There are also a multitude of pet portrait artists out there all plying their trade on the internet. They offer a range of services from oil, acrylic and watercolour to graphite and pastel mediums. Some will frame your portrait for delivery and others will leave it to you. However, the first and most important decision is to find a pet portrait artist whose style you most like, whether it’s their watercolour or pastel work or their individual technique.
You’ll know instinctively who can reproduce the best likeness of your pet but – and this is the second most important point – most artists work from supplied photographs, so make sure that you have quality photos of your pet to send. Your favourite snap of Fido might not be suitable for your chosen artist to work from. It may be too blurred or simply not do him the justice your artist wants to bring out in their work. If you don’t have a really good picture, think about obtaining some fresh ones. Your chosen artist can always advise you. Pet Portraits
As a general rule, try and get three or four images pointing out which one is most true to your pet’s colour. Try to avoid a really sunny day when the pictures are taken as the sun will cast dark shadows on your pet and will distort the colours. Likewise avoid a really dull overcast day. Ideally, take your photographs with your back to the sun and at their level rather than looking down to avoid any distortion or an unnatural pose. Make sure they are facing the camera if you want a head or head and shoulders pet portrait and try to get as close to your pet as possible whilst staying in focus.
At this point you will also want to start thinking about the size of your portrait and of course this is where price really comes in. Other factors need to be addressed here too, like if you want more than one pet in the portrait, do you want a plain or themed background, or do you want it framed?
Taking size first, apart from your budget, considering where your pet portrait will hang is really important; you don’t want a large picture dominating a small room. On the other hand, you need to choose a size that best portrays your pet. Ideally you wouldn’t really want the subject in the portrait to cover less than the area of an A4 sheet of paper and if you want more than one pet captured think bigger definitely.
The background you choose is a matter of personal choice, but an important decision nevertheless. It is a big cost factor too. Some plain but complimentary backgrounds can be very effective and a good artist should create a three dimensional portrait of any animal. But a flat background is only two dimensional and well, flat! My personal opinion is that there’s nothing like a natural setting behind any pet portrait and, whilst more expensive, it will really bring the portrait to life.
Framing is a difficult one. Different artists will charge different prices. My best advice is to get a quote from your chosen artist and then your local picture framer. Also take into account that delivery charges will be cheaper for an unframed portrait. Obviously, if you find a huge difference in cost the decision is made for you, but ultimately, if there’s not much in it price wise, there’s nothing like unwrapping a beautiful framed picture delivered to your door.
My best advice to anyone looking for a is to do your research. There’s not much point in getting competitive quotes from different artists. Whilst commissioning artwork should be like any other purchase, as I pointed out earlier, you will quickly decide who you want to do business with. If that is the case then make sure you discuss all the points I raise above to ensure you get the perfect pet portrait.
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