I previously shared how I develop a pet portrait. In this post I would like to share more complex commissions.
The most frequent request is for a multiple figure portrait where the client has several pets they would like to incorporate into one scene. When multiple pets need to be incorporated it created challenges like accurately representing the size of each pet in proportion to each other. You can see in the sketches below that at first the chihuahua was too large in comparison to the two tiny Pekingese. The proportions of the dogs had to be tweaked a couple times.
In a multiple pet portrait you also have the question: what are the figures doing in relation to each other? This client presented the idea to me of the chihuahua on the throne and described all the features very clearly to me. Most of the time a client isn’t going to have as clear of a vision, which is totally ok, and so it’s up to me to present some ideas.
I also get unusual painting size requests at times. This happens when a client has already selected a picture frame they would like to use for the painting. This could include a vintage frame or a small oval frame. In order to accommodate this type of request I had to learn how to make oil paintings on illustration paper. The painting is sturdy and archival, and the paper allows me to customize it to any shape or size. This duo is painted on custom paper and fits the intended frames perfectly.
At times I also receive requests to paint animals that represent people. Here’s an example of a wedding portrait that included the bride and groom’s exact wedding clothes and some features that were symbolic to their relationship. The painting was revealed at their wedding!
There have also been times I have refused a commissioned painting, just a few. The reason may be because it is out of line with the type of work I create and just not a creative direction I want to explore in my portfolio. Usually, I would recommend an artist or two who I think would match the client’s request.
I really love creating custom art for clients. It is satisfying to see their reaction when their vision comes to life.