Photograph to Portrait - the creative design process at Sit Pretty Pet Portraits

Pet portraits from photos

What you can expect when commissioning a custom pet portrait from Sit Pretty Pets

I thought I would put together a little write up accompanied by some photos to take you through my creative process. Hopefully, this will help you get an idea of what you can expect when ordering a custom pet portrait.

After you place your order:

My favourite parts of the design process are right at the beginning and then again right at the end. I love seeing your super cute pet photos after you’ve placed your order because that means I get to squirrel away with a hot coffee and do my first few rough sketches (to be honest my coffee is usually ranging between lukewarm and cold by the time I sit down, but hot sounded better). I do my rough sketches quite quickly and freely and usually do between 3-5 for each pet, although I usually only share my favourite 1 or 2 with you as some of them are rubbish.

Here is an example of the clear naturally lit photo I received of Trip (remember the better the photo the better the portrait):

clear naturally lit pet photo to create custom pet portrait

Here is an example of my rough sketch of Trip (A3 hand-drawn commission):

Rough sketch of pet portrait

Here is my rough skecth of Sonny (60cm x90cm canvas painted commission):

Preliminary sketch of pet portrait from photo

The rough sketches are complete, now what?

Once I’ve completed a few rough sketches I will send them to you for your approval. This is the stage where I beg you to be brutally honest. The reason being, that it is super easy for me to change things at this stage. I do my rough sketches in pencil and or charcoal (depending on what I can find at the given moment) which means I can easily erase eyebrows, adjust jawlines or crumple the old one into a ball and start completely afresh. I use the rough sketch to create the final piece and as a result, I will not start on your final portrait until you have given me your full approval on the sketch.

Once you have given me the thumbs up on the sketch, I will confirm your selected colour scheme and any background colour/pattern requests you made when you ordered and then I will start on the final portrait. 

 An extra step for painted commissions only:

If you commissioned a painted portrait, I will send you a photo once I’ve sketched your beloved pet out onto the canvas. This is because I can’t always sketch to the scale of my larger canvas commissions, although I do my best (I just don’t have 1mx1m paper). Once you are happy with the sketch on the canvas I start painting.

Watch a 1.5 min time-lapse video of me drawing Trip.

Here is an example of my sketch on canvas of Sonny:

Sketch of custom pet portrait from photo

Here is a progress update of Sonny:

Progress update on custom painted pet portrait from photo

Completing your custom pet portrait:

After I’ve completed your portrait, I will send you some photos to get your final approval. Only minor changes can be made at this stage as I will have either used permanent acrylic paint pens or paint. That being said, if you absolutely hate the piece please let me know. It is incredibly important to me that you love your custom pet portrait and I want it to make you and your loved ones smile.

And that is that my creative process revealed! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Here is the finished A3 hand-drawn portrait of Trip:

Finished drawn pet portrait from photo

Here is the finished 60cm x 90cm painted portrait of Sonny:

Pet portrait from photo - finished product

Artist with custom pet portrait from photo

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