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Pet Portraits and Wildlife Art:
Quality and Value For Money at
Stray Cats Art – The Art of Steve Thompson

Hello and welcome to my website.

My name is Steve and I live in Winchester in the United Kingdom. I am an accomplished pet portrait and wildlife artist with over twenty years experience in drawing and painting beautiful pictures. I specialise in creating highly detailed, atmospheric works of art using mainly acrylic paints and graphite pencil.

The beauty with acrylics is that as well as being very versatile to use, they are fast-drying, they never yellow and can be diluted down to be used as a watercolour. This means if your painting is in direct sunlight it will not fade over time or yellow as oil paints tend to do. Also the vibrancy of the colours makes the painting fresh even in the subsequent years to come. It is an investment to purchase something that will last over time adding to its value and I use only the very best acrylic paints on the market.

I work on ‘hotpress’ watercolour board, which is what I’ve always used since I was an art student. I was introduced to this by my course supervisor and some of the freelance lecturers who helped develop my skills. This is a very rigid, smooth and absorbent surface which I have used for illustrations and commissions alike, using techniques such as airbrushing. Unlike watercolour paper it does not need to be stretched and will not buckle if it gets very wet, although heavier papers are thick enough to withstand moisture. It is ideal for the intricate, detailed work I put into my paintings.

For my pencil work I use a very hard ‘7H’ to a very soft ‘7B’ lead. This adds depth to a drawing giving a monotone image range from being very light to very dark creating a 3-D effect. The surface I use is a very thick, smooth cartridge paper. When I use the very soft pencils I lightly spray an aerosol fixative over the drawing to prevent smudging and it seals the picture once completed.

My artwork is built up in layers of tone and colour, gradually revealing the complexities of my subject matter in all its grandeur. This can be seen below with past commissions using the original photographs loaned to me by my clients and the finished paintings.

golden retriever
dog portrait

I’ve made ‘Dave the Dog’, as he is known, a little brighter and more vibrant than the original photo, as this was the brief I was given to make him more colourful and to have his personality shine through focusing the attention on his eyes. I removed the background as it just clogged up the composition. This is not a direct copy of the photograph, but an enhancement, resulting in a successful painting with a very happy client.


This same result is evident with ‘Storm’, where there was not much colour with him being almost white, so I focused on tone making his eyes the focal point, leaving the background more abstract. Again, I had a very happy client who paid me extra, feeling that I had undercharged him.


Here with ‘Mischief’ I’ve taken a different approach. I was supplied with an abundance of photographic references, but the one I chose for the painting captured that look, especially with the eyes. The other photographs showed his true colouring with the eyes more green, which I’ve captured in the painting, whereas in the photo I worked from the lighting is quite yellow giving a false colour. The background I thought about removing, but I decided to keep it which enhances the painting. I’ve tried to get the colours as true as I can and the comments I’ve received from the client and their friends is that it’s definitely him!

View my prices and commission a pet portrait by emailing me your favourite photo so that I can bring it to life in my unique style. Alternatively, if you see anything else that inspires you feel free to contact me, as it is not just pets that I draw and paint as you can see in the subject links below. These same prices are not restricted to just the pet portraits, but standard for everything else that I do. You will find it hard to find anything else on the web that has the quality and value for money that I have to offer.

Click onto the links below to view more of my work:

Wildlife Art

wildlife art
As a proficient wildlife artist I have sold many original paintings throughout the country to private buyers, exhibitions and auctions. I produce stunning and sometimes stylised backgrounds focusing the eye on the subject matter, which when necessary, bring it to life in a wonderful partnership of movement and colour.
See More…

Pet Portraits

pet portraits
I also work as a pet portrait artist providing quality, affordable art to the community, creating a lasting impression to those who love their four legged friends. I take great care to create the best image of whatever subject I am drawing or painting, striving to capture the personality and mood, together with realism and delicate detail resulting in a successful portrait.
See More…

Celebrity Portraits

celebrity portraits
Everyone has their favourite movie or pop star and I can draw or paint that person. It could be from a favourite photo or a live event freezing that moment. I can make them easily recognisable with their distinctive personalities shining through making that portrait a work of art in its own right.
See More…

Sports Stars

sports stars
Most people have a favourite team that they follow or a particular sport and our leisure time is devoted to that. I can draw or paint that occasion or person, freezing that moment making it special to us. Winning a game or a race or even just taking part that makes it a time to remember.
See More…

Science Fiction

science fiction
When given the chance I love to paint a science fiction scene, a fantasy landscape or an astronomical based theme. Artists such as Roger Dean, famed for his posters and album covers, and Ralph McQuarrie, renowned for his storyboard art for the Star Wars films, have always been an inspiration for me. See More…


Visitors from miles around come to see the United Kingdom’s famed architecture such as Buckingham Palace in London along with many others. In Winchester, my home city, there is Winchester Cathedral and many other architectural wonders. I enjoy capturing the intricate detail of these fascinating structures. See More…

Still Life & Other Work

still life
All artists have drawn or painted still life at some time or another and I’m no exception. It is a well-disciplined practice when looking at the subject matter constantly and concentration is key. Again, I love capturing the fine detail as well as getting the proportions correct. I’ve also included a pub sign which I was commissioned and quite a challenge! See More…

Early Work

early work
I thought it to be interesting to show my first ever drawings when I was sixteen and still at school. Sport was my passion and following Southampton Football Club and going to every home game was a must. I got to meet the players, including the visiting team. I did some drawings and they were more than happy to sign them See More…

Browse through the Paintings

Please feel free to browse my website and look through the paintings. Many of which are for sale and I also work on commission so please use my contact page to get in touch or alternatively send me an email to: steve@straycatsart.com or phone me on my landline: 01962 854751 or my mobile: 07887893311.

The biggest compliment I’ve received is from the world renowned wildlife artist David Shepherd. My artwork was shortlisted from hundreds of other artists to be exhibited and auctioned for his charity ‘Art for Survival Wildlife Auction’ at Christie’s, South Kensington, London in May 2007:

“Your ‘Meerkats’ made a super addition to our show, and we are delighted it sold. It certainly helped make the whole exhibition absolutely superb.”