Commission Process

  1. Portraits take 1 to 3 months from start to finish.
  2. Portrait prices are set based on the painting size. Please contact me for a price quote.
  3. A 50% deposit is due before painting begins, the balance is due upon delivery of the painting.
  4. I paint portraits from a combination of life and reference photographs, depending on the subject and location of the subject. If reference photos must be used, I prefer to at least start the portrait from life and then use photos to continue the process, then have the subject come in at the end to do final touches if at all possible.
  5. It is always best if I take the reference photographs myself unless geography or timing are an issue. This way I can ensure the correct variety and type of photographs. It also helps me get to know the subject, which is very important for a good portrait. I also paint memorial portraits and these can be done from a combination of photo references.
  6. If the client provides the reference photographs, I need as many as possible, preferably at least 10 photos of the highest quality possible, and a signed release from the photographer giving me permission to use the photos for painting reference.
  7. If I take the photos, the cost of the photography session is included in your estimate. There is no discount in the portrait price if you provide the photographs. There is usually a larger effort involved if you provide the photos because then I have to piece together reference images for a painting. If you are providing reference photographs, please see photo tips below for some helpful suggestions.


  1. Take photos in natural light. Don’t use a flash! Flash takes away dimension by flattening shadows and highlights. The best situation is to photograph the subject near a window or outside.
  2. At least some of the photographs should be close up – the subject’s face should fill the frame of your camera.
  3. Take more photos than you think you need and send them all to me. You can email me samples or mail me a disc. You must provide at least 10 images, preferably more. The more detailed photographs I have, the better the portrait will be.
  4. Try to get as much sharp detail as you can, the photographs must be in focus.
  5. Don’t worry about getting the background you want behind your pet in the photograph you take. The background is usually altered to enhance the painting and elements can be integrated from different photos.
  6. Any reference photos you send me must include a written release from the photographer allowing me to use them as references for painting. This is extremely important. If you send me photos taken by a professional photographer, or by any photographer, I can’t paint those images without the photographer’s permission to do so.

  1. Try to get the animal to look up into the light so their eyes are highlighted. You can do this by having someone else play with them or feed them treats while you take the photo.
  2. Take some photos that focus on your pet’s personality and some that focus more on the color and texture of their fur.
  3. It is helpful for me to have a written description of a paragraph or two of your pet’s personality. Alternatively, you could provide me with a video or DVD.