Commission a Pet Portrait

Reference Photo of Pet

Pencil Drawing

Painting in Progress

Finished Framed Painting

A note on timing and payment: 

Timing: typically I allow 3-4 weeks to go from an approved sketch to a completed oil painting of a pet. Rush jobs are possible depending on the circumstances of the job and my schedule at that time.

Payment: I maintain a policy to require half of the total cost (see #2) to be paid upon the client's approval of the pencil sketch. The other half of payment is required upon delivery of the finished painting. I've found that this works well for my clients and me.

1. Photos and personality. 

The client shows me photos of their pet (if available--see * below). We discuss the personality of the pet and how the client wishes for this personality to shine through in the finished work.

*If the client does not have photos, or if the photos do not give enough visual information for the painting, I am willing to visit the client (if I can get to a meeting spot withing 45 minutes' drive from my home) to take photos of the pet myself. 

A good photo is hugely important to the success of a portrait. Good photos are well lit, crisp, with reasonably accurate colors and the pet posed in a way that works for the client and the artist.

2. Canvas size, frame, and cost. 

The client chooses the size of the canvas and discuss the frame (if any) and together we determine the resulting cost. Cost is determined by the portrait's size and the complexity of the image. Base price is $500 unframed.

These are the standard canvas sizes that I offer for the base price:


If the client desires a larger size, such as 16"x20", 18"x24", or 20"x24", those sizes are also available. Those sizes require an additional sum (approximately $40-$50) to cover the additional cost of materials required for a larger painting.

Complexity also determines the portrait's cost. Complexity relates to the number of pets, the pet's physical characteristics, and the background or scenery around the pet. For example, a striped cat sitting on a paisley pillow in front of palm fronds is more complex than a black cat sitting on a solid colored pillow in front of a solid wall. Each additional pet adds $150 to the cost due to the complexity they add, and therefore the time it takes to create the painting.

3. Pencil sketch. 

Once the photographs have been acquired, I do a pencil sketch. Once complete, I show it to the client for feedback. Often the client will comment on details such as whether or not the pet's collar should be included. These details will be noted and corrected when the drawing is transferred to canvas. Otherwise, it is to be understood that the basic orientation, composition, and pose of the pet are now set to be represented in the final painting. At this stage the client provides the first half of payment.

4. Painting the painting. 

I now create the oil painting. I paint in thin layers, building up vibrance and depth of color as I go. When I consider the painting to be complete, I send a photo to the client via e-mail so the client can offer comments and request any changes.

5. Revisions (if any). 

If the client requests changes, this is the time for me to make those alterations. Then a photo of the new version of the painting is sent to the client for feedback and approval. Two rounds of changes are complimentary as part of the cost of the painting. Additional rounds of changes will incur additional costs.

6. Completion and delivery!

I deliver the completed, approved painting to the client. The second half of payment is delivered to me.

In the Studio

Annalisa crafts each oil painting by hand in her studio. It's always exciting to present a new pet portrait to the recipient!

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