If this is your first time commissioning a pet portrait, this is the page for you! Here you will be able to read the most common questions asked about our portrait service. Have a read and if you have any further questions, you are more than welcome to email at any time!
How much does a portrait cost?
How long to the portraits take?
Do you send your portraits worldwide?
Do you send your oil paintings rolled?
Do you work from photos?
How do I make payment / deposit?
When do I pay the final amount?
Can I pay by instalments?
Do your portraits come framed?
Can I see what my portrait will be like before starting?
Are your portraits digital?
What size photos and how many should I send?
Can you make a group portrait from separate photos?
What kind of photograph do you need?
What's difference between Oil and Pencil?
Can I have a bespoke size?
I’m not sure what size portrait to have?
Can I see my portrait before you send it to me?
Can amendments be made to the finished portrait?
How much is shipping and how are portraits sent?
Do you offer prints of the portraits?
Can I use my painting or drawing commercially?
Do you display the portrait on your web site?
Who are you?
We have a waiting list
We both have a waiting lists for our portraits. If you would like the artwork for a specific date please let us know when enquiring.
Our portraits are in homes all over the world. Here in the UK to France, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Canada, America and Hawaii to name a few. We love speaking to clients and hearing about where they live. When you get in touch - let us know where you are from and what its like!
Rolling a painting may cause damage to the surface of the painting. When it's then stretched onto stretcher bars, this can warp or damage the painting further. So we would never roll an oil painting. Our oil paintings are painted on ready stretched canvas, on hardwood stretchers ready for framing.
We can't express enough how important photos are. Many clients are surprised when they hear we work from one main photo for the pose. We never look at a range of photos and then draw or paint your pet in a different pose as to what we think your pet would look like. This just isn't possible for our precise detailed work and realistic style. By basing the artwork on one photo we can be sure to capture your pets personality and character. It is definitely helpful to have lots of photos of your pet, and we can use others for detail and colouring. The photo you choose needs to depict your pet well - a photo where you would naturally say - "Ahh that’s a really good one of them". Remember - you know everything about your pet - however can only go by the photos you send.
Online / over the phone.
Once we have viewed your photos and designed the portrait with you using your photos so you can see what the portrait could look like, we send each client a secure private link to pay a deposit. Our payment provider is Worldpay and clients can pay via debit or credit card including American express. If clients would prefer to pay via bank transfer just let us know and we will send you our details. Alternatively you can telephone us and we can take your order over the phone. Contact us >> Deposits for pencil drawings is £200 and deposits for oil paintings is £500.
Just prior to us starting the artwork.
Once you rise to the top of our commissions list, we will email you with a final payment link. Final payment must be made before we start your portrait. Our payment provider is Worldpay. We accept all major credit and debit cards, paypal and bank transfers. Alternatively you can telephone us and we can take your order over the phone. Contact us >>
We can set up a payment link for you and you can pay monthly until the balance has been paid. We will then start your portrait.
Framing is optional.
Our portraits don't automatically arrive to you framed so you must let us know if you want our framers to frame your portrait for you. We work with a number of high quality framers and you can find out about them in our framing section. View sample frames in our framing gallery with photos of some of the paintings and drawings we have had framed over the years along with our engraved plaques.
We design the portraits using your photos in Photoshop. This is called a 'mock up'. We have the latest version of Photoshop enabling us to combine multiple images, remove objects, retouch photos (removing tack, collars etc) using professional software. We find that often clients have a range of photos of their pets but perhaps not one ideal image, so as an example we can combine three dogs in a garden scene using 4 different photos. This allows our clients to see their pets in the most ideal setting and environment and both us and our clients know the design of the portrait before any work starts.
All of our portraits are hand painted using time honoured traditional methods by Nicholas and myself. Have a look at our Art Studio Blog to see how our portraits develop.
The biggest size you have via email.
We like to see the image at the size it came from your digital camera or mobile device if possible. When photos are emailed they can be resized, please make sure they are the original size. The more photographs you can send the better. If you need help just drop us a line!
We can create paintings or drawings of as many pets as you would like in the same piece of artwork. It's always best to provide separate photos of each pet and we can put them together in the drawing or painting for you. 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.
Clear / sharp close in frame.
We have lots of photography tips pages for each subject and medium. Having a read of which ever page is applicable to you would be really useful if you are taking new photos of your pet. If your pet is no longer with us, please send us anything where they are clear and close in the frame and we can discuss your options. Photography Tips >>
Oil Paintings - Full colour paintings. Pencil drawings - Black and white drawn with a pencil.
We create portraits in oils and pencil. Oil paintings are in full colour, painted by hand using fine brushes on Italian Linen canvas. Oil paintings don't need to be framed under glass. Pencil drawings are black and white (greyscale) and they are hand drawn using a range of pencils on Italian Fabriano paper. Drawing must be framed under glass with a mount / matt. The mediums cannot be mixed together in the same portrait.
All of our portraits are unique to each client and so you can have any size of portrait on paper or canvas. Email us with your ideas and we can chat about your requirements and send you a quote.
We can advise.
This is quite a popular question and there are a few things to take into consideration. Apart form your budget, you might like to think where you would like to display the painting or drawing. What size space do you have available - not forgetting to add extra on for framing. I often get my clients to cut out pieces of paper to various shapes and sizes and hold them up to the wall where they think they would like the painting or drawing to be. This helps clients to visualise what it would be like. if you need any help and guidance, do drop us a line at anytime.
If you are ordering an oil painting, clients receive stages of their portrait via email so they can be involved in the portraits development. On completion of both the oil paintings and the pencil drawings, we email a photograph to clients for approval.
All clients receive stages of their oil portrait in progress email at regular intervals. A final photo of the painting or drawing is emailed to the client direct for them to check to see if they would like any tweaks made.
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 and most of our portraits are sent UPS on a tracked expedited service. We also try to use environmentally friendly products and packaging, everything we send our portraits in, can be reused or recycled.
No, but we can provide you with....
We can provide the high resolution photo. This means clients can have their portrait printed with their local printers or alternatively with an online printer.
Clients hold the copyright on their photo that we work from, however we hold the copyright on the artwork created from the clients photo. We will never reproduce or sell your portrait / painting or allow its usage on any other website apart from ours and our social media pages without written permission from the client.
Once the artwork is complete and in the hands of the recipient we reserve the right to display the artwork on our website and blog. If a client is unhappy about their painting or drawing being displayed, they must let us know upon ordering.
Husband and wife artists Melanie and Nicholas...
If you have just arrived to our website and want to find out about us - Melanie or Nicholas, or Lily our Tibetan Terrier and our chickens you can use the navigation at the top of our website in the 'about us' section. You can also read about our lifestyle living in rural Wales in an old welsh cottage, how we have renovated it and the garden over the last 10 years along with our purpose built art studio in our woodland garden.
testimonials.....Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
First, I am thrilled by the painting. As you said, this really more a portrait than a painting. I must admit to mixed emotions when I look at it, given the quick, unexpected and early death of Wilson to AHA. However, while my emotions may start with sadness, it soon turns into a smile thinking about all the good times and his sweet personality. I don’t know that you ever get over it completely, it’s just that the memories evoke more smiles faster as time goes by. I really can’t wait to see Carol’s face when she sees the picture. I’ve got a feeling it will invoke a bit on emotion for her a well. There was a basketball coach here in the US, someone you’ve probably never heard of (after all we don’t even play the proper football). His name was Jim Valvano and he had cancer while still in his prime. He was very successful and popular and before he died, they started a cancer research fund (Jimmy V fund) in his honor. ESPN televised an event establishing the fund and it was one of Valvano’s last public appearances. One of the things he said was: “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.” I have a feeling your painting will cover her for 1 and 3.Once we get the painting framed, I’ll be sure to send you a picture (may take awhile as I suspect Carol will be looking for the perfect antique frame) Thanks again for sharing your artistic talent… I suspect there may be a PBGV in your futur
Why not visit our Portraits from Photographs page to see example of the kind of photos we prefer to work with and take a look at the portraits we created to go along with the selection of photos we were sent by clients.