I am now offering real Sterling Silver and/or 24 Karat Gold to my paintings upon request. This pure silver and gold is ground down into a fine powder to form 'pigment' and is then mixed with a binder (gum arabic) and dried to form a round tablet. This form of silver or gold is often referred to as shell silver or shell gold. I use it very sparingly and apply it to highlighted areas in the painting, which adds a brilliant and luminous effect. If you would like this applied to your custom portrait, please ask for it and I will be sure to use it in your painting.
I love creating beautiful pet portraits and would love to hear from you! If you have any questions regarding the information below, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Today, most of us no longer use a good quality digital camera as it's become standard to use a mobile device to take photos of our pets. Add to that the fact that most of those photos are taken in a hurry to capture that special moment, they can often end up blurry, hazy or lacking good contrast. It's important to keep in mind that even though the photo looks fine as a photograph, it might not translate well into a painting.
To produce a gorgeous, lifelike, premium oil painting, it's important to be provided with clear, sharp, in focus photos, especially around the eyes, so that I'm able to see your pet's true expression. My art style is realism and if the finer details are not showing up in the photo, they can't be painted into the portrait. I can't speak for other artists but I need to be able to see the details in my subjects in order to really capture their individual personality and create a beautiful painting.
Example of A Poor Quality Photo Example of a Good Quality Digital Photo
Our eyes accept what we see in both photographs as being true. We know that the cute puppy on the left doesn't really have robot eyes, we know that the cause for this is because of the flash from the camera. But if it was painted just as it appears, we would assume the artist did something quite wrong. This is why it's important to provide me with the best photo you possibly can. Additionally, if you look at the puppy's white fur (again on the left), you will see that there is little to no contrast showing on her face, chest and arms. As a photograph this is fine, our brains accept it. But if I painted her onto the canvas as it's seen here, she will unfortunately look flat, with no dimension at all. While I can add shadow and highlights to have her appear more lifelike, the improvements I make are assumptions and therefore may not be exactly as you see your pet. The photograph on the right shows much more detail. We can see individual strands of fur around her face, the nose is in focus, the eyes are clear and there is good contrast, a combination of bright whites and deep shadows. Additionally, a face that is turned slightly makes for an intriguing and most lovely portrait.
Something else to consider when taking photos of your pet is to keep in mind that mobile devices are built with a wide angle lens, meaning that they can make images appear distorted, more pointed in the center and tapering off at the outside edges. This could produce a less than desirable photo to work from. Try to take several images with different lighting until you come up with something that you truly like. Have you ever tried taking a selfie and find your face appear more slender in the center, making you appear stern or tired? It happens to me all the time. This distortion effect is actually an illusion and not really distortion, it has more to do with how close you are to the lens. Without getting overly technical, this happens when we take photos of our pets too, so take several photos and try to be sure that the photo you choose replicates your pet as much as possible. Being up close is a good thing, as it will show the details. But it might give your dog a "snoopy" look (a longer muzzle or pointed head/face). Being farther away will prevent this, but you will lose the detail in the photo. So play around a little bit with your camera until you find something that you absolutely love.
I have worked from both inferior photos and stunning photos. In my opinion, and maybe it's because I'm more critical of my own work, I can see a crucial difference in the success of my paintings. It is well worth the time to capture a great photograph of your beloved dog and this in turn will enable me to create a beautiful and vibrant work of art, painted with love, care and attention to detail. My paintings are enjoyed by clients from all over the world. If you are unsure about the photo you have in mind, I invite you to send me a message and I can take a look at what you have and advise if it is workable.
If you are interested in commissioning me to paint your pet, please send me an email inquiry, and include the size canvas you are considering, for a price quote. I look forward to providing you with an original, luminous oil painting of your pet that you are sure to treasure for many, many years.
Please note that these prices are a guide and may vary depending on the amount of detail desired in the painting. If, for example, you desire more than one pet in the painting or would like a detailed background, the price would increase. Many of my larger paintings are highly detailed which involve more time to execute and as such will affect the price. If this is what you desire for your portrait, feel free to email me your high resolution photo for a price quote to see if it's suitable for a large size canvas. Paintings are provided on stretched canvas and are unframed.
The prices below are a guide only and are for head/shoulders only for 1 subject with a simple mottled background.
For Pet Portraits
6" x 6".............................. $250
8" x 10"............................ $500
11" x 14"...........................$650
14" x 18"...........................$750
16" x 20"...........................$800
For Child and Adult (People) Portraits
14" x 18"...............................$1000
16" x 20"...............................$1250
Larger sized canvases are available.
Prices listed are in U.S. dollars. Shipping costs extra and depends on where you live. I will obtain a shipping quote for you prior to ordering, based on where you live. Please remember that for international orders your country might charge duty.
Deposit is not necessary. Payment is not due until the painting is finished. I accept international payments through PayPal for secure online credit card transactions, wire transfer through your bank or you may mail me a check if you are uneasy paying online. Once payment is received, your painting will be shipped with care and upon my return from the post office, I will provide you with an email which includes tracking information.
My aim is to please all my clients. For your peace of mind I offer an unconditional guarantee. If you are not absolutely delighted with your painting, you are not obligated to buy it.
Pricing and How to Commission an Original Oil Painting
Tips For Photographing Your Pet For a Painting
Painting showing real 24 Karat Gold (shell gold) accents
If you are wanting a highly detailed painting of your dog please send me your high resolution photo for a price quote. Due to the level of detail involved in these paintings, only a super sharp photo is acceptable to use as the reference photo. A small sized canvas is not suitable for this type of painting.
Painting showing high level of detail of this dog's nose