PET PORTRAITS

French Mastiff Pet Portrait
Corgi Custom Portrait
Gray Cat Pet Portrait
Red Golden Retriever Art
Detailed Tiger Cat Pet Portrait
Chocolate Lab Pet Portrait
Animal Lover

I love drawing and I love animals, so drawing animals is the ultimate joy for me! I'm a crazy cat lady to my 5 babies: Toulouse, Sweet Pea, Ranger, Gizzie, & Nero, so I know first hand how important it is to have portraits that truly capture your pet's unique personality and cute, physical quirks!

 

I've been professionally creating pet portraits for the last 5 years

and I strive to make every portrait better than the last, because I should always be learning and improving.

I have an exceptional eye for detail and absolutely love the challenge of making my oil painting or colored pencil drawing look even better than the reference photo.

 

I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to create a beautiful, everlasting portrait of your baby, so take a look at the commissioning process and let's chat!

The Process

Select Size & Medium

Do you want an 18x24 oil painting or a 8.5x11 colored pencil drawing? Or perhaps a 16x20 oil painting of 2 pets together! Select whether you would like your portrait in colored pencil or oil paint, then choose the size (which can be found under the "Pricing" tab). Keep in mind, the larger the piece the longer it takes, but that also means more detail because everything is enlarged. 

Send Quality Photos

I can't stress enough how important good quality photos are! Your portrait is only as good as the photos you provide. Up close, eye level shots of your pet in bright, natural outdoor light are best! That allows me to really zoom in and see every detail of their fur and little quirks, it also allows for richer contrast with shadows and highlights. I work from one main photo, but please send multiple shots of your pet so that I can really get a feel for them. If you are wanting a portrait with multiple pets, I can work from separate photos and combine the pets into one scene, but it is imperative that you send a group shot so that I can see size relation. Please send your selected photos as JPG or PDF files to my email and then I can start composing! Keep scrolling to see examples of what a "good quality photo" looks like so you know exactly what to send!

Create a Mockup

Once I've received your photos and have determined that the quality is good enough for use, I'll then begin sketching the mockup. Sometimes in order to create the perfect composition, I'll need to combine 2 different photos, which is actually quite common. For example, sometimes a pet has the perfect face in one photo but is laying down and the owner wants them sitting upright, so  I'll have to takes the head from one photo and combine it with the body from another photo. These mockups are normally created in Photoshop so you can see exactly how the angles will look. Creating a digital mockup gives me the ability to shift things around and adjust colors until we get the composition just right! Once you've approved the mockup, I will then begin the actual drawing/painting. This is where the real fun begins!

Duration

Colored Pencil Drawings:  2 - 6 weeks

The larger the drawing, the longer it takes.

Oil Paintings:  3 - 5 months

The larger the painting, the longer it takes.

During this time, please feel free to email me about updates on your portrait. I can even send you progress shots if you'd like, but I've found that most of my clients like to be totally surprised at the end when they see their completed portrait for the first time. If there are any changes you would like made to the portrait, now is the time to tell me, before I varnish it. Once you have approved the final piece I will then varnish the painting in either a high gloss or matte varnish, depending on your preference. Varnishing the painting seals it all in and protects it indefinitely, and will also make the colors appear richer. It's amazing what a good varnish can do!

Social Media

I am active on Facebook and Instagram and regularly post progress shots of the commissions I'm working on. My clients often like to follow along and see the progression of their portrait, but if this is a gift or you'd like to be surpised at the end, then please let me know so I can refrain from posting. I will always ask you before I begin but it's still nice to be reminded.

Framing

I offer my clients the option of having their portrait custom framed. I know a lot of people get overwhelmed when they hear the phrase custom framing so I tried to make it easier by taking care of that myself. Besides, since I spent the last 3 months getting very familiar with your pet, I think it's safe to say that I might have an edge on picking out the most complimentary frame ;)

If you decide to have your piece custom framed, simply tell me the price point that you wish to stay in and I will find a frame that fits it. Please note that if you are custom framing, you should expect to spend around $100 - $250 depending on the size of your portrait, number of matts, and quality of the frame. The custom framing price is in addition to the cost of your portrait, and there is also a $25 convenience fee for my time. So, if your 9x12 oil painting costs $375 and the custom frame costs $90, I would expect a payment of $490 upon deliverance of your piece.

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Q & A
Process

What's the difference between oil paint & colored pencil?

Oil paint is a wet medium that requires more time to dry in between layers. Each consecutive layer is more detailed than the one before it, but you must give each layer about 2-7 days to dry so the painting doesn't become muddled.

Colored Pencil is a dry medium that allows you to work continuously. Since I don't have to wait on anything to dry I am able to complete these a lot faster than oil paintings.

Can I see progression pics of my piece as you work on it?

Yes. Of course! I normally ask my clients this before I start a painting. If you'd like to see, then I'll simply email you about 4-5 different update pics through the span of the piece. If you don't want to see, then you'll just be surprised at the very end when I send you the final picture of your piece..

What color are the backgrounds?

Colored Pencil Portraits are always drawn on a white background. A clean white background really allows the details to pop off the page and makes your pet the focal point. 

Oil paintings can have a solid colored background or abstract-ish scenery.  Suble gradations of brown, green, tan and gray are most often used for "solid" backgrounds and blurred grasses, forest lines and distant landscapes are normally used to portray scenery. Personally, I think solid backgrounds offer the most elegant look, but this more so pertains to headshots only. It's hard to have full body dog sitting on a toffee background and not look like he's floating in an abyss, so in this case a scenic BG is ideal. It really depends on the composition but I will always suggest what I think will be best!

I'm on your Waitlist; what does that mean?

Certain times of the year are busier than others, so if you contact me about a commission and I tell you that you'd be on my waitlist then that means I have a couple of clients ahead of you that already paid their deposit and have solidified their spot in my queue. To guarantee your spot on my waitlist I'd need you to pay a $200-$300 deposit which goes toward the overall price of your piece. Out of respect for my clients, I work on a first come first serve basis and try to complete portraits in the order I receive them. Now, with that being said, some exceptions can be made depending on my workload so just let me know and I will try my best to accommodate you.

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Which one do you recommend?

Oil paint is what the old master's used and has a very rich, luxurious look to it. The colors are going to be bolder in oil paintings as compared to colored pencil. Oil paintings also take longer and cost more, BUT they look more expensive.

Colored Pencil drawings tend to look crisper. Because I am able to have maximum control over the handling of dry pencils, I can really dig deep and draw every. individual. hair. Colored pencil drawings are more-so going to look like a photograph, whereas most oil paintings look like a time intensive painting. 

What materials do you use?

Oil paintings are created with archival quality, stretched 7/8" profile stretched canvas, and premium Grumbacher and Winsor & Newton oil paint.

 

Colored pencil drawings are created on Strathmor Vellum 500 Series Bristol Board with light-resistant, light-fast, professional Faber Castell Polychromo colored pencils.

I love everything about this reference photo BUT...

Is your pet wearing a red collar but you want to change it to blue? Does your cat normally have a dark green fleck in his eye but you can't see it in the reference photo you provided? Do you want your dog sitting up but the reference photo shows him laying down, "but his face is just so perfect?!"... Minor adjustments to your portrait can be made. I can put your pet's head on a differently posed body, adjust collar colors or add/subtract collars, enhance a certain feature, etc. If you would like changes made that aren't in the photo you provided then please clearly tell me what it is you're wanting and providing a photo that shows it.

Can I change colors or add features?

Yes, I can change colors and add/delete certain features. Collars are the thing I get asked to change the most. I can change the color from red to blue, or add or exclude it. Sometimes collars take away from a piece and other times, if it's a integral part of who that pet is, they can greatly add sentiment to the portrait. As always, if you're wanting something specific then please provide me with a photo. I can also delete little physical quirks that might have arisen with old age or injury like white hairs, spots around the mouth or nose, balding patches of hair or glazed eyes. Just clearly communicate your thoughts with me and I'll make them happen!

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Photos

What kind of photos do you work from?

Crisp and clear, eye level photos of your pet in bright, natural outdoor light. Please refrain from using Flash and harsh lighting. Again, your artwork is only as good as the reference photo you provide.

Can you put multiple pets into one drawing/painting?

Yes, I can combine separate pet reference photos into one final composition. You can provide individual photos of each pet with their desired pose, but please provide at least one photo of all of them together so that I can see size relation.

Can I see an example of a "good quality photo"?

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How do I get my photos to you?

Email me high quality JPEG or PDF files of your pet. Please make sure that they are of the highest resolution so that I can zoom in and get the maximum detail possible.

Do you work from multiple photos or just one?

Many people think that I take parts of multiple photos and piece them together into one, but I actually use one main photo for the portrait. However, it is helpful for my clients to provide multiple reference photos so that I can really get a feel for your pet and be certain of their coloring and unique, physical quirks.

 

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Completion

How will I receive my final painting/drawing

I practice the utmost care when sending your final artwork; there is nothing more devastating than seeing a beau