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Think about the space you have to hang the portrait and the type of animal you have. Certain animals look better in certain sizes. For example a 10” x 8” portrait would be a suitable size for a head study of a cat or a small dog. Head studies of larger dogs and horses tend to look more effective in larger sizes. Full portraits generally need larger sizes. Multiple portraits also need larger sizes.
I prefer to frame portraits myself if possible, particularly Pastel, as it is possible for this medium to be smudged if not carefully handled. It is safe, however, once under glass. If I send Pastel portraits unframed, I may need to spray them with fixative, which will slightly dull the colours.
For Pastels etc, I use a 30 mm walnut frame with a gold site edge, (illustrated above) and for pencil portraits a black frame. Other frames are available; please contact me to discuss particular framing requirements.
Your portrait is very special. It is unique and it is an investment. It will bring years of pleasure, so please think carefully about how you would like it to look. The information on this page is for your guidance on things to consider before ordering. Please read carefully, and feel free to contact me should there be anything you are unsure of.
In most cases I will not have seen your pet, so the photographs you send me are extremely important. They should be the best you can possibly send. They should be close up, clear, in sharp focus, and taken with a good quality camera. If digital they must be of at least 5 megapixels, or preferably more. More megapixels mean more detail and a better result. Think how you would like your portrait to look, and try and take photographs accordingly. Try to take the photos from the same level as the animal, not looking up at them or down on them, as this will distort the image. Try not to cut off ears for a head study, or parts of the body if you wish to have a full portrait. The photos should be as close as possible to the true colour of the animal. Bright sunlight can cause very strong shadows, and flash photography can also affect colouring, so think about the lighting when you take the photos. I can either take off or put on collars, or bridles, and I can work from several images, if for example you have a really nice pose of a horse and the ears are back or the colour is not quite right.
Framed and mounted Pastel Portrait
CHOICE OF MEDIUM
Each medium has its own properties, and so it will be a matter of personal preference and your budget. I specialise in Pastels which give a lovely soft texture, particularly suitable for animals. I use tinted Canson Paper or by special arrangement Velour Paper. Watercolours have a translucent quality. Pencils are highly detailed monochrome, or for a stronger black and white effect I can use Black Pastel on white paper, which can look very effective; while Oils and Acrylics give a stronger effect. Oils take a long time to produce and are therefore more expensive. There are examples of each in the Galleries.
Examples of Frame and Mount for Pencil (Above)
and Black Pastel (Below)
If you live within a reasonable travelling distance (Approximately 30 miles) I can arrange with you to come and take my own photos, and meet your animal. We can assess the photos there and then and decide which will make the best portrait. I make a small charge of £30 for this service. You will receive a CD with all of the photos that I take, along with the completed portrait.
Mounts are pieces of tinted or coloured card, which make a border around the portrait, forming a frame within the frame. The opening of the mount can be either rectangular or oval. I use double mounts when framing, with a cream or magnolia coloured top mount and a dark green or dark brown under mount. This works well with the standard frame. For Pencil I use Black , grey and white Mount board.
The sizes given on the price list are for the portrait itself. If you wish to have your portrait framed, please bear in mind that the size will be the internal dimensions of the frame. If you wish to have the portrait framed and mounted, please allow for the fact that the size of the frame will be up to 5 inches bigger than the portrait itself because of the mount. For example, if you order a 16” x 12” unframed portrait, the size of the Artwork will be 16” x 12”. If you order the same size portrait framed, the outside dimensions of the frame will be approximately 17” x 13”. If you order a 16” x 12” portrait framed and mounted the outside dimensions of the frame will be approximately 21” x 17” as the mount will give a border of approximately 2” between your portrait and the inside edge of the frame.
Standard framing uses 2 mm clear glass. To cut down on reflected light I recommend diffused glass. This is slightly more expensive, but worthwhile. Please add the relevant amount.
POSTAGE AND PACKING
This is not included in the price. Please allow up to £20 depending on the size of your portrait. All portraits are sent by Insured post.