Commissioning a portrait, step by step

I aim to make commissioning a pet portrait as straightforward as possible. I have a background in customer experience and I make it my priority to manage all orders professionally.  I hope you'll find the information below useful, but if you need help or guidance with anything, I'll be happy to help.

Pet portrait

Pet portraits are created using your photos for reference, so the most important thing you'll need is access to several good, clear images of your pet. Please take time to read the helpful info about selecting photos.

My standard pet portraits are unframed, depicting the pet's head and shoulders, and have a plain or mottled background. With the exception of those painted on canvas,  portraits are supplied mounted within a soft white conservation mount and backing board, ready for framing. For the complete package, I can also take care of framing for you, allowing you to hang your portrait as soon as it arrives.

If you'd like a full-body portrait and/or any other request, please ask for a quote. 

Before booking a commission, you'll want to think about your budget and the style of portrait you'd prefer. Prices for unframed portraits in each medium are listed on the prices page

Book early.  Single portraits take up to a week to complete and I can rarely start immediately. If your portrait is a gift, I recommend contacting me several weeks (months, even) in advance and, for Christmas gifts, before September. If you do have an urgent order, I may be able to fit it in, so contact me asap with the date you need it by and I'll let you know.

So, in a nutshell, here's what you need to do.......

Contact me

Step 1 - Contact me to outline what you're looking for

Contact me with a brief description of what you're looking for and when you need it by. I aim to respond within 48 hours. We'll then discuss finer details and any specific requirements, by phone or email. You can message me here.

Find good photos

Step 2 - Find some really good reference photos

For me to create a realistic portrait of your pet, it's important that I have a good reference photograph to work from. Ideally, I need to be able to zoom in to see minute details, so high resolution digital photos result in the best portraits. However, if you only have old photos, it's not necessarily the end of the world. I'll always have a look to see if I can work with them. I need at least one photograph, but it's helpful to have several. Find out more about choosing a good reference photo.

Choose size and medium

Step 3 - Choose a size and medium for your portrait

I can create your pet portrait in pastels, coloured pencil, watercolours or acrylics. If you're not sure what you'd like I'll be happy to guide. You can see examples in my pet portfolio. You'll also need to decide how big you want your pet portrait. It may help if you take a look at the list of standard sizes and prices. If the size you want isn't listed, ask me for a quote.

Pay your deposit

Step 4 - Pay a deposit to secure your slot

Once everything is discussed and agreed (including a proposed completion date) you'll be asked to pay a £40 deposit to secure your booking. I'll send you written confirmation outlining the details agreed, along with an invoice for your deposit, which you can pay by credit/debit card or PayPal. There's more info about payments in my Terms & Conditions.

Sit back and relax

Step 5 - Sit back and relax

After your deposit is paid, I'll start work in plenty of time to meet the agreed deadline. You'll receive regular updates and, if you'd like to keep an eye on progress, you can have access to a private, secure page on my website, where I'll post daily updates. When your portrait is nearing completion, I'll ask you to confirm that you are happy before invoicing you for the final payment. Once payment is received, your pet portrait and a signed certificate of authenticity will be carefully packaged and shipped to your door . Follow this link for delivery information.

Keep an eye out for delivery

Finally, the exciting bit

Keep an eye out for delivery. Your portrait will be shipped with insurance cover and tracking, for peace of mind.

When your package arrives, unpack with care and prepare to be delighted.

Ready to get the ball rolling or have a question?

Happy dance

Just a thank you for the fabulous portrait of Shadow, now sitting proudly on my lounge wall. Having only recently lost him it really is as if you have given him back to us. The likeness is extraordinary - you have captured him completely, floppy paws and all. Thank you so so much. - Karen