Fantastic! Below I will walk you through the steps that will help me to begin your custom pet portrait.
For starters, please go to my "Contact Me" and and shoot me an email. We'll get chatting and then I will ask you to provide me in a separate email or through a file sharing service (Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc) the highest resolution digital photos of your pet that you can take. Current smart phones or high quality digital cameras are the preferred method of choice, because they deliver the most detail for me to work from and allow me to get the most honest interpretation of your animal. If you only have photography of your pet in non-digital format, contact me and I will try to help you regardless, though I cannot promise that I will be able to work from old photographs that are not in focus, composed, or have good exposures.
*For Shmancy Style, old photographs and/or lesser quality digital shots are acceptable as the painting is a much looser and exaggerated interpretation of your pet.
Please do the following to help us get the perfect shot together:
- USE NATURAL LIGHT. A photo by a window or outside is best. Flash photography often flattens the image and creates eye-light reflections that aren't suitable for portraits. Unless you have indoor professional lighting abilities, please take advantage of the sun. Different times of day will elicit different types of exposures. Have fun and play around!
- TAKE THE PHOTOS ON THEIR EYE LEVEL. I know we love how they look gazing up at us, but a photo taken closer to their eye level makes for a much more interesting moment and allows for the personality of your pet to come through in a fun and unique way for the portrait. Try and get your pet to look directly into the lens. This may take some time and requires patience, but remember this is something you will have on your wall for hopefully a lifetime. You'll be glad you put in the effort.
- FILL THE FRAME WITH YOUR PET. Get close up! Really close up if you can. We have these wonderful bonds with these animals that allow us to get close to them and that's what I aim to capture with my work. Photos taken too far away don't allow me to get the great details in order to capture your animal the way I like to.
- IN FOCUS. Thanks, this really matters.
Okay, great! We know what photo we want as the portrait. Now what?
I will send you via email a contract between YOU, THE CLIENT, and I, THE ARTIST. I kindly ask that you sign the agreement and email it back to me as soon as possible. Why do I do this? Well, it lets me know you are serious about something that requires many hours of dedication and work, and it also lets YOU know that I am serious about providing a communicative and professional experience. And yeah, there's some legal jazz in there, but don't worry, nothing unusual. Also, it ensures you that will receive what you've commissioned me to do for you.
Aside from the contract, I ask for a 50% NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT on the painting. Once the painting is nearing completion, I ask for the remaining balance to be paid in full prior to shipping. I accept cash, check, money orders, bank-to-bank money tranfer, or Paypal. I will provide you my mailing address or bank routing number upon request.
How long does a painting take?
"Fancy style" acrylic portraits take approximately 2-4 weeks from the moment I begin sketching your pet. Oils can take 4-6 weeks. Paintings larger than 16"x20" can take longer. Please understand that I honor the order that clients book with me and can only work on a few at a time, so I many not be able to begin your painting immediately. I will try to get your painting to you as soon as possible. If this is for an upcoming birthday or holiday as a gift, please take into consideration these time frames and book soon as possible to leave ample time for the work to be completed and shipped.
"Shmancy Style" paintings take approximately 2 weeks to complete and ship.
Can you do more than one animal in a portrait?
Yes. However, there are a few factors that will determine the price. If I can fit both pet's faces on a 16"x20" canvas, please add 50%. If a larger canvas is required (for medium to large dogs it usually is), I will discuss the price with you when a few more details are ironed out to ensure a proper size canvas.
Do you accept returns?
I cannot accept returns. I will gladly keep you updated with photos of the work in progress if you wish and discuss any changes you may feel are necessary during the process.