Below is a list of commonly asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered below then please feel free to contact me.
Q. Do you accept commissions from countries other than New Zealand?
A. Yes I do. I use paypal invoicing for secure international payments, and I ship my finished artwork using New Zealand Post's Insured Economy Courier service where available, and standard Economy Courier or Airmail services where it is not available.
Q. Is my photo ok to use for a portrait?
A. Email me a full size copy of it and we can discuss it. The quality of your photo will affect the amount of detail in your finished portrait but in most cases I will still be able to work from it, especially if you no longer have the pet and are unable to take more photos.
Q. I want a portrait of my pets together but I don't have a good photo with them all in it. Can I still get a group portrait?
A. Yes, I can combine different photos to draw one group portrait. This works best when the photos are taken at about the same camera angle and in similar lighting conditions. If you are unsure then you can email me your photos and we can discuss your options.
Q. Can I choose a different background than the one in the photo?
A. Yes you can. If there is a specific setting that you would like your pet to be drawn in, then please email me a photo of that scene as well.
Q. Can you remove people or other objects from a photo?
A. Yes, provided the object doesn't cover up too much of the necessary details.
Q. Can I add my pet's name to the portrait?
A. Yes I can add your pet's name at no extra cost, but please let me know before I begin on your portrait so I can leave space for it.
Q. How long does a portrait take to complete?
A. I have a very finely detailed style which uses lots and lots of layers to capture not only the softness and suppleness of the fur but also the unique character and spirit. The eyes alone can take me a full day. The time it takes to complete a whole portrait varies greatly depending on the size, complexity and the number of subjects, but is usually between two days to two weeks. However please be aware that I usually have a waiting list for my portraits.
Q. Do your portraits come framed?
A. No they don't. I leave the framing up to the customer so my portraits are easy and safe to ship anywhere in the world, and it also means I can keep my prices as low as possible. That way the customer can choose a framing option that suits their colourscheme and also budget.
Q. Do coloured pencil portraits last as long as other mediums?
A. Yes, I use professional archive quality coloured pencils for my portraits that contain pH neutral lightfast pigments. They are drawn on lightfast acid and lignin free archive quality papers for long life and conservation. I also spray all of my finished portraits with a protective fixative to help prevent any dust or smudging. I recommend the use of UV conservation glass when framing portraits. To ensure the integrity and longevity of your artwork, it is important to use a reputable framer who can talk you through all of your framing options and can give great advice. It is also important to remember a few guidelines when choosing a place to hang your portrait. Keep them away from direct sunlight, harsh UV or fluorescent lights and direct firelight which can rapidly increase the rate of aging and fading. Kitchens, bathrooms, attics, basements, or any other areas prone to environmental extremes and with high risk of moisture or water leaks are not recommended. The best place to hang artwork is on interior walls, which do not reach the same temperature extremes or bear as much moisture as exterior walls.
Q. Do I have to pay a deposit?
A. You don't have to pay a deposit to hold your place on my waiting list, but you do need to pay a 25% deposit before I begin on your portrait. The balance is required to be paid within seven days of completing your portrait.
Q. Do I get to see a preview of my portrait before you send it?
A. Yes, absolutely! When I have completed your portrait, I will email you a proof for your approval. Please be aware that due to the nature of coloured pencils, only very minor adjustments can be made to a finished portrait. This is why it is very important that we plan the portraits carefully and confirm all of the details before I begin. Once you are satisfied with the final portrait, and have paid the remaining balance, then I will ship your portrait to you.
Q. Do you reproduce my finished portrait?
A. All of my finished artworks are included on my website and facebook page, and may on occasion be used for advertising purposes. Commissioned portraits are only made into magnets, cards, or other products at the request of the portrait's owner, but never for public sale. If for any reason the sale of a commissioned piece is not completed, I reserve the right to reproduce and sell the original artwork.
Artwork that is created for projects, eg. for an exhibition or a book, that has been created with a public audience in mind, is my work to share. I always without exception get permission before drawing any photos, but I can then use my artistic licence to draw them in a way that I want to and make changes if I wish. It's an amazing opportunity to choose photos that may be quite challenging or offer aspects that I'm less familiar with, and have the freedom to experiment and learn more. I always offer the owner of the animals first option to purchase these portraits, but regardless of whether they are purchased by the owner or a member of the public, they are still viewed as "project portraits" rather than "commissioned portraits" and may be reproduced in the future on such products as cards, magnets or other creations.
Q. Can you make a magnet or other item from my pet?
A. Having a magnet, card or other item made is an optional extra after you have commissioned a portrait. It takes a lot of time and care to draw my portraits so I only draw them by commission, or with permission as part of a specific project that I am working on, eg. for a book or exhibition.