Commission prices vary based on many factors such as size, complexity, and number of subjects. I can do a piece in any size you like, but here is a price guideline for a few standard sizes to give you an idea. These prices assume a single subject with a simple background. Adding more subjects or a complex background will of course increase the price. Please contact me to get a specific quote for your project!
You describe what you are looking for and send me your reference photos: The best reference photos are taken at eye level (not looking up or down at the subject), have good lighting (natural sunlight is best because it shows colors most accurately), and are not blurry. Ideally, you should have one photo with a pose and expression you would like the piece 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. If you’re not sure if your photos will work, you can always send them to me and I’ll let you know! 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.
We work out the details, you pay a deposit, and I begin your piece: If your photos are suitable, I will ask you for more details about what you want (medium, size, background, etc.) and quote you a price for your specific piece. If you decide to go ahead with the commission, I will require a 50% deposit up-front, which you can pay securely through PayPal. As soon as I receive it, I will begin working on your piece. I will send you photos of my progress as I go along to make sure I am capturing the subject’s likeness and you’re happy with the composition. It may be possible to make some changes along the way, but note that changes may affect the final price if you ask for something very different (for example, if you ask me to put flowers in the background when you had previously asked for a plain background).
I send you a photo of the final piece, you pay the balance, and I ship: Major changes will not be possible at this point, but I may be able to make some minor adjustments before shipping. As soon as I receive your final payment, I will ship the piece to you. Note that there may be an extra charge for shipping, especially if you have purchased a large piece. (I will give you a shipping estimate at the time of our initial agreement.) Artwork is generally shipped unframed, but if you prefer I can also have it framed by my local framer (with plexiglass that’s safe for shipping) so it will be ready to hang when you receive it. Obviously there will be an additional cost for framing in this case. I’m happy to provide a price range if you’re interested in this service.
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, 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.