Commissioning a portrait, step by step

Getting started

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. If you need help or guidance with anything, just ask.

Pet portraits are drawn/painted using your photos for reference. Standard portraits are unframed and depict the animal's head and shoulders, with a plain or mottled background. If you'd prefer something more bespoke, just ask me for a quote. Prices for standard sized portraits in each medium are listed on the prices page

You'll want to think about your budget and which medium you'd like (I can guide if you're not sure). You'll also need to find some decent photos for me to use as reference. A high resolution close-up photo of the pet in a good pose and in natural lighting is ideal, and is the key to a stunning portrait. 

Portraits typically take 30 - 40hrs to complete. There is also a planning stage up-front to sort out photos, choose the medium/composition and schedule the start date. I can rarely start immediately, so if your portrait is a gift, I recommend booking at least four weeks in advance.  If you do have an urgent order contact me asap with with the date you need it by and I'll let you know if I can fit it in.

So, in a nutshell, this is how it works

Click on each step below for more information

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.

For me to create a realistic portrait of your pet, it's really 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 (and I often can). I need at least one photograph, but it's helpful to have several. Find out more about choosing a good reference photo.

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 portrait galleries. 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.

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.

After your deposit is paid, I'll start work in plenty of time to meet the agreed deadline. You'll receive regular updates on progress and, if you are interested in viewing the portrait's progress, you'll be able to log in to a private, secured 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 with it before invoicing you for the final payment. After payment has been made, your pet portrait will be securely packaged, along with a signed certificate of authenticity and shipped to you via Royal Mail. 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?


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