If you have a pet that you adore, and perhaps a bit of a silly side, then this kind of portrait might be just the thing for you! For many, a commissioned portrait has been a fun way to indulge their love for a pet, add a bit of “formal whimsy” to their decor, or give a delightful gift to an animal lover.
For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of working on commissions is the chance to brainstorm with pet owners about themes, costume ideas, favorite toys, and symbols that best capture the unique qualities of their pet. Life never gets too serious when my workday includes conversations like, “I think we should put a necklace on Mindy (the Boston Terrier)” and “What do you think about a red dress with puffy sleeves?” It’s great fun for the owners, too.
The Commission Process
1) Reference Photographs. First, I’ll need some good images of your dog or cat. Photos should be taken from the eye level of the animal, not looking down on them from above. Head-on or turned just slightly are the best angles. These can be either mailed to me or sent via e-mail as digital images in jpeg format.
2) Historical Reference. Next, we will select the classical style and costume to match your pet’s personality. Historical portraits lend just the right touch of elegance and whimsy.
3) An Approval Sketch. After we decide upon the direction, I will send a sketch for your approval before I begin painting.
4) The Finished Portrait. As the painting nears completion, I will send another image to make sure that I’ve captured your pet’s likeness accurately. At this point, small adjustments can still be made if any fine-tuning is necessary. After the process is complete, your oil painting will need to dry for about a month before shipping to you.
All commissions are painted in oil on stretched canvas.
Prices for standard sizes are:
$450 for 11″ x 14″, $500 for 12″ x 16″, and $550 for 16″ x 20″. I can paint other sizes upon request.
I usually ship by way of U.S. Postal Service. Costs for shipping, shipping insurance and handling range from $30 to $50 within the U.S depending upon painting size and shipping distance. Other shipping arrangements can be made upon request.
Sometimes I get requests to combine more than one pet in a single portrait. It should be noted that the overall success of a composition is often compromised by trying to feature more than one figure. On occasion, however, a multiple portrait can be worked out successfully. In these cases, an additional $250 for each extra animal will be added to the total price.