Process & Typical Questions:
Commissioning a pet/animal portrait is easy. Here is the process:
1. Once you have chosen the size you want to order (Above) click "Buy Now". You will be taken to a new page where you will fill out your information and have the ability to upload your best photos of your pet that you have, preferrably digital .jpg with 300 dpi (if you want to send me printed photos or slides please only send me duplicates, not originals.) and a brief written personality description of your pet. If you don't have photos ready at the time of your order note that and we can touch base as to how to get me your photos.
2. If you are not ordering a pet portrait and would like to have a painting done of your favorite animal, it can be a real, extinct, mythical, domesticated, wild etc., note that on the page you are taken to after you place your order. We can also touch base if you have specific requests.
3. After reviewing the photos given to me and we discuss your painting, I can start the sketch. This phase usually takes a day or two to look over the photos you supplied me and make sure I capture your loved pet or animal's personality.
4. Once I begin the commission I will email you a custom webpage link of the sketch for you to review and approve. (This page will also contain paypal buttons for the remaining 2 payments as they are due.)
5. Once Sketch is Approved, another 25% payment is due, which can be paid via the Paypal buttons on your page. I will then send you a Commission Agreement with all the information and description of your painting.
6. When I receive the signed Commission Agreement, the pet portrait will be scheduled to begin. Before the portrait is finished and during it I will inform you when I upload a new image of your painting-in-progress for your review and for any minor adjustments.
7. Your painting should take roughly 4-6 weeks to complete, depending on the number of commissions that are ahead of you. Upon completion of the portrait I will email you a picture of the finished portrait, with an invoice for the balance due. Your custom page will contain paypal buttons for the remaining 2 payments as they are due.
8. Upon receipt of the 50% balance, I will ship your painting to you or if you live in New England (Massachusetts) you can come to pick it up, just let me know and we can make arrangements. A signed Certificate of Authenticity accompanies your painting.
Champion or Companion — Your Pet Deserves a Portrait!
1. Why do portrait commissions cost a lot?
My portraits shouldn't be confused with 10-minute caricatures at the mall. They also aren't "sketches." The sketch is really just the first step in creating a work of art. Each watercolor painting is unique, custom, and starts with a sketch.
2. Do you work from photos or real life?
I work from photos, since even the best-trained pets have no patience for a portrait sitting! ;-) Sending a variety of photos usually works best, since sometimes I can combine the best from each. You can email digital photos or scans or snail-mail traditional photos, which I will return with your portrait.
3. Can I have more than one animal in a portrait or I would like to order multiple portraits, can I get a discount?
Yes! I discount multiple portraits on the same order 20%, so for the 8"x10" the first would be $350 and each additional one would be $280. Make note of that when you place your order.
When in the check out process choose the quantity of portraits you would like to have. The deposit will be the same amount but the discount will be deducted from the total amount due on the 2nd and final payments.
Additional pets in the same portrait are discounted 30% after the first one.
4. I don’t like using PayPal so I would prefer to pay via check.
That's fine. Feel free to give me a call and we can make arrangements. I will let you know where to mail your checks.
5. How should I send you my Film Photos?
a. Traditional film photos I will let you know where to snail-mail them to (You will have access to my mailing address once you place your order via Paypal.). Do not send originals, please use copies or duplicates.
b. Scanning the photos: Scan the photos and email them or snail mail a CD-ROM containing the photos. Scan at high resolution (300 ppi or dpi) and save the file as a high quality JPEG. See your scanner instructions for how to do this. If your pet's face measures less than two inches on the print, scan at a higher resolution (400 or 600 ppi) or at 200% magnification at 300 ppi.
If you are taking the photos especially for this portrait, request a CD-ROM of the photos when you have them developed and snail-mail me the CD.
I'll return your Photos and CDs to you with your portrait.
6. How should I send you my Digital Photos?
If you have your photos ready when you place your order you can use the form after you send your deposite.
Send me your original digital photos at full resolution to preserve as much detail as possible (don't reduce or enlarge them):
Email them if there are only a few. If the file sizes are larger than 1 megabyte, please email just two or three at a time in separate emails.
Burn a CD if you've taken a lot of photos, and snail mail it to me. (You will have access to my mailing address once you place your order via Paypal.)
Use a ZIP utility to compact all the photos into one .zip archive and I can send you a file-sharing link to upload them to. If you don't know what a ZIP archive is, then this probably isn't a good time to learn, unless you have a techie friend to help you! ;-)
7. What if my pet is gone and I don't have the option of taking any more photos?
If your pet is gone, send what photos you have. I will combine the best from each to get the detail(s) I need. That's what I did for this memorial portrait of Duke, a Bluetick Coonhound, who happens to be the dog at the top of this page.
8. I'm interested in having a portrait of our two dogs done. Can you work from two separate photos and combine into one portrait?
Yes, since it is nearly impossible to get photos of two critters together without one of them moving, looking the wrong way, etc. It is best to have the same lighting conditions if you want them to look like they are sitting together naturally. Having a lot of photos to choose from helps, especially since photos will be posthumously, so you may not have the option to take more photos.
9. How can I take photos of more than two pets, so the lighting is similar enough to use for one portrait?
One of the challenges of combining pets in a portrait is that the lighting is usually different on each. It helps to have plenty of photos, since I’ll often need to use the pose from one photo, but the lighting from another.
If you don’t have suitable photos already, my advice is to take them outside in bright shade (not direct sunlight) and just start shooting as many photos as you can from different angles. Most likely we’ll be able to pick suitable photos from the bunch (if you have a digital camera, this is pain-free, since taking a lot of photos doesn’t cost any more than taking one.). If you can get them to sit in the same spot, facing (roughly) the same direction with respect to the light (it's OK if they are looking different directions, as long as the light is coming from the same angle), we’ll be sure to have something to work with.
10. What are the shipping costs?
Orders are shipped U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail (2-3 day delivery within the U.S.). Shipping (including insurance fee) is calculated based on your order total. All prices in US Dollars. If you would like to use another form of shipping we can discuss that in our initial conversations.
International Shipping Charge: An additional charge will be applied to cover the difference between US domestic and international Priority Mail postage (varies depending on recipient's country).
All prices include your pet's own page of merchandise if you would like to have that set up.
Terms and Conditions:
All of your private information such as emails, names, etc - will be kept private. I like to post the pieces as examples on my website and social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) (I will tag your Facebook or Instagram name if you have one). I retain copyright and ownership over the rights to all artwork. If you want to reproduce the image (prints, t-shirts, buttons, etc) I require a licensing payment for the rights to reproduce and will make you sign a legal contract.
Sharing your custom painting on social media platforms is totally allowed and encouraged, just tag and credit the work to me please ^_^