Private portraits – FAQs

What is the process for commissioning a drawing?

If you’re considering commissioning a drawing, get in touch to let me know which type and size commission you’re interested in and whether you have a deadline in mind. It can also be helpful to see one or two photos at this stage so I have a visual reference to the subject matter being discussed. If I have capacity to complete the commission within your required timeframe, I will send a booking form for you to complete which will provide me with information I need to undertake your commission.

I will need a 50% deposit to secure your booking. Please be sure you have read and agree to my terms and conditions before making any payment.

I’ll ask you to send me a selection photos of your animal (see below) before I start the portrait. If you like examples of my previous work, you are welcome to let me know your preference. Otherwise, I ask you to trust me to create a drawing of your animal without any direction during the process.

When the drawing is finished, I will share an image of the final piece with you via email or WhatsApp.

Pets names are not written on the bottom of drawings unless specifically requested. Drawings are sprayed with non-yellowing professional fixative to prevent smudging and dust, unless you ask me when booking to leave it unsprayed.

An invoice for the final 50% balance plus shipping costs will be sent upon completion. Your drawing or painting will then be wrapped in glassine paper, securely packaged and shipped using a fully-insured courier – unless you have a preference for collecting it in person from my North London studio.

Do you work from real life or photos?

I usually work from photos which enables me to accept commissions internationally. I ask clients to provide a handful of photos, and preferably a video too to give a sense of an animal’s character and movement. Please only provide photos that you are happy for me to work from. If some photos are only being provided for general reference, please make this clear when sharing images. In general I don’t include harnesses in a drawing, but I’m happy for harnesses to appear in the photo references. If you would prefer me to include a harness or collar, please make that clear when booking.

If you have a preference for a drawing made from real life, please get in touch and I’d be happy to discuss.

What do you look for in a photo?

Photos that capture the character and personality of your animal are ideal. Plus good quality photos make a huge difference to a drawing. Please try and make sure your photos:

  • Are taken outside or in natural light where possible.
  • Are taken at your animal’s height, when they aren’t stressed.
  • Aren’t low resolution or blurry.
  • Don’t have the animal’s mouth open or with the tongue hanging out (it might look like your pet is happy, but these don’t make for great drawings).

Get in touch if you want to check the quality of your photos.

How can I send you my photos?

Once a commission has been agreed, you can send photos via WhatsApp, Instagram direct messaging or a file sharing site like wetransfer.com.

How much do you charge for commissions?

For current prices in GBP visit this page. For prices in other currencies, including conversion fees, please get in touch to let me know which size and type of portrait you are considering and the country where you are based. Shipping costs are extra (see below). The total commission fee is payable in two instalments – 50% deposit to secure the booking and the remaining 50% balance plus shipping costs upon completion.

Can you ship internationally?

Yes, no problem. Get in touch for an accurate quote for shipping outside the UK. Customers will need to cover any customs duties for international shipping.

How much is postage?

Shipping starts at £15 for fully-insured, tracked UK shipping for smaller sizes and increases based on artwork size and value. If you want an accurate shipping quote before booking a commission, please get in touch with details of the commission value you’re interested in and your postcode.

Commissions can also be collected in person for free from my studio in North London.

Do you accept returns?

Returns on custom portraits are not possible unless they are damaged in transit. Drawings are wrapped exceptionally well but in the unlikely event they are damaged, please take photos of the damage – preferably before unwrapping the item – and send them to me as soon as possible.

Is it possible to have additional copies of the artwork?

Yes. I’m very happy to provide hand-signed giclee prints of original artwork. They make great gifts for additional family members. Prices start at £55 for an A4 print (and can be provided up to very large sizes), without incurring any additional shipping charge if delivered along with the original commission.

Will you be sharing the drawing on social media? What if I don’t want my friend/partner/parent to see if online before I’ve gifted it to them?

With your consent I will share the finished piece, possibly a process video and the name and breed of the animal on social media. I also like to share something of your description of your pet. I only ever share identifying images after an artwork has been received by the recipient and I ask you for this information in advance. I give the option to tag clients in social media posts, or remain anonymous. I am happy for you to repost anything I share on my own accounts, but ask you not to edit the images by cropping or adding filters. Thank you!

Do you only draw dogs and cats?

I am happy to discuss any commissions, not just dogs and cats. If you have an idea for a commission or a project, please drop me an email and let me know what you have in mind. You can see more of my work at lauramckendry.com.