The following table shows base rates for commissioned portraits (of pets or people) in several standard sizes. The base rate includes a simple background (i.e. just a wash of color). If you would like a detailed background (i.e. a field of flowers), this will come at an additional charge that I can quote you upon request. Portraits are generally from the shoulders up, but full body is also possible depending on the size and number of subjects. I can also include more than two subjects, but may recommend a larger size in this case. The following are not the only sizes available; this is just to give you an idea. You are always welcome to contact me for a free consultation and a specific quote for your project!
Reference photos: Unless you happen to live in the central Ohio area where we can meet in person, I will probably have to work from your photos. (This is usually best for subjects like pets and children anyway, since they’re not very good at sitting still!) Generally speaking, the best reference photos are clear, well lit, and taken at eye level (not looking up or down at the subject). The best lighting is soft natural light, so photos taken outdoors on a cloudy day or indoors near a large window generally work well. Try to avoid photos with only indoor lighting because this tends to distort colors (unless it’s very good indoor lighting, i.e. studio lighting). Ideally, you should have one photo with a pose and expression you would like the painting to be based on, and a few other photos for reference. I know it’s not always easy to get good photos, especially if your pet or loved one has passed away. The photos don’t have to be professional quality, but they do need to show a certain amount of detail. The more detail I can see in your photo, the more realistic I can make your painting. If you’re not sure if your photos will work, you can always send them to me and I’ll let you know! Feel free to send several, and we can decide together what will work best. If you don’t have that one perfect photo, I may be able to work from a combination of photos (for example, one photo with a great pose, and another with better lighting). Although this is unlikely to happen, note that I do reserve the right to reject a commission if I don’t feel I can capture the subject’s likeness from your photos. You won’t be happy with it if it doesn’t look like your pet or loved one, after all.
Painting: Once we’ve found a photo that will work and agreed on a price, I generally require a 50% deposit up-front, which is non-refundable once I’ve started the painting. I’ll send you a Photoshop mock-up to make sure you’re happy with the composition and background colors, and keep you updated with photos of my progress as I go along to make sure I’m capturing the subject’s likeness. The remaining balance is due only when you are 100% happy with the result.
Shipping: I will ship your portrait to you as soon as I receive your final payment. Note that there may be an extra charge for shipping, especially if you have purchased a large piece. All artwork is shipped unframed, but will be carefully packaged for proper protection until you are able to frame it.
The whole process explained above generally takes a couple of weeks, but this will vary depending on the size and complexity of your portrait as well as any other commissions I may be working on. Please contact me for my next available start date and a time estimate for your specific project.
I can offer the choice of charcoal (for black and white) or dry pastel (for full color). Dry pastel is unique because it is the purest form of pigment available. It produces beautiful, bold colors and unique layering effects that are difficult to achieve with any other medium. It can also create a very soft look that’s perfect for depicting fur on animals! Charcoal works very similarly to pastel because it is also a dry powdered medium, just in grayscale.
I use only professional quality materials and surfaces that are lightfast and archival, so with proper care your portrait will last over the years. Artwork done in pastel or charcoal should be framed under glass with a double or triple mat. I highly recommend going to a professional framer, who will know best how to protect and showcase the artwork.