How To: Order your Dream Pet Commission
This post is about how I like to work with clients, and definitely doesn't speak for other illustrators.
When I'm approached for a pet commission, it's usually either a gift for the fur mumma/papa or the pet has passed away and it's a memoir. And as such it needs to be something worth the sentiment, so I've put together a guide so you get exactly what you're after!
1. Pick a Size
Most of the time, I will gift the original artwork and therefore it's important you let me know what size you want before I put paint to paper. I personally offer only A5 or A4 (unless you specifically request something custom). Keep in mind A5 is fine for just the animal, but if you request a background there's limited space before it becomes looking cramped.
2. Reference Photos!
Because I have never seen the furry munchkin, I need photos! I've had occasions where they've described the animal as a "typical black and white French Bulldog." Ok cool, but don't blame me when I draw (left) and the dog is actually (right).
Please make sure the photos (yes, multiples please!) are CLEAR - I can't get his beautiful brown eyes if I can't see them! Treats work... well, a treat, when it's getting your dog to sit still. And if it's someone else's dog, have a stalk of their Instagram/Facebook as there's usually a sneaky picture there, or use the ol' "What breed is Fluffy again? My friend wants a similar dog, can you send me a photo so I can show her?"
I will make recommendations on which composition will work best depending on what size you've chosen, and take elements from every photo you've supplied to draw Fluffy.
3. Special Additions
Maybe the dog loved being on the beach, has a favourite toy you want drawn in his mouth, or lives in Paddington with his fabulous owner:
Every dog (and cat) has their own personality, and I'm happy to make it shine! These details need to be told to me in advance so I can plan the composition. (If the background is basically another artwork in itself, it may be at an additional cost.)
I will send you a rough pencil sketch of the layout before I start painting, to make sure you know what you're getting and are happy with the design. Then once it's finished, I send you another picture as a sneak peek and off it goes for you to see it in the flesh!
Every commission is special to me, and I love hearing your stories and getting to know your special little friend. The best part is hearing the recipient has cried tears of joy upon receiving the gift - it's not just a drawing, it's a memento.
Price Guide for Pet Commissions: from $250, email me for more.
I take a 50% deposit before we start work, and the balance to be paid before it's posted.