Friday, March 16, 2012

Animal Portrait Styles, Sizes & Price List

Portraits of animals -- every species and size -- are always a challenge and a joy. They feel like a lengthy conversation in which I learn about the animal's heart, its dignity, even its sense of humor.

My goal with each portrait is not only to capture all that character and life, but to do so in a work that is not just a likeness, but a piece of art in its own right.

I offer paintings and drawings in a variety of sizes and media, and tailor each job to the needs of the client. This is a basic price list with examples.

Motley the Yorkie, 11 x 11" mixed media on cotton rag paper
Traditional Oil Paintings on Canvas

Built up from drawing to finished work in the traditional, complex method of layering and blending. I use oil-primed linen canvas, the highest quality available, with finished edges that make framing optional rather than required.  On request, I may also paint on high-quality artists' hardboard panels.

Pumpkin, 10 x 8" oil on canvas. Done as a portfolio piece; sold to MJ in Florida, who I know will take very good care of her.
Twilight in the Evening Sun, 18 x 18" oil on canvas

Maggie, 24 x 24" oil on canvas

10 x 8"  oil on canvas/panel, $495. This is a nice size for smaller dogs and for cat portraits.
12 x 9"   oil on canvas/panel, $595.  A nice format suited for long-faced dog breeds such as Greyhounds and GSDs, and for horses.
14 x 11"  oil on canvas/panel,  $695.  A good choice when you have a larger animal or a larger space.

Square formats -- common sizes are 10 x 10", 12 x 12", and 18 x 18"; prices for oils start at $545 for a 10" square. Horse portraits often naturally fit a square format.

Custom Sizes: Available on request, always. Call or email for a consultation and quote, free of charge.

Mixed Media Portrait Paintings.  I use a variety of techniques for these, generally chosen based on a combination of artistic instinct and my sense of the animal's character. Most commonly I use Rives BFK Tan paper, which is a rich, heavy cotton paper with a warm tone; the portraits are created on that backdrop in traditional sanguine pencils, pastels, velvety black carbon pencil, and even washes of watercolor.

Jane, Not Plain. 10 x 10" watercolors, pastels, pastel pencils and acrylic on cotton rag paper.

Mr. Brady, 8 x 10" mixed media on cotton rag paper

No creature too small. This is Torley, who is a dwarf hamster. His tiny portrait is just 6 x 6". 

1o x 8" is the standard and most popular size. Drawing only, unmatted, $300. I can mat these in a museum-quality, warm cream colored mat, ready to fit a standard 14 x 11" frame, for an additional $30.

Larger drawings such as the 11" square portraits of Motley the Yorkie start at $350 for the drawing only, unmatted. 

Custom sizes are always available! Just ask for a consult and quote, at no charge.

How to Commission: 

Email me photos! I need them to be large and/or high-resolution photographs, in good lighting (i.e. natural light and no flash). The animal's face should be in sharp focus, so I can clearly see the details. Send plenty of images; they help me get to know the animal. If you need some basic photography help, I will be happy to provide pointers.

For local clients, I can provide a package which includes a visit to your home or barn where I will meet you and your animal and take my own reference photos for the work. 

If the animal is deceased ... show me what photos you do have, and we'll talk. I have an unusual ability to transform less-than-great photos into beautiful art, at an additional cost for the extra time it requires.

Note that I cannot use photos taken by a professional photographer unless you provide me with that photographer's written permission to do so.

A 25% deposit is due on commissions at the time when they are booked. Turnaround will usually vary from 2 weeks up to 90 days, depending upon my existing schedule and the size of the work you are commissioning.  If you have a particular deadline, do let me know; if it's possible I will work with you.

I will make a preliminary sketch of the art and email that to you for approval or changes before I begin. Then, as the piece is in progress, I will take the occasional shot to send you, and to post to my blog and/or Facebook, as my readers enjoy watching the process. If the portrait is a gift and needs to be a surprise, I will keep it under wraps for you. 


  1. Pumpkin's proud new mama is requesting that she be marked "sold." Or "adopted." May I squee?

    1. But of course! I am so happy she's going home with you.

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