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How to Make DIY Dog Silhouette Canvas Art

By The Bark Editors, June 2019, Updated June 2021

Since pets can be our biggest source of joy and laughter, we thought we’d share a cute and fun way to capture everything that makes them so special. Even when it’s not our pet, watching their fun-loving personalities can always bring a smile to our faces. There’s a reason why pet videos and photos on the internet are so popular! 

Whether it’s for yourself or as a gift, some colorful canvas art is a great way to show-off your dog’s quirks. It can serve as a piece of decor while allowing you display your beloved pet as part of your family.

Before starting this project, think about that makes your pet happy. If his favorite activity is to go to the park, take him out and snap a profile photo while he plays. If your pup loves to lounge under the sun, take out your camera and shoot a cute side angle!

For some added color and details, be sure to embellish your canvas with shapes of his favorite treats and toys. Personalize with this name, his birthday or even a funny quote about pets.


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To get started on this project by Shutterfly, all you need are seven materials and to follow seven easy steps! For detailed instructions, keep reading!


Photo print
Acrylic paint
Liquid gold leaf
Paint brushes (three different sizes)


Step 1: Select your favorite photo of your dog and print it to the size of your canvas. Make sure the photo is taken at a side angle or profile to get a better silhouette.

Step 2: Once printed, cut out the silhouette. Make sure to get rid of any blank spaces.

Step 3: Once you have your cutout silhouette, place the shape in the center of your canvas and trace the shape with a pencil. Secure the stencil with a piece of tape or thumbnails.

Step 4: With a small brush, trace the outer shape of the silhouette using gold leaf paint. Focus on tracing the overall shape as you’ll be able to add in details later. Fill in the center with the same paint. We recommend applying two coats of paint.

Step 5: With a large- to medium-sized brush, paint the outside of the silhouette with a color of your choice. For a fun texture, you can use a sponge or paper to apply the paint. Again, be sure to apply two coats of paint.

Step 6: With a small, detailing brush, go back to your gold leaf paint and add any details around your dog’s silhouette, especially their fur.

Step 7: Customize your canvas with fun shapes, his birthday/adoption date or a funny quote. Allow it to dry for at least six hours and enjoy!