If you're interested in commissioning a portrait, please message us via e-mail and tell us what you have in mind (oil painting, pencil portrait, charcoal drawing, size etc.). Add photos of your pet(s) that you'd like us to work from. Feel free to ask any questions, we'll be happy to answer them.
Here are a couple of things you might want to know about how we carry on with our 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 we ask you to send us photos in the first e-mail - if possible.
If you're local to Ramsgate we can visit you and take additional photos ourselves. 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 us 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 brigthtest 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 us (to email@example.com) and we'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
Kate paints in oils on gessoed boards or pre-stretched canvases and draws with charcoal on tinted paper. Paul draws on white paper with Staedtler. With drawings you will have a size choice of A5, A4 and A3. With oils the choice is greater as canvases come in different shapes and sizes and so do boards (Kate can cut boards to any size you need). On our Prices page we 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 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 we 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. We 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 we will ask for a deposit. We ask for 50% of the final price of the finished unframed portrait to be transferred to our account before we start the commission. The up-front payment is necessary to secure the commission and place in line, as we work on the portraits in order of securing them.
STEP 5. PAINTING and drawing PROCESS
One oil painting can take Kate 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 and pencil portraits can take between 2 to 5 days to finish and they can be delivered or posted straight 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 us to deliver the finished piece will depend on the amount of work already commissioned. If you have a time sensitive commission, please let us know.
STEP 6. FINAL APPROVAL AND PAYMENT
Once the painting or drawing is ready we will send a photo of it for our final approval. We 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 start considering your framing options.
STEP 7. FRAMING (OPTIONAL)
If you chose an oil painting you may ask for the painting to be framed. Kate offers to frame the paintings just at the cost of a frame. She uses Brampton Framing website to order frames so you can look through their frames and decide which one you like best. Kate will add the cost of frame and shipment of the materials from Brampton to our 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 tubes. However we’re always happy to give advice on how to frame the drawing.
STEP 8. SHIPMENT
Oil Paintings are shipped either in reinforced box or in a wooden crate depending on size. Kate packages her 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 the paintings and drawings come with Certificate of Authenticity included in the box/tube.
The parcels are tracked and insured. We will provide you with a tracking number as soon as we post the portrait.