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If the commission is to be created from a reference photograph, such as a portrait, a clear, sharp image is necessary to produce a drawing that captures the likeness, detail and character of the subject. 

This is not always easy, or sometimes even possible, if a pet is no longer with us or the photograph of the subject is old and/or weathered. Darren is happy to look at a selection of your favourite photographs and discuss what will be possible.

Some points to consider when taking or selecting an optimal photograph that will be used as the reference for a pet portrait.

  • Take the highest resolution photo possible using a digital camera or new model smart phone.

  • Shoot outside in natural daylight; or if indoors, next to a window or under a skylight for accurate colour.

  • Avoid direct sunlight as extreme glare will wash out details. Likewise, overly shaded locations with no light will cast too heavy a shadow. 

  • The photo should be taken at the same level/eye level as your pet, and the area to be portrayed should fill the frame.

  • When zooming in, we can see good detail in the face and reflection in the eyes. 

  • Portraits based on a composite of multiple different photos, i.e., eyes from one photo and mouth from another, is not recommended.

  • Consider additions such as your pet’s collar and name tag, and if you would like these included.

  • You know your pet best, so just keep in mind their personality when trying to get a good photo.

  • Keep in mind, a portrait should not be an exact copy of a photo. It is a handmade work. 

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