Erica Eriksdotter holding two pet portraits of cats and a dog painting
Pet Portraits by Erica Eriksdotter2022-09-13T09:00:27-04:00


Yes! I Want a Free Consultation

Hi, I’m Erica!

I’m a Swedish-born, Washington D.C.-based painter specializing in pet portraits grief counselors say lead to a place of healing.

Since selling my first painting at the age of 10, I’ve had the honor of helping many customers all around the world add more meaning, culture and depth to their homes with portraits of their dogs and cats.

Some say a pet portrait is the perfect gift, and many are moved to tears when they unwrap the paintings, or see their loved ones open their thoughtful gift.

Customers trust me to come back for a second (or fifth!) within a couple of years.

Paintings of pets take 40-80 hours depending on the scope of work and my process is easy for you.

I work off of your photos to create detailed paintings. We collaborate through out the process and you get to see behind-the-scenes photos as your painting comes alive in my studio.

Paintings ship worldwide for free and I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

I invite you to start your journey today and share more about your beloved pet.


“Her work truly captures what I think is the heart and soul of your pet. For me, animals are family. Her work embodies that: The animal really leaps off the canvas.”

Patti Brennan, a long time customer quoted in the Washington Post 2-page feature about Erica and her pet portraits

As Seen In

As Seen In

Custom dog portrait of a german shorthair pointer by artist Erica Eriksdotter
Custom dog portrait of a german shorthair pointer by artist Erica Eriksdotter

My process is unique and deeply rewarding.

Together we go on a journey that often leads my clients to a place of healing.

Having loved and lost myself, I’ll guide you through the painting process and share photos after each one of my painting session. It’s as close to being in the studio with me. My clients particularly feel this helps them move through the grieving process as they watch their beloved come alive on my canvas.

The memories of your experience working with me are weaved into the memories of your companionship with your pet. You’ll view your new portrait with gratitude for the relationship you shared, for the memories we’ve created throughout the creative experience and journey together, and for being able to honor your pet with your new finished original painting and heirloom. Your family, guests and history will know how special your pet was to you.



I paint your pet from your photos to create a detailed portrait.

A 50% deposit reserves your painting and a spot on my waitlist, with the remaining due once it’s finished.

Step-by-Step process takes 40-80 hours over a few weeks depending on the size.

Yes, I ship worldwide, for FREE!


It’s completely risk free as I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We work closely together and you’ll receive photos after each painting sessions.

If you’re not thrilled with your painting, you’ll get a swift and complete refund.

See FAQs for details.


As much as you want to be. I love hearing your stories about your pet as I’ll be spending lots of time with my new furry friend to capture every little detail and personality.

I’ll share the progress via photos and videos for you to enjoy.


The shape of the canvas depends on the pose and the background color should compliment and highlight your pet’s fur.

We’ll make these decisions together. I create painting samples to hone in on the right background that works for you and your pet.

As soon as you’ve filled out the form, you’ll receive an email from my team. My pet portraits are highly sought after and I’m often in the studio painting. Once you’ve replied, I’ll read your answers, view your photos and meditate on your story and relationship. This helps me get to know you and your pet better. Then I’ll respond to you personally with insight into this one-of-a-kind painting process.

“OMG Erica… he looks “alive”! I was so nervous of reliving the loss of BamBam. I’m literally lost for words. I cannot be more grateful for your time and attention to detail that you gave both BamBam and myself. It’s as if he is present to some extent. Your guidance through this process has been priceless. Thank you so much for your masterful articulate depiction of him. I will be forever grateful.

Robin Colvin of Virginia


Custom dog portrait of a yorkshire terrier dog by fine arts painter Erica Eriksdotter

“It’s absolutely perfect in every way. Love is not a strong enough word to describe this gift!! I’m truly so grateful. You’ve captured Leila perfectly! You exceeded my expectations. Thank you!! We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of watching her canvas come to life. Thank you for sharing your talent with us, working with you has been so much fun!”

R.O. of Virginia
Commissioned a pet portrait to honor Leila’s place in the family
Custom dog portrait of a jack russell mix by artist Erica Eriksdotter

“She’s so beautiful!!! It’s perfect! You captured her personality, her sweetness and her joyful spirit. I can’t find enough words to tell you how much I love Haley’s portrait. I will always remember the wonderful experience of being part of your work process. It is a privilege to know you. You have such an awesome talent and even more beautiful heart. I’ll be following you on instagram to see your incredible work and who you bring to life on canvas next. Thank you does not seem adequate to express my appreciation for your work and kindness.”

L.B. of Virginia
Pet memorial
custom dog portrait of a chihuahua by Erica Eriksdotter

“Benny brings tremendous joy during this time THANK YOU! Anyone reading this, the portrait created for me is my most precious possession ❤️❤️❤️ It is Benny. Everyone that knew Benny can’t believe you were able to capture his essence.”

M.C. of Louisiana
Pet memorial

“We are truly touched by your recreation of Corky. We couldn’t be more pleased and are thankful to have a keepsake to remind us of how special a friend that we had in our lives for 15 years and how special of a friend that we will have in our hearts forever. Each time that we look at Corky’s face, we are transported back to that spring day in the backyard, playing with him, and seeing him pause to look up at us for a moment with love. You have an extraordinary talent for humanizing the artistic process in ways that are inclusive and reflective of all interested parties. Thank you for everything!”

D.F. of Pennsylvania
Pet memorial
Custom dog portrait of a german sheperd and chow mix dog by fine arts painter Erica Eriksdotter

“I could not be happier with her portrait. You did a wonderful job “capturing” her spirit. It looks just like her. I LOVE the color we chose. Thank you so much. I loved that when I contacted you, sent the pics, told you my story about Lucy, I felt complete acceptance from you. No judgment, no rolling eyes. You were all in. You seemed honored to paint Lucy’s portrait. Lucy, who meant so much to me.”

Watch how surprised she was!

T.H. of Texas
Surprised his wife for Christmas with a pet memorial of their sweet Lucy


$300 Studio Credit! I pick a winner every month.

Enter my monthly giveaway for a chance to win $300 towards a pet portrait commission.

You’ll also receive my weekly email that fills your inbox with colorful joy, new pet portraits, behind-the-scenes in the studio, inspirational and heartfelt stories and upcoming events.

In Memory

pet portraits lead to ‘place of healing’

The loss of a pet is no different from a human loss for many, and that grief can be nearly unbearable. Grief counselors agree Erica’s pet memorials provide “something akin to therapy.” (Washington Post)

“I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us mourn our loss. I can’t articulate how much I appreciate your kind words as we worked though the process as I shared memories and photos of him. I feel that you know him as well as I do and you captured his essence in the painting.” – N.J. of Virginia

Psychotherapist specializing in grief and loss counseling, Antonietta Corvasce: “It sounds to me like what she’s doing is an effective way of helping people mourn. She’s giving them a safe space to be able to talk about their animal, and by talking about it, that’s a way of mourning, which leads to a place of healing.” (Washington Post’s feature about Erica’s life and art)

Grief counselor Chris Hawks believes what Eriksdotter does is a sort of therapy that helps owners deal with loss. “They want some way to memorialize the animal, and the essence of guiding people through pet loss is to enable them to remember the good things and not be upset by the absence.” (Voice of America’s segment on how Erica’s art helps pet owners grieve)

Fine arts painter Erica Eriksdotter with her original acrylic painting of a labrador retriever mix pet portrait
Yes! I Want a Free Consultation

Follow Along Every Step

I share photos, videos and even paint live throughout via instagram to bring you closer to the creative process as your pet comes to life. I share close ups of the brushstrokes, ‘before and after’ photos of sessions and fun real-life glimpses into the studio. Each pet has its own hashtag and instagram stories are saved. Some love to follow along, share the links with friends or after they give the painting as a gift, and others print them out as a bonus keepsake.

Pick Your Painting Size

12×12″ / 11×14″

18×18″ / 16×20″

24×24″ / 22×28″

Prices start at $2,755

Yes! I Want a Free Consultation

About Your Painter

Erica Eriksdotter fell hard for painting at an early age and sold her first painting as a 10 year old in Sweden where she was born and raised. It was a watercolor piece of a simple landscape with a red balloon floating in the air.

She’s a third-generation fine arts painter and continued to paint throughout her teens, finishing watercolor pieces while on the phone with her girlfriends or while traveling in Europe. To her, painting was an essential way of being.

After years of working with watercolors she applied the technique to acrylics – diluting every brushstroke with water for thin, thin layers, and she had found her style, and a new home outside of Washington D.C. at the age of 20.

She works the same way as the old masters, one brushstroke at a time, without any shortcuts. With their detailed and realistic look, pet portraits take 40-80 hours over a stretch of a few weeks but each finished painting is a culmination of Erica’s 30 years of dedication in the studio and the blend of her two cultures. She brings all this to every brushstroke. More, she brings her whole heart.

Erica believes in giving back to her community and a donates about 5 percent of her profits every month to animal rescue organizations and women and children in need. She pays it forward by teaching students in-person and via online courses how to paint pet portraits.

She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her college sweetheart (another creative) and their son and daughter. Their two cats, Rasmus and Lola, who often joins her in the studio. 


“Thank you Erica for everything. Your extraordinary talent and your extraordinary heart. It’s been so amazing working with you and we look forward to commissioning our 4th painting with you.”

M.S. of Maryland

“You somehow are able to convey the ‘soul’ of the animal. Amazing. Simply amazing. You have a gift.”

P.B. of Indiana

“Erica does great work – she really captures the dogs’ expressions. And we like her personally. She’s great.”

S.K. of Virginia

“Erica is such a unique artist whose warmth and care goes in every individual project.”

M.S. of Maryland

“You’re first-class all the way!”

P.B. of Indiana
Yes! I Want a Free Consultation

More Love Notes

Pashy's Pet Portrait - original painting by Erica Eriksdotter of Studio Eriksdotter

“She loved it! It looks pretty realistic. Thank you, and I loved following along the process.”

G.M. of California
Gave a portrait of his girlfriend’s cat to her as a moving-in-present 
Rosie's Pet Portrait - original painting by Erica Eriksdotter of Studio Eriksdotter

“Thank you Erica for everything. Your extraordinary talent and your extraordinary heart.”

M.S. of Maryland
Repeat customer who gave a portrait to her best friend as a surprise 50th birthday present
Ulysses' Pet Portrait - original painting by Erica Eriksdotter

“My husband absolutely loves the paintings! They look exactly like our cats. We’re beyond excited and thankful for your incredible work!”

E.H. of Virginia
Surprised her husband with portraits of their two cats for Christmas


Can I give a pet portrait to my friend who just lost her pet?2018-05-01T16:27:38-04:00

Yes, absolutely. Giving a pet portrait to a friend who is mourning a lost pet is thoughtful and appreciated.  You can give a commission as a finished painting or as a gift certificate and the recipient can be part of the full process.

Can I give this as a gift?2018-05-18T14:39:20-04:00

Yes, and it’s fun and easy, and superthoughtful! They make for the perfect birthday, anniversary and holiday gift, or just because

You can either give the gift of a finished painting where you’re part of the full process from start to finish (you’ll need high resolution photos, decide on the canvas size and pay down payment to order), OR

You can give a gift certificate and let the recipient be part of the full process. The recipient will be responsible for the high resolution photos, decide on the background color and could also upgrade the size if they wish. You’re responsible for the downpayment and the final payment. The painting can be shipped (free) to either the customer or the recipient.

There is no right or wrong in giving a painting as a gift and it’s very popular among my customers. They often share the overwhelming response the painting receives, both from themselves seeing their loved ones open their surprise gift or the sincere surprise and raw gratitude from the recipient.

When should I commission a painting if I’m giving it as a gift?2018-05-18T14:39:11-04:00

If you want to give the gift of a finished painting, you need to make sure Erica’s calendar and wait list works in your favor. Fill out this form to learn more.

If you’re giving a gift certificate, you can order a commission at any time! The certificate will be emailed to you. Gift certificates are paid in full and based on the size of the canvas you’d like to give. The 100% satisfaction guarantee still applies with gift certificates.

What will I experience when commissioning Erica?2018-05-18T14:56:44-04:00

You’ll experience the unique process and joy of working with a fine arts painter who cares deeply about bringing your painting to life one brushstroke at a time, and who honors the significance of this beautiful and timeless keepsake. You’ll see the painting come alive as Erica shares photos and videos of her working on your painting, and first hand the dedication and love she pours into her work.

You’ll come away with a painting with more meaning, backstory, layers of culture, depth and generational mileage than maybe anything else in your home.

Many are brought to tears when unwrapping their painting or seeing their loved one open their surprise gift.

“I loved being able to see the progress as Erica worked on it and get some insight into the process. But photos don’t do it justice — opening the shipping box and seeing the finished piece in person was incredible.”

Will I work directly with Erica?2018-05-18T14:50:37-04:00

Yes! You’ll work with Erica from start to finish. As a third-generation painter, she’s a proud big-hearted creative and she enjoys communicating directly with her customers.

Can I order a commission outside of the U.S.?2018-05-18T14:48:45-04:00

Absolutely! Erica ships for FREE worldwide. Every painting is carefully wrapped, insured and shipped with U.S. Postal Office with confirmation and tracking number.

There may be a customs fee depending on your country that you’ll be responsible for. It’s your responsibility to understand your country’s customs fees and regulations.

If you want your painting to ship in a different way that exceeds Erica’s average shipping costs, you’ll be responsible for the difference in cost.

“It’s gorgeous! You are an amazing artist. Ordering the painting from Sweden was so easy. I’m in love! I can’t wait to hang it on my wall and look at it all day long!”

How are these paintings different from other portrait paintings?2018-05-18T14:42:21-04:00

Erica’s paintings are handmade and one-of-a-kind original paintings made with acrylics. They are painted the same way the old masters used to paint – one brushstroke at a time – in her home in Reston, Virginia. Modern and realistic, they take up to 50 hours to create.

Many customers comment on her extraordinary heart and how they can feel the love that went into the painting, and how amazing they feel when viewing their pieces.

Erica is a third-generation, self-taught painter, who was born and raised in Sweden before moving to the U.S. at age 20. She sold her first painting at age 10 and to say she’s passionate about her art is an understatement. To paint is to breath for her.

Her paintings have been mentioned in national press such as Martha Stewart Weddings, StyleMePretty, Bridal Guide and IHAVECAT. 

Will this process help me heal from the pain of losing my pet?2018-05-01T16:20:53-04:00

Personally, Erica’s experience of losing her childhood pet, a Yorkie named Lucas, was devastating. It’s a bond like none other and she was left with deep sadness and emptiness – something she still feels today, 20 years later.

Customers who’ve worked with Erica after losing their pets have shared how the process has helped them cope with the sorrow, and how having the portrait brings back fond memories for the whole family.

Here are a few words from customers who’ve commissioned Erica after losing their pets:

“It’s been great for the whole family to have it. My daughter was 10 months old when our cat passed away, and she still remembers her three years later. The portrait helps us to continue to remember her and keep her close to our hearts. It makes us smile every time we see it.”

– J.D. of ​​Georgia, a repeat customer

“I commissioned the portrait of my beautiful 3 year old Elsa right after we found out she had cancer and had less than a year with her. The painting hangs in our family room, right by my desk and it is seen by my family and me every day, several times a day. It brings me so much happiness, so much more than I would ever realize because it makes me smile and happy, rather than sad which happens when I sometimes look at photos. Erica’s heart comes through in her work and I feel it every time I look at Elsa.”

– M.S. of Maryland, a repeat customer

Do I need to wait before my pet dies before commissioning a portrait?2018-05-01T16:33:13-04:00

Commissioning a pet portrait is popular no matter in which life stage a pet is in. More than half of Erica’s pet commissions are of healthy pets.

Some customers have mentioned how meaningful it was to already have a pet portrait of their fur baby as they were transitioning to heaven. Others have found immense healing during the process of being part of the creative process of watching the painting come alive after their fur baby has passed on. 

It really is an individual choice.

What do I need to order a commission?2018-05-18T14:41:36-04:00

You need to have good photos, preferably high resolution digital photos, and decide on the size of the canvas you want. You also need to pay the down-payment to book your painting.

Can I have more than one animal in a portrait?2018-05-01T16:57:31-04:00

Erica strongly believe that each pet should be honored with its own painting. Many customers order 2 or more pets at the same time to be worked on at the same time in the studio to ensure they compliment each other.

What’s Erica’s painting process like?2018-05-18T14:50:32-04:00

Erica fell hard for painting at an early age and sold her first painting at the age of 10. It was a small watercolor piece of a delicate landscape with a red balloon floating in the air.

She later applied what she’d learned from working with watercolors for many years to acrylic, diluting every brushstroke with water for thin thin layers, and she had found her style.

Many trials and errors later, failures and successes, art shows up and down the East Coast, blending her Swedish and U.S. cultures, 70+ commissions worldwide, and many tears and lots of joy – she brings all this to every brushstroke. She brings all her experience and dedication to her art. More, she brings her whole heart.

Each painting starts with a pencil sketch directly on the canvas before each thin layer is applied. Typically, she paints the eyes of a pet first to bring the pet to life to keep her company while the rest is unveiled. For bridal bouquets she starts with one kind of flower first.

“Thank you Erica for everything. Your extraordinary talent and your extraordinary heart. It’s been so amazing working with you and we look forward to [commissioning our 4th painting with you]”

Where does Erica paint?2018-05-18T14:50:24-04:00

Erica works out of her studio in Reston, Virginia which is located outside of Washington, D.C., USA. She loves being able to pop into the studio at any hour of the day. Her two cats, Rasmus and Lola, often keeps her company, and her 2 year old son has been playing with her brushes since the day he was born.

What materials does Erica use?2018-05-18T14:50:17-04:00

All canvases are cotton duck of archival quality, primed with acid-free titanium acrylic gesso, and gallery wrapped 1,5 inch deep wood frame. She paints with heavy and light body acrylic paint and uses Golden and Liquitex brands.

Her brushes are selected by ‘feel,’ not after brand and she has mason jars full of short brushes. She sketches with either her Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 pencil she bought over 20 years ago in Sweden, or a simple No. 2 pen.

When she uses watercolors, she still paints with her first Winsor & Newton paint box from 30 years ago.

How long does a painting take?2018-05-18T14:50:10-04:00

Depending on the quality of the photos and the size of the canvas, paintings range from 20 to 50 hours.

However, each finished painting is a culmination of the 30 years of dedication in the studio, of never giving up, trial and errors, failures and successes, tears and lots of joy, conversations with customers all over the world, the blend of Swedish and U.S. cultures, the passion to create art and the practice of letting the art flow from her heart.

Where else can I learn about Erica’s creative process?2018-05-18T15:02:09-04:00

Erica loves bringing you inside the studio with her inspiring monthly newsletter. Sign up below.

Where can I see more behind-the-scenes of the painting process?2018-05-18T15:06:54-04:00

Don’t leave before joining the studio tribe and receive Erica’s monthly inspiration! Sign up below.

When you commission Erica she’ll share photos and videos along the process with you via email, and every commission has its own hashtag on her instagram account. You can view older blog posts as well.

Do you offer discount?2018-05-18T15:10:14-04:00

Erica’s commissions are never discounted, however, join the studio tribe below for surprises and specials on her modern art

Do you offer a guarantee?2018-05-18T14:48:54-04:00

Yes! Erica offers a 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee. Here’s how it works:

  • Be an active collaborator during the process regarding shape of canvas, pose of the animal, fur color, flower colors and position, background color and provide feedback on the photos Erica shares with you of the painting during the process.
  • If you are not happy with the final painting, Erica will work together to see if she can revise the portrait. If you’re still not happy after the changes, there will be a swift and complete refund.
  • The deadline to receive 100% money-back is the day of your final payment. This deadline exists because Erica wants you to have a full chance to be involved in the process and see the finished painting before you change your mind. She devotes hours and hours of time and effort into your painting and she wants to make sure you’re happy, but that you’re also committed to your commission.
  • After the refund, the original painting and any photos of it (finished or unfinished) belongs to Studio Eriksdotter, LLC.

NOTE: An original acrylic painting is not meant to be an exact replica of the animal. While I do my best during the up to 40 hours of painting to create a close likeness to the animal and capture its personality, a painting is not a photograph and does include some creative licenses by the artist.

What types of payment do you accept?2018-05-18T14:42:29-04:00

Erica uses Paypal to invoice you via email the down-payment and the final payment. You can pay via Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card or a debit card that displays the Visa or MasterCard logo.

Please contact Erica to discuss paying with a check.

Who is right for Erica’s commissions?2018-05-18T15:22:02-04:00

Erica’s art is for those who wants to be part of a unique and meaningful experience that will be treasured for a lifetime. With nearly 100 commissions, many of her customers return for more art pieces for themselves or to give as a gift.

It’s for extremely thoughtful husbands and wives, sisters, daughters, in-laws, future brides, best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, children and parents who wants to give a unique and meaningful to a special someone. These make for the perfect birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts. Many speak of the overwhelming emotions of receiving or giving a painting.

Who is not right for Erica’s commissions?2018-05-18T15:30:25-04:00

Erica always has a wait list so her commissions are not for those who need a finished painting right away. Erica takes a lot of care into her paintings and each takes 20-50 hours over a stretch of a couple of weeks to paint. That said, she does have gift certificate available for those who love Erica’s work and need a great gift.

Erica’s work is also not right for those who prefer mass-produced products and don’t value the handmade process or the unique experience of creating something with a fine arts painter. 

Ordering a commission from Erica is also not right if you don’t enjoy her style. 

Do I need to know anything about art to work with Erica?2018-05-18T15:32:27-04:00

All you need to know is your desire to create something special and have some faith. Commissioning art takes guts, especially since you can’t point at a finished painting and say “that’s the one I want.” As long as you’ve looked at the finished pieces of works I already have of pet portraits and bridal bouquet, you see what you like and you have great photos of your pet or wedding bouquet – you’re all set. Remember, fill out this form to get a free consultation, and there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee. What do you have to lose? 

Is Erica’s commissions just for women?2018-05-18T15:33:26-04:00

No, not at all. Both men and women pretty equally commission Erica to be part of their special memories, either as a gift or to keep for themselves. 

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