Learn More about how it's done
If you're interested in commissioning a portrait, please message me via e-mail and tell me what you have in mind (oil painting, charcoal drawing, size etc.). Add photos of your pet(s) that you'd like me to work from. Feel free to ask any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
Here are a couple of things you might want to know about how I carry on with my commissions.
STEP 1. CHOOSING A REFERENCE PHOTO
And What is a Good Reference Photo
One of the first steps in the pet portrait painting process is finding a good reference photo. A good photo(s) to work from is quite important, that's why I ask you to send me photos in the first e-mail - if possible.
If you're local to Ramsgate I can visit you and take additional photos myself. It will also be a great opportunity for me to meet your pet and get to know them better.
You probably have taken a lot of photos of your pet in all kinds of situations, poses and light. Perhaps you are wondering which one(s) of those photos to choose. Here is a tip: Think about your pet as you'd think about another human being. How would they want to be portrayed?
Most pets looks adorable in playing mode but most of the time they will look much better when painted sitting up or lying in a comfortable, portrait-like position. If you have something else in mind or you have a photo that you love and you think it would make a good painting, feel free to send it to me and we can discuss your ideas further.
Remember : the best reference photos are high resolution. Please make sure the photos are not overexposed (lacking detail in brigthest areas) or blurry. Don't worry about the color that much. That is an easy thing to fix.
If you have photos of your pet but you are not sure if they're good enough, just send them to me (to email@example.com) and I'll be happy to look at them and let you know if the resolution and detail on them is enough for me to work with.
STEP 2. CHOOSING SIZE AND TECHNIQUE
I paint in oils on gessoed boards or pre-stretched canvases and draw with charcoal on tinted paper. With paper you will have a size choice of A4 and A3 (best sizes to frame). With oils the choice is greater as canvases come in different shapes and sizes and so do boards (boards I can cut to any size you need). In my Prices page I give examples of prices depending on certain pre-chosen sizes to give you an idea of how much a painting of that size would cost. Those sizes can be slightly altered though. Small changes usually won't affect the price. I explain it further in the prices section.
STEP 3. ESTABLISHING THE FINAL COST OF THE PAINTING/drawing
As I mentioned before, final price of the unframed portrait will depend on size, technique and complexity of the painting/drawing (plain or complex background/single or double portrait etc.).
If you're local to Ramsgate I can deliver your portrait free of charge. For all other areas in and outside of the UK, you will need to add a shipment cost. I will quote you the shipment price after we establish what size and type of portrait you would like to commission.
STEP 4. DEPOSIT
When we establish the final price I will ask for a deposit. I ask for 50% of the final price of the finished unframed portrait to be transferred to my account before I start the commission. The up-front payment is necessary to secure the commission and place in line, as I work on the portraits in order of securing them.
STEP 5. PAINTING and drawing PROCESS
One oil painting can take me from 2 to 10 working days to finish depending on size and circumstances. However the painting may need anything up to a month to dry fully but can sometimes be shipped sooner.
Charcoal portraits usually take from 2 to 3 days to finish and they can be deliverd or posted staight away after finishing.
Please keep in mind however that the time scale quoted above applies to the painting/drawing time needed from start to finish. However how long it will take mr to deliver the finished piece will depend on the amount of work already commissioned. If you have a time sensitive commission, please let me know.
STEP 6. FINAL APPROVAL AND PAYMENT
Once the painting or drawing is ready I will send a photo of it for our final approval. I will then ask you to pay the remaining fee and shipping payment. If you ordered a painting it will take a couple of weeks or more (depending on weather conditions and time of the year) to dry properly during which you might want to consider framing it.
STEP 7. FRAMING (OPTIONAL)
If you chose an oil painting you may ask for the painting to be framed. I offer to frame the paintings just at the cost of a frame. I use Brampton Framing website to order frames so you can look through their frames and decide which one you like best. I will add the cost of frame and shipment of the materials from Brampton to my studio to your final price.
The framing process can be done while you're waiting for the painting to dry.
The optional framing only applies to oil paintings. Drawings are sent in a tube. However I am always happy to give advice on how to frame the drawing.
STEP 8. SHIPMENT
Charcoal Drawings are shipped rolled in a tube, wrapped in acid free paper and bubble wrap for additional protection.
Oil Paintings are shipped either in reinforced box or in a wooden crate depending on size. I package my paintings using an acid free paper and bubble wrap. This package is then placed securely inside a sturdy wooden or cardboard box (depending on size) and shipped via Royal Mail or ParcelForce.
All my paintings and drawings come with Certificate of Authenticity included in the box/tube.
The parcels are tracked and insured. I will provide you with a tracking number as soon as I post the portrait.