FAQ / Custom Portraits

Here are the questions that I am asked most often about custom portraits:

What are the steps to order a custom portrait?

That's easy!

• You purchase the size portrait you want

• You receive an email from me to acknowledge your purchase, and you send me 1 - 4 photos of your pet.

• We have a conversation about everything you would like, such as the background colors, a name added, face vs. full body, etc.

• I send you an image of the general composition for your approval.

• I get to work and create your custom portrait! Please allow 3-4 weeks.

• You see your completed painting by email, and you have a chance to ask for minor revisions at this time.

• With your approval, I ship your pet portrait to you. I absolutely guarantee the quality and likeness of my portraits, and will make sure you are completely satisfied with the finished painting before it leaves my studio!

• When it arrives, you are so pleased with your painting that you do a happy dance!  

How much does a portrait cost?

Prices vary, depending on the size, how many subjects are in the painting and whether you choose a pastel or acrylic portrait. Fees are outlined on the Portrait Fees page, and of course, you can contact me for a specific quote.

How long does it take?

Completion time varies, depending on the complexity and size of your portrait. You should allow up to 8 weeks, depending on my painting schedule, but most often, I can complete a portrait in 3-4 weeks. If you have a special occasion, just let me know and I will do my very best to meet your deadline. Please order your Christmas portrait gifts by October 31.

Can you help me determine what size portrait I should order?

Definitely. Depending on your subject(s), you won't want me to paint the head(s) too small or over life size. I will show you your compositional choices ahead of time, and we will agree on your expectations before I start painting.

I need to send you photos. What kinds of photos make the best portrait?

Please refer to my Photo Guidelines page, where you'll likely find answers to all your questions.

What exactly are pastels, and what surface do you work on?

Pastels are sticks of pure pigment, the same pigment found in oil paints. They are applied dry and directly to paper or other hard surface, and their beauty is found in the layering of unmixed colors. When properly protected behind glass, pastel is the most permanent of all media, for it never cracks, darkens or yellows. I paint on acid-free archival professional-grade pastel paper, mounted onto acid-free foam board. I provide instructions for safe handling and having your local framer frame your portrait order to your individual style. Your pastel portrait is delivered with foam board mats, which will go under the mat boards your local framer will add when they complete your framing.

What about acrylics? What surface do you paint on?

Acrylics are a wonderful medium to paint colorful portraits on canvas. I absolutely guarantee my likenesses and the quality of your finished painting. Your original hand painted custom pet portrait is painted in acrylics on square gallery wrapped canvas. It arrives signed and ready to hang. The canvas is I use is 1.5" deep and may be left unframed as the artwork wraps onto all four edges. Your painting is sealed with an acrylic varnish to protect it from dust and UV light. 

Can I get prints of the finished portrait?

Absolutely! A number of clients want them to give as gifts to grandparents and other family members. You will be able to order prints directly from this website when you place your portrait order.

How long have you been painting portraits?

I've drawn and painted people for as long as I can remember. I was a drawing major at Missouri State University, where I earned my BFA in Art. I started drawing colored pencil portraits of children and pets in 1989, and progressed to painting in pastel by 1997. I began offering acrylic portraits in 2020. To date, I've painted well over 2500 portraits, and hope to paint hundreds more.

If you didn't see the answer to your particular question, please contact me!

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Description from Merchant:

PASTEL PAINTINGS | I use professional-grade archival acid-free paper and grounds, and professional quality pastels. ACRYLIC PAINTINGS | I use quality professional-grade canvas, gesso and paints, and spray seal each painting with UV-protective matte varnish. PRINTS | I provide high quality digital inks on smooth matte art paper.


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