About Pet Portrait Commissions

I absolutely adore animals and thats why I love working on pet portrait commissions. Having 3 cats of my own I am constantly observing their fur , eyes - you name it! I always work in detail, studying every hair and each glint in the eyes. I have been taking on commissions now for the past 30 years and I could'nt think of anything better to spend my time. I feel the most important part of the animal are the eyes. As they say 'the eyes are the windows to the soul' - this is very true!



Reference Material
All I need to work on the portrait is one good clear photograph of the animal, especially with the eyes and fur in focus. These can be sent to me via email (as an attachment)or via Whatsapp. If you send me a photograph or cd or even a pendrive then these will be returned to you with the finished painting. If you live in Spain, within a reasonable distance, I can arrange to meet you and your pet and take the photo for you.

If you are going to take a new photograph of your pet, the ideal photograph would be one that is of high quality and in focus, which has been taken in good light, preferably natural sunlight. The eyes need to be clearly visible as these would be the main focus of the painting. Unless the portrait is of a sleeping animal. And the fur has to be in detail especially to show the colour. If you can try to take as many photos as you can as I know it can be difficult to photograph animals when they are a bit lively. We can work together and choose a few good ones and take it from there. Another good tip is if you can get down the the pet's level. A good tip is to get the camera lens level with the eyes. I got down to floor level when I took this photo (right) of my eldest cat Splodgy.



Medium

For pet portrait commissions I like to work in soft pastel on paper as it creates a softer look than watercolour. But in the end it will be your choice as it will be your portrait. I can also work in graphite pencil on paper. Here are a few examples of each medium:

To the left is Alice - pastel and coloured pencil on Canson tinted pastel paper.

Centre is is Henry - 20 x 30 cm. Graphite pencil on white paper.

Far right is Reggie - 30 x 40 cm. Enhanced watercolour (watercolour as a base with watercolour pencil crayon) on Canson watercolour paper.


Group photos

If you wish to have more than one animal in the portrait but don't have a photo of them together, having two seperate photo is acceptable. A few years ago a client came to me wanting a portrait of her 2 labradors. Taking the photos of them together was impossible so we just took a few good ones and I compositioned them to make it work.


Timescale
Usually allow 2 - 4 weeks for completion of the portrait, depending on my current workload. If the portrait is for a birthday present then please allow at least 8 weeks before ordering. Christmas is also a busy period and so again please could you order by October. Once I have received your photographs I will start working on it and doing a few rough drafts of the composition etc. I will be in contact with you on each stage of the painting via email or Whatsapp, so that you can inform meif there are any changes to be made. If you are satisfied with the half finished portrait then I will carry on and email you with the final result.

Process
Once I have received the images from you and we have then discussed the size of the painting, if you want a scenic background, then I will sketch out the composition for the portrait. I always start by painting the eyes and then work around them. The eyes will always be the focus of the painting. Once I have made a start I will be in contact with you constantly and will send you an email of the painting so far. If you are happy to proceed then I will carry on.

To enable me to create a likeness to the animal, I like to work in soft pastel and coloured pencil as the result is soft, but can also work in watercolour or graphite pencil.

Framing
All paintings will be supplied with a surround mount but no frame due to risk of damage during transit. But with the sizes that I've suggested in the price guide, frames can be easily bought from Ikea or if in Spain , Leroy Merlin. Or if you prefer you can take the painting a frame shop and get one custom made.


Payment
Before the work commences on your portrait I will require a small deposit of 10% of the total cost of the painting. Only when you are happy with the finished portrait, then I will ask for the full payment. If you live in Spain then I can accept cash as a payment. If you are outside of spain then the payment through Paypal or bank transfer will suffice. I can give you the details once we are up and running.


Price and Size Guideline

Usually the 20 x 30 cm size is only suitable for one head and shoulders. For two subjects I recommend the 30 x 40 cm size or larger

Size of ImageSize of Frame requiredWatercolourPastelGraphiteComposition
20 x 30 cm30 x 40 cm150€100€50€Head and shoulders
30 x 40 cm40 x 50 cm200€150€100€2 Heads
40 x 50 cm50 x 60 cm250€200€150€Full body or 2 heads

Prices are for one subject only. An extra subject would be 50€ more.

If you have any other sizes in mind then please get in touch and we can discuss further.

Postage is not included in the price but can be discussed once the portrait has been finished and postage has been calculated. All portraits will be sent registered post from Spain so that it can be tracked and signed for.


If you now feel you are ready to make an order for your pet portrait then please contact me using the contact form. I look forward to hearing from you!