Are you struggling to find a truly unique gift for somebody special? A one-of-a-kind piece created for a significant birthday, wedding, anniversary or Christmas gift? In this blog, I describe everything you need to know about working with me to commission a bespoke pet portrait painting for you or a loved one to honour a unique furry friendship.
Memories are Priceless
I’ve always been an animal lover with a particular weakness for dogs! When I was little I longed to have my own dog. My mum would frequently find me strolling around the garden dragging 15 teddy bear dogs along behind me (using her belts as leads) pretending I was at Cruffs! Now I have my own real-life teddy bear in the form of ‘Pepper’ my Old English Sheepdog and she means the world to me.
I adore painting peoples beloved pets. Pets are such an important part of our lives - they are part of the family. It’s so lovely to capture their unique personality and character in a bespoke piece of art. I know a pet portrait is a luxury but for a pet a lover it provides a timeless and priceless memory of their best friend.
It’s all about Character
For me it’s really important I capture the character and personality of each individual pet in each of my paintings. It’s key that the finished painting is not only executed to a very high professional standard, but it must also capture the unique character of each animal subject. I paint all my portraits directly from photos so my customers can choose the photo that best reflects the pose, character or antics of their friend.
My style of Painting
I paint my portraits in watercolour using a distinctive, loose and fresh style. I adore the freshness of watercolour – particularly the soft and contemporary compositions you can achieve in this magical medium. My paintings are full of life and lightness. I use a signature palette of vibrant pinks, turquoises, purples and blues in all my paintings. I want my paintings to make people smile and be happy! Unlike other artists, I do draw the outline of the portrait in pencil before I start painting; I just paint the portrait directly with the pigment to feel my way through the painting. This allows the painting to evolve slowly such that the portrait organically comes to life as I interpret the pose and character of the animal I’m painting. This is my favourite way to work and it means that every painting is truly unique and can never be repeated.
The Ideal Gift
A bespoke pet portrait makes a truly unique gift. It can be a great idea for somebody that loves or loved their pet. They make the perfect birthday, wedding, anniversary or Christmas gift. If you don’t have a photo of somebody else’s pet or are not sure which photo to go with, fear not! I also offer Gift Vouchers to enable to you gift the portrait such that the pet owner can personally select their favourite photo for the painting.
Quality is key. I only provide my customers with the finished portrait once I’m 100% satisfied with the completed work. I am professionally trained and have over 30 years of painting animals. I only use the highest quality watercolours (best quality for colour pigment and longevity) on 300lb Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper. My finished paintings are professionally framed by Appleton’s in Dublin.
All my portraits are custom-made so you can commission a portrait in any size you require. My minimum portrait size is 12”x16” (or A3). Having experimented with lots of sizes, I’ve found that this size offers customers the best value for money, as its large enough to capture the details of the pet in my signature loose style and stand out as a statement piece of art in the owners home.
The price for my basic package is €495 this includes a 26”x23” framed portrait of your pet (single subject) in professional watercolour, signed, professionally framed in my signature limed white frame with double off-white mount under glass. Delivery is free within Ireland and the UK. Prices for more than one subject or for larger sizes can be provided upon request.
I really hope you’ve found the above information useful. I’ve also added a couple of frequently asked questions and details for how to obtain a complimentary quote. If you still have any questions please do not hesitate to drop me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via the contact form on my website and I’ll get back to you as soon as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I obtain a quote?
It’s really simple! Just drop me an email on email@example.com with a selection of photos of your pet. I work from photographs so once I have a couple of clear, bright photos I am good to go! Once you email me through your photos, I will take a look and get straight back to you with a complimentary recommendation for the pose, size and style that would best suit your pet, together with a quote.
How do I make a booking?
Once you are happy to proceed with the quote, you can secure the booking by making a non-refundable deposit of €50 via the following link on my website: https://www.dabbleinart.com/product-page/commissions-pet-portraits-make-a-booking-deposit This deposit will be deducted from final balance of your completed portrait. Once the booking has been secured I will schedule your portrait based on the timeframe you are working towards.
Once your portrait is finished I will send you a photograph to make sure you are 150% happy with the finished piece. I want you to be really happy with your portrait so I will work with you to make sure it’s perfect before I send it to be professionally framed. You won’t need to pay any additional instalments until you are completely satisfied with your portrait and its ready to be delivered.
Do you only paint portraits in watercolours or do you sketch in pencil or pastel?
I mainly work in watercolour but I do work in pastel or pencil if that is your preferred medium.
Do I have to bring the pet to you?
I always love meeting people’s pets but as its usually not practical so it’s a not necessary to bring the pet to me. I paint all my portraits from photos so you can choose the photo that best represents the character and personality of your pet.
I want a portrait of 2 or more pets. Can you work from separate photos and incorporate all my pets into a single painting?
Sure, no problem! I can easily merge two or more portraits based on separate photographs into a single painting.
How long does it take to paint my portrait?
Due to scheduling it typically takes me about 3 weeks to paint a portrait. Once you are happy with the portrait, it then takes a further 1-2 weeks to get the painting professionally framed, so typically 4-5 weeks from booking to receiving your finished painting. If you are under time pressure, don’t worry I can work with your to shorten the timeframe if urgent.
Will my portrait come with a frame?
Yes, your portrait will be delivered professionally framed (this is included in the price quoted). All my portraits are framed in my signature frame of limed white wooden frame with double off-white mount under glass.
Do you deliver?
Yes - I ship my portraits to locations all over the world and postage within Ireland and the UK is free. The cost of shipping to all locations outside of Ireland and the UK will be added to the final balance.
Where are you based?
I am based in Sandyford Dublin, so you are more than welcome to call out any time if you would like to see examples of my work in the flesh.