Frequently Asked Questions
How do I commission a pet portrait?
I highly recommend checking out finished portraits in the gallery so you can see determine if you want an acrylic or watercolor portrait done. After you know what you style you want, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org with photos and a story of your pet so I can get my creative process started. Then, choose your medium in the shop, select what size you want, and submit your order. Once you have completed these steps, I will send you an email to confirm your order and send you a rough digital-design for you to approve (keeping in mind the painted portrait will look different than a digital mock-up). After your payment has been made, I will begin the painting process and have the portrait completed within 7-14 days, depending on my workload.
If you want to see the final product before a pick up, delivery, or shipping is arranged, I will send watermarked photos for your final approval, at which point I am willing to rework small requested changes until you are 100% satisfied with the painting. However, you are welcome to skip this step if you are confident in my artist skills to deliver a portrait that you will cherish and not ruin the grand reveal of getting to see the portrait for the first time in person.
How long will it take to complete my pet portrait?
Typically a portrait will be completed in 7-14 days once the painting design is agreed upon, and I have the reference photos needed to complete the portrait. If there is ever a reason the portrait timeline is extended, you will be contacted. The turnaround time depends on how many portraits I am currently working on, as well as my current workload for my full-time job and personal life stress factors. (It is possible for me to finish painting your portrait sooner than the expected time frame.)
**All paintings are done in the order I receive them. If you have a specific date you need your pet portrait by, be sure to let me know and I will see if I can accommodate. (Note: I typically get busier in the holiday season, so it is advised to not wait till the last minute for gifts!)
What kind of photos do you need?
I use the images you email me for reference when painting; the better the photo quality, the easier it is for me to capture those crucial details that make your pet unique. If you wish to have any particular quirks or details of your pets features and personality captured in the painting, please be sure to send me photos of those details specifically as well as indicate that you wish for those features to make an appearance in the portrait.
Keep the following in mind when looking through your photos or taking new ones:
Natural lighting - outdoors or near a window, keeps fur colors from being distorted.
Photos taken at your pet's eye level are the most striking.
Blurry photos will make your portrait lose precious details.
Make sure their head is fully visible in the photo.
Patience makes perfect - sometimes a great photo takes a bit of effort.
If you live near Duluth, MN and are struggling to get a good photo of your pet, please contact me, and I can assist you in this process.
*NOTE* If you want more than one pet in the same portrait, they do not need to be in the same high-quality picture together, but I will need one photo together to show their size difference.
Email photos of your pet to: email@example.com.
Do you offer framing for your pet portraits?
I do not currently offer matting or framing for watercolor pet portraits. I have always believed that framing is a very personal touch and depends on the aesthetics of the room the portrait is going to be displayed in. However, I always recommend minimal matting or clear frames so that the natural edges of the paper (deckle) of a watercolor portrait can be visible while it is on display and no precious detail of your portrait is getting covered by matting. (Feel free to contact me about this for additional info.)
Acrylic pet portraits will be wall-ready with the sides cleanly painted to look presentable from all angles whether it sits on your mantle, favorite book shelf, or proudly hangs on your wall.
Do you have gift certificates available?
Yes! I have gift certificates that can written out for a specific sized watercolor or acrylic pet portrait, or $$ amount off a purchase by the recipient. Purchased gift certificates NEVER expire and make great stocking stuffers. They are also an easy way to give the gift of a pet portrait to someone that has too many pets or photos of their pet for you to decide which is their favorite.
Gift certificates can also be sent anonymously if you want to send one to someone without them knowing you had a hand in it, just let me know the name/address of the recipient, and I will write them a letter letting them know that someone wanted them to have a portrait done!
"I commissioned Sarah to do a portrait of my dog, Dismal, that we'd had for fourteen years. Sarah had never seen the dog and worked off half a dozen pictures I forwarded from my phone. I was very anxious about how it would turn out as it was a surprise for my dog's co-guardian, my partner. I was incredibly impressed with how she captured the personality of my dog. It was a huge hit as a present. The portrait has become one of our treasured possessions. If there was a house fire it would be one of the first things saved. We now adopt older, unwanted dogs and intend to have her do a portrait of every one. It allows us to feel like we are patrons of the arts."
Bob B. - 2021