Step 1 - Choose your photos
Photos are key in the process. We need good quality, clear photos to work from, preferably taken with a digital camera. We work from one main photo of your pet for the main pose and can use others for details and backgrounds. For multiple subjects pets don't have to be in the same photo. Clients might like to have a look at our Photo Requirements Page >>
Step 2 - Contact Us
Drop us a line via email or telephone and let us know your requirements, perhaps if you have an idea of the size of portrait you might like, your approximate budget for the project or where you are thinking of hanging the portrait. It all helps to tailor make our reply and quote for you. Email us any photos you have at the highest resolution, with some info about your pet and their character and we can get the ball rolling.
Step 3 - Place a Deposit
Once we have seen your photos a deposit - £300 for oil paintings and £150 for pencil drawings can be made on our prices page. We accept all major credit and debit cards online via worldpay along with bank transfers and installments. Alternatively you can telephone us and we can take your order over the phone. Our contact details can be found on our Contact Page >>
Step 4 - Mockups
We use the reference material you have emailed to mock up a few ideas for consideration (using Photoshop). This often helps clients to see what their portrait will look like. We can then fine tune these ideas via email until a finished agreed reference is ready for us to work from. This allows us to make sure everything is correct before putting pencil to paper or brush to canvas.
Step 5 - Studio Diary and our Client Lists
Our client list can always be viewed on our Studio Diary. Each time a client orders a portrait, their refernce photo is added to our list. Each portrait can then be seen in progress in our Studio Diary along with the reference photo, where we post in progress photos of our portraits and news of hapenings in the studio. If you have a really short deadline, we can provide gift vouchers via email to print or we can send a gift boxed voucher in the mail.
Step 6 - Preparing your Canvas and Materials
The next stage, if you are commissioning an oil painting, is for us to order your canvas. Our Professional Artists Canvases are made by Harris Moore in the UK and are the very best bespoke made canvases available. Using high quality extra wide stretcher bars, they are made from Hardwood (Tulipwood) and are stretched with Medium Italian Linen, neatly finished for hanging with or without frames. Nicholas uses a variety of traditional oil paints and linseed oils and uses hand made brushes, if you are interested you can can read more about our pet portraits materials.
Step 7 - Final Payment and Portraits in Progress
We will invoice prior to starting your portrait for the final payment in full. Once payment has been made we will start your portrait. Every client who has ordered an oil painting can see their portrait develop on our Studio Diary. This allows clients to feel part of the process and they can also let us know if any changes need to be made during the painting process.
Step 8 - The final scan and Detail
To ensure that every client is 100% happy with their portrait, we email a watermarked final scan of the portrait along with a high resolution detail for the clients approval. We scan each drawing and painting and also upload the final version on our Studio Diary. Any final amendments or alterations that clients need us to make can be done at this stage.
Step 9 - Optional Bespoke Framing
We are able to provide a full bespoke framing service and we highly recommend our wonderful framer Jane who frames all of our portraits for us. Please note pencil drawings are framed under glass and we are only able to offer this service for clients that are able to collect from our studio. To see previous portraits framed visit our Framing Section >>
Step 10 - Eco Friendly Packaging and Shipping
Once the portrait is ready to send, we flat pack very safely and securely. For the UK portraits we use Special Delivery and ParcelForce. We then use International Signed for for worldwide smaller portraits or Parcel Force Priority for worldwide delivery. We also try to use environmentally friendly products and packaging, everything we send our portraits in, should be able to be reused or recycled. Please view our pet portrait prices page for more details.
I would like to commission a portrait, what's my first step?
What size images shall I email and how many should I send?
We like to see the image at the size it came from your digital camera if possible. Often when photos are emailed, they are resized by the software. If this is the case, send only a few at a time, and try to override the 'reduce photo size setting'. This should insure we receive the original size photo from the camera. The more photographs you can send the better. We work from one main photograph for all subjects, however we do like to have others to refer to. It would be great if you could indicate which photograph best represents your pet, and which you would like us to work from. Also let us know which depicts his/her true colouring.
What quality of photograph do you need?
The better the quality of photograph, then the better the finished painting or drawing will be. Photographs should be clear, in focus with the subject occupying the majority of the frame. Photography Requirements >>
What are the differences between Oils and Pencils
We create portraits in pencil and oils. Our oil paintings are full colour paintings, painted using a brush on canvas and don't need to be framed under glass. Pencil drawings are hand drawn, black and white (greyscale) drawings on specialist paper using professional artists graphite pencils and do need to be framed under glass.
I would like more than one subject portrayed, can you work from separate photos?
Yes, even if you would like five or six pets in the same portrait its always best to photograph them individually. Have a read of our pet portrait photography section which should give you an idea of how to take good clear photos of your pet.
Are your portraits digital?
No. All of our portraits are hand painted using time honoured traditional methods. All of our portraits are hand painted and drawn by Nicholas and myself. Have a look at our studio diary to see our portraits develop.
How long will it take to complete a painting or drawing?
If you have a special date you require the portrait for, please let us know as soon as possible to see if this will fit within our schedule. If you are running out time for a special occasion you are purchasing a gift for, or you are unable to acquire photos without ruining the surprise, then our gift vouchers could be the perfect option for you. We provide our pet portraits gift vouchers in two ways - either sent via email or a beautiful boxed gift voucher sent via the regular mail. Visit our Gift Voucher page for more info.
Can I see my portrait before you send it to me?
Yes, on completion of your portrait we will email a photograph or scan to you for your approval. All portraits can also be viewed at various stages as they progresses on our Studio Diary.
When do I pay?
A deposit of £300 for oil paintings and £150 for pencil drawings can be made on our prices page. We accept all major credit and debit cards, paypal and bank transfers. We can also set up installments for any amount. Alternatively you can telephone us and we can take your order over the phone. Contact us >>
How Much is Postage and Packing and how the portrait sent?
This depends on the size and destination of your portrait and a full guide can be found on our prices page. We flat pack very safely and securely. For the UK portraits we use Special Delivery and Parcelforce. For overseas we use International Signed for / Airesure or Parcelforce Priority. We also try to use environmentally friendly products and packaging, everything we send our portraits in, can be reused or recycled.
Can you frame my painting or drawing
We are able to provide a full bespoke framing service and we highly recommend our wonderful framer Jane who frames all of our portraits for us. Please note pencil drawings are framed under glass and we are only able to offer this service for clients that are able to collect from our studio. To view the frames we have available, please visit Bespoke Framing >>
Can I use my painting or drawing commercially, or print it for my family?
Clients hold the copyright on their photo that we work from, however we retain the copyright and reproduction rights on the artwork created from the clients photo. We will never reproduce or sell your image in any form. If clients would like prints of their painting or drawing or to use our artwork for business use, please email to discuss.
Will you be displaying our painting or drawing on your web site?
Yes, the majority of our work will be displayed on our website. If clients are unhappy about their painting or drawing being displayed, they must let us know upon ordering.