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FAQs

- Portrait Commissions -

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

MATERIALS & PROCESS

How do I commission a portrait?

Commission your very own portrait in 3 easy steps.

STEP 1 - SIZES

I offer five different sizes from tiny to extra large, your choice may depend on the number of pets in your portrait and your budget. You can also choose whether you would like a head/neck portrait or a full body portrait.

Visit my price list to see details of the size and cost, as well as more details on the commission process.

STEP 2 - CONTACT ME

Once you have decided upon the type of portrait you would like please contact me with your requirements via my submission form. Please also mention if you have any specific deadlines such as a birthday or anniversary.

STEP 3 - PHOTOS

Choose a clear photograph which conveys your pet’s personality. Check out Step 4 on my Commissions for tips with choosing that perfect picture! My main rule of thumb is "the better the photo, the better the portrait". If you can’t decide, you can email me your photographs and we can discuss together.

How long does it take to complete a portrait?

The time taken to complete your custom artwork will depend on the size and complexity of your drawing. On average, the small portrait can take 2 days to complete whereas the extra-large size can take two weeks to complete.

In addition to portrait completion time I normally have a waiting list which is around 1 to 3 months waiting time. Upon contact, I can provide you with the estimated time of completion for your portrait including delivery time which can take up to 14 working days depending on your location worldwide.

If you are needing your portrait by a specific date, please contact me to check availability. Gift Cards are also available to give on your loved one’s special day and their portrait can be completed at a later date. Click here  to read more about purchasing a gift card.

What materials do you use to create my custom artwork?

Your custom portrait will be completed using the highest quality of acrylic paints ink and paint markers available with lightfast pigment for long lasting bright colour.

These brands include:

  • RAW Acrylic Ink
  • Posca Acrylic Marker
  • Liquitex Acrylic Paint
  • Amsterdam Acrylic Ink
  • Level 3 Artist Loft Canvas

Can I see the progress of the portrait?

You will be contacted before I start our portrait so you know when to keep an eye out on social media for your regular updates and progress of your portrait. If your portrait is a surprise gift then please let me know in advance if you would not like the progress pictures to be shown on social media to keep the surprise. Once the portrait is finished I will email you a watermarked scanned proof for your final approval. Once all is approved your portrait will be sent off.



REFERENCE PHOTOS

Can you draw/paint from a photo?

Yes, I can. All my hand drawn commissions are created from the photos you send to me by email or messenger. Together we take the time to go through your photographs and I will help you choose the one that displays your subject's personality and character the best. If you have already chosen the perfect picture that you would like drawn then please send it to me by email at howard.d.artist@gmail.com so I can take a look and start you on your art commission journey. Be sure to include your name and your pets name in the email. I look forward to seeing your pictures.

How many photographs do you need to paint my portrait?

I only require one clear photograph, however, you can send as many photographs as you like. I can also help you choose the best photo for your portrait if you are unsure. Please email photographs to howard.d.artist@gmail.com

Can you use a poor quality photo to create my portrait?

Of course, it is preferable to have clear, sharp photographs to reference from, however, I do understand that this is not always possible. Especially if your the subject of the art work has passed away and you only have old photographs. If this is the case, don’t stress, we can still create a beautiful portrait with what you have. Just keep in mind, the better the photo, the better the painting. I'm good, but I am not magic!

Can you draw multiple subjects on the one portrait?

Of course! Please refer to my Sizes & Pricing page which sets out how much it will cost up to 10 subjects on the one portrait. Please note that some of the smaller portrait sizes are not available for multiple subjects due to the small space available.

Can you remove and/or add things in the portrait?

Yes of course. Sometimes you may want to remove a person or add a favorite clothing item to the portrait which is no problem. If you have any special requests, please provide me with additional reference pictures to explain your request and I can provide a mock-up for you. If the additional items added to the portrait are significant, an additional fee may be incurred.

In this portrait example I have added the bomber jacket from clothing brand Equris as per request, and  drawn it on the preferred pose.

Can you change the background of my portrait?

As default, all portraits will have a colorful abstract background. If you wish to add a background to your portrait an additional fee will be incurred and the amount will depend on the complexity of the background. Feel free to send me an image of what you are looking to achieve and I would be happy to give you a quote.




PAYMENT

When and how do I pay for my portrait?

A 50% deposit is taken in order to get started. You can pay via monthly instalments and the first installment will hold your place on my waiting list. The drawing of the portrait will not begin until 50% is paid and you up in the queue on the waitlist. If your turn has come on the waitlist and 50% is not paid, you will moved to the end of the waitlist.

You can pay via PayPal, CashApp or bank transfer (bank transfer and CashApp is for US customers only). If you do not have PayPal then do not worry, I can send you an invoice and then you can pay using a debit card like any other online purchase. If you are paying for your portrait via monthly instalments I will send you a reminder/invoice at the beginning of each month for you to pay.

Delivery of the portrait will only be charged after the portrait is complete and you have given final approval. The portrait needs to be packed and weighed before I can invoice you and the amount will depend on the size and destination of the portrait. Please let me know what country you are from and what size portrait you would like to commission and I can give you an approximate delivery quote before you order.

Is my portrait refundable?

You may have a full refund within the first 7 days of payment. After 7 days the portrait may be partially refundable. If I have started on your portrait, it is NOT refundable. If there are any issues after placing the order then please contact me so we can discuss it together. Before the drawing of the portrait I can provide you with a mockup of the final result upon request. During the drawing of the portrait you will be able to follow along on social media and let me know of any changes you wish to make. Once the portrait is complete you will have the opportunity to give any final small changes and alterations to the portrait before I pack it up and send it to you.


 SHIPPING & HANDLING

Is my sport portrait guaranteed to be delivered in time?

In short yes! If you have told me the specific date that you need the portrait by before booking your slot, I would let me know whether or not it is possible. If I have stated that your portrait would be completed and delivered by your deadline then you have my word and written confirmation that this will be the case. If for any reason your deadline date changes then please let me know immediately.

Do you ship your athlete portraits internationally?

Of course! If you’re ordering a print from my online store shipping will be calculated upon check out. If you’re ordering a custom pet portrait, I can provide you with a shipping quote upon ordering but shipping will not be invoiced until the portrait is complete.

Can I track my order?

You sure can! You will be emailed with your tracking number and a link once your order has been dispatched.

How much will it cost to ship my custom portrait?

Shipping costs for custom portraits depend on the size of the artwork and it’s destination. I can provide you with an estimation upon request but the actual cost will not be known until the completed portrait is packed and weighed. I will invoice you for the cost of delivery once you have given final approval of the portrait.


ARTWORK CARE

How will I receive the portrait?

The portrait will be shipped in a shipping box or wood crate depending on size, you will find:

  • Certificate of Authentication signed by the artist.
  • Your Portrait framed and wrapped.
  • An artwork care guide for ensuring that your portrait will last a lifetime.

Will my pet portrait be framed?

Your portrait will be in a floating frame. By default the frame will be an oak frame and I will extend painting from the portrait onto the frame. If you have a preference you can choose the frame colors. The options are Oak, Gold, Walnut, Black and White.

How do I take care of my artwork?

About The Paints Used

My paintings are created with high quality artist’s materials.  I mostly use Liquitex Basics, Liquitex Heavy Body, and RAW acrylic paints.  These paints use very high quality pigments and acrylic media, and are lightfast rated.  Lightfastness is the rating given to pigments which determines how well they retain their color in the presence of UV light.  The higher the light fast rating, the better they retain their color.  These paints are all non toxic. With that said, you will still want to keep them out of direct sun light. Over time, consistent extreme heat or cold could cause the paint to crack.

Caring For Stretched Canvas

Your painting was created on stretched canvas. This canvas is made by stretching cotton canvas over solid pine wood stretcher bars to the preferred length and width.  It is then fixed to the back with staples and tucked in between two layers of wood.  If hung properly and with minimal handling, the canvas should remain stretched tight and keep its shape. If you notice at any time that the wood has warped or the canvas becomes loose, please take it to a framing store that specializes in restoring paintings and re-stretching canvases to fix the bars for you.

Hanging your Canvas

The canvas arrives ready-to-hang! A wire has been attached to the back of the canvas frame for easy hanging.  Simply hang from a hook on the wall, and use a level to make sure it is even. I do recommend applying some rubber bumpons or felt adhesive pads to each corner of the back of the painting to prevent your wall from being scratched by any staples or screws

About the Varnish

Your painting has two- three layers of clear acrylic varnish applied to the entire surface to protect it. I use a mix of matte and high gloss varnish to high light certain areas of the painting.  Acrylic varnish enhances the colors and evens out differences in glossiness of the paint.  It also adds a layer of protection to the paint, protecting it from humidity and UV damage.  This varnish is designed to stay clear and colorless and will not result in a yellow discoloration of your painting.

Handling Your Painting

Please avoid touching or handling the surface of the painting too much. Your skins’ oils contain acids and can damage the artwork with prolonged handling.  To hold and move your painting, please handle it by the sides.  You can also handle it by the wire that is attached to the back. To be extra cautious, you may wear gloves to handle your painting.

Where To Hang your Painting

Keep your painting around room temperature (65° F - 75° F). As mentioned, extreme cold or heat can damage your artwork. Smoking near the painting will damage the paint surface as well. Please hang the painting in an area that is not exposed to water.  Avoid hanging in areas like the bathroom, kitchen, or near aquariums.  Also, avoid hanging in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight, as UV light can damage the painting and cause the colors to fade.  The varnish does provide UV protection, but consistent exposure to direct sun will still damage the painting over time.

Cleaning Your Painting

A safe way to remove dust and light debris is to use compressed air to blow all dust particles off the surface, or use a damp microfiber cloth with water only to gently wipe the surface. Do not use any cleaning chemicals or detergents. Bleach and ammonia can permanently damage your painting. Most cleaning products on the market contain either bleach or ammonia.  Glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners, disinfecting wipes, and household cleaning products all contain ammonia compounds.

If you need to deep clean your artwork, use a small amount of olive oil based soap or use a professional cleaning service that has a good reputation in cleaning fine art.

An original will always be worth more than a reproduction.

With proper care, you can keep your paintings alive and living for generations.  Please enjoy your painting!

    If you have any more questions please contact me any time. I look forward to hearing from you.