pet portrait commission process

Commission Process

How to commission a pet portrait

I often get emails from clients asking what is the process to commission me to paint a portrait of their pet. I’ve put together this page as a guide, however please do email me as well, as I can give lots of guidance and advice personally.

I have been painting commissioned pet portraits for over 20 years and take great pride in my work. It’s wonderful to hear clients reactions when they see their portrait of their beloved pet. Many of my clients are returning clients and it is lovely to hear from them again and to paint another painting for them. Usually it is a new beloved member of their fur babies.

Contact me

You can contact me by using the form on the contact page on my website or the email address, telephone, Facebook or Instagram. I will reply the same day. At first you may be just enquiring about a pet portrait. E.g. How long is my waiting list? What is the price for a portrait of your dog, cat, horse or other animals. If you have some photos now to show me, that’s great, however you don’t need to wait until you have some photos before contacting me. I can answer any questions you may have and give guidance. If you decide to proceed with a pet portrait but still don’t have your photos yet, that’s not a problem. A deposit will confirm the booking and reserve your slot on the waiting list.

Sending me your pets photos

It really is vital that I have clear photos to work from. If you are local to me I can come and take the photos for you (see below a photo of a dog that was local to me and I had the pleasure to meet and take photos of). However many of my portraits are sent overseas and most of the time I can’t get to meet the pets, so I am heavily dependent on the photos for reference. There is a photo guidance page to help you.

I work from one main photo for the portrait of your pet. Other photos are great for me to see the character or colouring. They help me get the feel for the pet’s character.  However if you are unable to get more photos and only have one and it is clear, then it isn’t a problem. 

If you are having more than one animal in the portrait, it is best to take separate photos of each pet. I create a mock-up on the computer putting them together. It’s easier for you to get a nice photo if you are concentrating on one pet at a time! It would be almost impossible to get all of them posing as you would like them at the same time! Using my computer I will put them together in a mock up and send an email to show you how they would look. For example, to see if I have them right in size in relation to each other and to show you the layout etc.

Example of ideal pet portrait photo
Example of ideal pet portrait photo

Paying the deposit

The deposit is paid at the time of booking your pet portrait. You can book before you have taken or sent the photos. There is no need to wait. This will give you peace of mind to know your slot is reserved for you. Then you can concentrate on taking those lovely photos for me to work from. The deposit is 25% of the cost of the portrait for pastels and 50% for Oils. (see terms and conditions). This can be paid by bank transfer or by cheque (if from the UK) or by credit card by paypal. Overseas clients can pay in their local currency using paypal. I would need to see your photos a couple of weeks before I am due to start your painting, just in case they are not clear enough and I need you to take some more!

Frame choice – if you choose the framed option

I can supply your pet portrait unframed or framed.  If choosing the framed option I would need your frame choice asap, as my frames are hand made to order and can take 10 days to be made.  You are welcome to wait until after your painting is finished, but be aware your wait for your portrait will be longer as we wait for the frame to be made. I have lots of frames to choose from. I have a selection on my frames page, plus I can send you images of the types of frames you may prefer, ranging from large chunky ornate ones to narrow modern designs.

Starting your Pet Portrait

Once the time has come for me to start your painting I will email you to let you know I am about to start.  I take work in progress photos of my artwork as I go, so if you would like me to email some work in progress photos as I work let me know. Some clients like to see how their painting is progressing.

Final Payment

Once I have finished your portrait I will email you with a photo of the painting for your approval.  Only once you have approved the portrait will I ask for the final payment.  Payment must be made before I ship the painting.  Bank transfers are instant in most cases, with cheques I wait for the funds to clear before sending.

Packing and sending your pet portrait

Once funds have cleared I arrange to have your painting shipped.  My portraits are very carefully and well packaged so they remain safe through their journey to reach you.  Some have to go across the globe, so it’s vital they are packed safely.  They are sent tracked, insured and signed for. 

If there are any other questions you would like to ask, please do contact me, I am always glad to answer any questions and help with guidance if you are unsure what type of pet portrait you would like.  Or you may want to look through my gallery page to see various paintings.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Clients comments below……………….

Dear Lorraine,

I cannot tell you what wonderful reactions we have had from Nicky’s family on undoing the portrait of Tucker.  Nicky absolutely loves it as do all the family.  They each had to unwrap it themselves and so we saw each of their reactions!!  Immy’s face was a real picture, completely dumbfounded with her mouth wide open shouting OOW and then saying she wanted to kiss his face!!

Thank you again so much

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