If you haven't had the opportunity to commission an artist to create a bespoke piece of artwork before, this page might be really useful for you to have a read and scan of the photos. It follows a real pet portrait commission from 2019 of Bob commissioned by Sharon UK. We hope you enjoy following the process and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email us at any time.
Clients photos are absolutely key in the pet portraits process. We really need some good quality, clear and in focus photos. Sharon emailed us a number of photos for us to review, two of which are shown below.....
There wasn't a 'perfect' photo of Bob to use for a portrait, however there were two photos that stood out to us. These were lovely photos, however one showed Bob with his eyes closed, and one was cropped.
The cropped standing photo could have worked however the one of Bob laying down, was a much nicer pose. So we took the body photo and combined it with the head photo.....
If you look closely at the single photo on the right you will be able to see the photo is a combination of the two photos above. Clever! We create our mock-ups using Photoshop. We have had many years of experience using this software and it enables us to very quickly create designs for our paintings.
This also enables the client to clearly see how their painting could look - i.e. the shape of the canvas, the design, the colour scheme etc. It is very helpful when creating a mock-up of two pets together as we can confirm the size relationship between the pets to make sure everything is exactly the right size. Sharon was delighted with the mock up and Nicholas was given the go ahead to start!
Once the mock up has been agreed and the size and price confirmed, we email our clients an invoice for the deposit to make payment online. The invoices are secure and only accessible to each individual client. Pencils drawings require a £200 deposit and oil paintings require a £500 deposit.
Once the payment has been made, the mock-up will be placed into our commissions list. As soon as our clients are nearing the top of the list, we drop them a line with the good news that we are about to start. We then email a final invoice as full payment must be made prior to starting any artwork. We use Worldpay as our payment provider and accept all forms of payment including debit and credit card, along with American Express. We also accept Paypal and bank transfers.
Once the final payment has been made and the canvas, which we order bespoke for each client has arrived, Nicholas starts putting brush to canvas. At regular intervals we send photos of the painting to the client via email. Clients love watching their painting develop and you can see a few of the stages of Bob below.
As soon as the painting or drawing is complete we take a photograph and email it to the client for final aproval. The photo below shows the final painting of Bob. At this stage our clients can let us know if they needed any changes made.
I took a short video of the painting prior to packing and sending to the cleint, so that you can see it in more detail..
We work with two wonderful companies to frame our portraits. Our framers offer an extremely high quality service and we can obtain quotes for you, for whichever style of moulding you would like. We work with Amanda who makes all of our traditional wood, distressed and plain gold and silver frames. These are mostly suitable for our pencil drawings. We then work with a framing company who specialise in gold, silver, painted and ornate swept and moulded frames. These are handmade and hand crafted frames. Framing is optional, however Sharon opted to have one of our handcrafted frames - Highgate. As you can see from the photos below it is simply stunning and we feel it compliments the painting of Bob perfectly.
Once the painting has been framed, we take a great deal of care over the packing of the artwork. Our paintings and drawings are sent far and wide globally and so they need to be safe, snug and secure. As you will see from following the photos and explanations, a great deal goes into it!
First of all we use cellophane to wrap the portrait to keep it free from dust. If you are taking your portrait to your local framer, it would be wise to keep the painting or drawing wrapped in the cellophane to protect it until its been framed.
Next we use many layers of foam wrap around the portrait to protect it. We keep it all together using cellophane handy wrap which sticks to itself. It's great stuff, I love to use it. I call it 'Happy Wrap' as it really is a happy and fun thing to use! You can see form the photo below it keeps the foam wrap nicely together.
The package is them measured and sheets of hardboard are cut to size. Again we use the 'happy wrap' to keep everything together as you can see from the photo. We purchase 8' x 4' sheets of hardboard from our local builders merchant, 10 sheets at a time. They are then cut in half for us so we can easily store them in our studio. All of our portraits are different shapes and sizes so we cut each sheet individually to size. We have found it is perfect protection for the paintings and drawings on their long journeys.
A final few layers of foam wrap are wrapped around, but we leave the edges loose so that when we place the portrait in the cardboard box, it can scrunch up at each end to help protect the portrait and also keep it from moving around in the box.
The finished product is shown in the photo below. The portraits are placed in a double walled strong cardboard box along with the packing labels and the fragile tape. We send our portraitson an express tracked service. They don’t stay in the postal system too long, its only a few days and the paintings arrive at their destinations ... to our happy clients!
We hope that you have enjoyed this page of information about our pet portrait process. If you have any questions you are more than welcome to contact us at any time. We look forward to seeing photos of your pet and working with you soon.
testimonials.....It is so fantastic, thank you so much. I can't wait to see it for real. I can't tell you how excited we are about this. Nelson is now a dad, so it's good to have a picture of the founder of a dynasty (we hope we will have his family for ever, as he's been such a great little companion to us). I really look forward to getting it. Thank you SO much. Lisa-Jane x
Why not visit our Pet Portraits from Photographs page to find out the kind of photo we need from you to work with.