If you are thinking about commissioning a pet portrait – it can be very confusing.
There’s a bit of money involved, so where do you start?

You will have an idea of how much you want to spend, then I recommend you find or take the best pictures you can. With a real camera if possible (phone pictures are often not very sharp!).

Choose the ones you like the best, a few of them (say 3 or 4). Ones that look good, and show what your pet is typically like. The look at the images again – if they are really sharp, go for a painting if you can, it can be kept for gererations, a lovely thing to have. If your images are not the clearest (or are old because the pet had passed away), then probably you will need an ink drawing.  Click on this one on the left, It’s a great example of what I mean, a lovely picture but too small and unsharp for me to see the detail well enough for a painting.

I will not proceed with a painting if the pictures are not clear enough because you will be disappointed, and I will not be happy with the work.
I have never had a rejection (yet!), so I don’t want to start now. And I want you to love your art as much I loved painting it.

The holidays are over and it’s back to work!
I have 3 dogs on the go – already, and some new animals coming up soon
(something different!).  So, it looks like it might be a busy year. I hope so.
Every pet deserves a portrait!

Oh… and there will be a new completely range of paintings coming
later in the year as well. And a new website. Exciting times. Stay tuned…

It’s been a great year for us at PaintedPets Contemporary Animal Portraits!
It’s actually been our best year ever – so much so that we have been able
to “give back” by donating to a range of amazing no-kill groups that look after,
rehome and support abandoned, homeless and unwanted animals (who could not want animals in their lives?!).  So, thank you all so much for supporting us
during 2016 –we would not be here without you.
Best wishes to you all for a wonderful 2017.

We have some great (new) ideas for 2017 too, so come back here
and find out more in the New Year!

We were invited to Cat Protection on Saturday for their open day.
So many gorgeous cats are looking for new homes, so it’s worth a visit
if you are looking for a furry lifetime companion!

It was a great day, a colouring competion for kids, a raffle (with great prizes!),
and some professionals working with cats gave informative talks on cat behaviour,
health and general tips on having fun with and looking after kitties. For the occasion,
I painted a portrait of the handsome “Tiger” who was adopted just a few days before
the open day, lucky boy! Lucky humans, to share their home with such a lovely cat.

Dark coloured fur is always challenging.
For me it’s a fine line between the actual colour of your pet
and what makes a nice work of art. Too dark, you don’t see the pet.
Too light, it doesn’t look right somehow.

The picture here shows you what I mean (click on the image for a larger view).
The reference picture I used is on the left.
She is a pretty little French Bulldog, but very dark. She’s actually a rich chocolate and black mix (brindle).
This portrait was created in ink & wash. The middle image is the first one I did, but as the ink dried I felt it was too light –
most clients want the portrait to look like their pet. So, I did it again (right image). This is closer to the picture but
I still kept it lighter so you can see the detail in her face and her eyes (artistic license!). But, as always, the quality of your
finished portrait depends heavily on the quality (think sharpness and detail) of your original image.

When commissioning a portrait of a pet – you really want to know
what you are going to get, before you actually commit. Don’t you?

You know your pet. You have decided on a budget. So where do you go from there?
Well, I like to see as many pictures of your pet as possible (because I don’t know him/her). A good range of images tell me many things about your pet’s personality which is a great asset for the painting. Sometimes the final work is a combination of a few images (ear position, eyes, paws, “smiles” can all be controlled and highlighted in a painting, the big advantage over a photograph!).

You are shown a range of layouts (usually 2-4) to consider. Some could be sketches,
like this one, or some just cropped images you have supplied (it depends on the pictures). You may really want something that just will not work, so I’ll talk you out of it, because I know the final result will be disappointing – and that’s bad for my reputation and your wallet! We talk through everything so you know exactly what you will get before we start. Simple really. And very exciting!

I don’t do framing, and most often a portrait is fine without a frame,
but this was a special request.

You get the idea how a portrait would look framed. Of course the choice of frames
is endless, and it depends on the “look” you want and your wall space, decor and budget (that’s why it’s best for you to discuss the frame with a reputable framer/gallery). This is a classic pewter frame with a slip, focusing on our gorgeous subject, Rosie. Just showing how it can look. To frame or not to frame – it’s very much a personal  choice. Either way is good, it’s just a case of personal style.
Still not sure?
I recommend a trip to the National Gallery (NGA), or a Regional Gallery near you, where they have a range of exhibitions on display, then if you like the idea of a frame, then a trip to the framers with your painting. The framer does it all the time, they are really helpful with ideas for a great result to complement the painting.

I saw an ad today showing how our pets are really beneficial for our health & wellbeing.
But if you are reading this then you already know that!

It got me thinking about our very first year…

I had a stand in the dog pavillion at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. A guy came to say hello
with his daughter. The little girl was seriously disabled. Her dad said said she was attracted
to my paintings because they were so colourful (those early ones were very bright!).
He told me about his daughter’s friendship with her dog, Lexie. Her Assistance Dog. And very special friend.
The dog and the little girl are inseparable (her companion and best friend). He sleeps in her room
at night (if she has any kind of problem or emergency, he will alert the family immediately).
He looks after her and protects her. Always. Lexie is a very important member of the family.
(I think he is one of the dogs in this clip).

Obviously budget is a consideration, as is the “look”
you want to acheive. But the size and clarity of your images
play an important part in deciding which way to go – oil or ink?

Sometimes you may not have the best pictures (often the case when
your pet has passed away), so an ink & wash drawing is definitely
the way to go. They are much looser in style (and more forgiving if your
pictures do not have too much detail), so you can have a great animal
painting like the ones you see on this site. All my ink & wash portraits are painted on the finest quality watercolour paper
and are delivered professionally framed and are ready to hang. For more details CLICK HERE

This is a detail of a painting delivered in time for Christmas.
He is one of four dogs in the work. Go to the gallery to see the whole painting.

Thank you to all who supported us in 2015 and all the very best to everyone
for making 2016 a great year.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all.