diagonals strengthened the composition.  Plus, seeing through the window, into the inside of the stable, added interest, depth, and mystery.

To increase the impact of the piece, by making her head nearly life sized, I chose a 2′ x 2′ square canvas.  The project took a little over  one month to complete and the finishing touch included adding her name to the bridle plate.

Result: The client loved it.  When I delivered the painting, I think she said “Wow…Beautiful.”  Which is music to my ears!

Farm Painting Hits Home with Collector

“JT, I really appreciate your work. The painting arrived in perfect condition yesterday. For me it is much more than a rendering – it is memories and feelings. I’m so happy that Ralph contacted me about you and that I requested you do this. The walls in my den are a light yellow and the painting and frame work well together.

Hoping you have a safe and healthy New Year. Many THANKS!”

– Client


I love my job, especially when I can do commissioned works like the one above. The painting was recently completed for a gentleman who lived and worked on Hill Crest Farm as a young boy. The farm is directly across the street from Adams Farm in Walpole, MA which I also have painted twice.

The painting has several personal touches that add meaning to the piece and were incorporated based on the information the client shared with me during our initial consultation. For instance, I chose a morning scene so I could show a light on in one of the rooms.  This is because he fondly remembers getting up early to attend to the herd of Hereford cattle. The two cattle in the field were also added to the painting in order to stage a historical scene. As the finishing touch, I added Hill Crest lettering above the barn doors.

He is no longer living at the farm, and there are no Hereford cattle in the field, but now he can look at the painting in his office and fondly remember living on North St., “back in the day.”

Is there a painting you have in mind, or a special spot you’d like remember?


Anatomy of a Commission

I wanted to provide some insight into my process for painting pet portraits (which is pretty much my process for all my paintings).  The willing subject is my cat BoBo.

1) From a photo I took of BoBo basking in the sun, I establish an open grisaille underpainting, which helps me form the foundation of light and shadow masses.

2) Now, I block in color to establish initial color relationships, value range, and the light key.

3) Here, I refine color relationships and add color variations inside the light and shade areas.

4) At this stage, I add subject-specific details and model the form to create a more 3-dimensional feel.

5)  Finally, I refine the focal point, adding eye and whisker details and then sign the completed painting.

Easy.  Right?  Well, the process of commissioning me is equally as easy.  First, I provide a complimentary consultation where we’ll meet to discuss your ideas and budgets.  Second, I’ll present a proposal detailing costs and schedules.  Prices are based on several variables including canvas size, and background details.  Most commissions require a 50% down payment with the balance due upon delivery, but I can also tailor terms to meet your needs.  Once the proposal is agreed upon, I get started by taking pictures of your pet, and we agree on the best of the best.  Then the painting process (above) begins.  Most of the time, I’ll email you work-in-progress photos, unless, of course, you want to be pleasantly surprised.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.  And if you are interested in a pet portrait of your very own pet, please contact me today!