Congratulations!  You have decided to have a pet portrait commissioned of your favorite little pup-pup or kitty or fishy or birdy!  For you, this is an investment of both time and money, so you want to find the PERFECT picture of Fluffy.  While it is true that you want to send the perfect picture, capturing THAT image can be exhausting.

Don’t worry!  Here are some things to know about how Karen Ahuja Studio approaches a pet portrait.  It will help you when trying to take a shot that works best for you pet portrait.

1. We will most likely use one main image to create your portrait.  But we still need multiple images to see any distinguishing marks or fur/feather/scale patterns.  So be prepared to send 3-5 images on the first round of picture sharing.

2. Be ready for a couple rounds of picture sharing.

3.The picture doesn’t need to be perfect but there are some poses that create stronger portraits.

  • Eye level poses are better than above.  That perspective can be distracting and exaggerate the size of the nose.
  • Slightly to the side poses can create a unique or more regal portrait..  But straight on work too.

Quick Tip: Have a partner help you take the pictures.  If someone stands behind you and/or off to one side, this will help to distract your pet.  (Especially if you have a camera shy pet.) There are times when you can’t get a new picture of your pet.  I have had clients who lost a pet and don’t have the types of pictures that I need.   I can adapt the painting based on the pictures you have, knowing the breed or combination of breeds.

4. Think about whether the portrait will be from the shoulder up or whether it will be from head to tail.  Some things to think about when deciding on this.

    • What wall are you planning to hang your portrait.  Some walls will need horizontal or vertical paintings.
    • Full body portraits can be more challenging and need to executed on a larger canvas.
    • Square canvases can be a challenge to fit the full pet figure6As discussed in point #2, the place where you plan to hang your painting can dictate size and shape.

5. You also want to share your color palette with the artist.  You also need to give the artist creative freedom.  If an artist paints with a bold color palette, you can’t expect a neutral painting to match your neutral room decor.  If you need a neutral palette this needs to be discussed at the beginning of the process.

6. Be ready for you Karen Ahuja Studio pet portrait to have colors that you wouldn’t necessarily find in the fur.  But the way that light can highlight fur color can produce blue or pink highlights.  For example black fur has teal and purple highlights.  Cream color fur will have a variety of highlights ranging from mauve to lavender or even blue.  Be ready for some fun colors!

7. I have learned that the background colors can make a pet look female or male.  I specifically pick background colors based on the color of the pet and the gender of the pet.  If you have specific colors that you like (or don’t like) I will need to know those request ahead of time.

8. Many times I will crop or adjust a picture you send me.  Here are a couple examples.

If you are interested in learning more about commissioning a pet portrait from Karen Ahuja Studio, feel free to contact me!

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