Commission Your Own Custom Pet Portrait - How To

Getting your own custom pet portrait is easy. Just follow these steps to start!

  1. Choose Your Photos
    All artwork is based off of a photo or photos of your pet, so please make sure to send some high quality, in focus photos of your pet. 2-4 photos is preferred, unless you have a favorite one you specifically want to re-create or use. Please do not send poor quality photos, such as ones taken indoors with the flash on, ones taken from above the pet looking down, dark photos, or blurry/out of focus phone photos. If you do not know which photo would be best for a portrait, please send a few of your favorites and Mindy can go over them and pick one or two that would work best!
    Don't have any photos that fit the above requirements? No problem! If you're local to Fort Collins, Colorado or the surrounding area, Sherwood Pet Portraits offers a unique Photography Package where Mindy will take high quality photos of your pet(s) to use for your commission.
    Many pet portrait artists use one photo for reference, but I prefer to have at least two separate photos of your pet. Sometimes with a single photo a pet's markings, colors, or personality can get "lost in translation". Multiple photos can really help capture your pet's one-of-a-kind personality.

  2. Choose Your Portrait Type
    Visit the Order Page and choose which type of Portrait you'd like, what size, and any other add-ons you may like. If you're not exactly sure what your vision falls under, that's OK! You're always welcome to Send an Email with any questions and Mindy will get back to you and can help you choose the perfect portrait type for what you are wanting.

  3. Order
    Sherwood Pet Portraits utilizes a simple and easy-to-use cart system for Portrait Orders. Just head to the Order Page, add the portrait type you want to your cart, and finish using a safe and secure checkout. Make sure the email address you enter when ordering is correct, as once you place your order, Mindy will send you an email to confirm your order and collect photos and information about your portrait. This email correspondence will become the way you communicate with the artist. You are always welcome to ask questions or about anything else regarding your portrait!


A Work in Progress photo in the middle of painting "Bailey"

A Work in Progress photo in the middle of painting "Bailey"

When the portrait has been purchased and photos and details are passed over through Email, the portrait process will start! Here is a quick overview of what to expect with the process of your pet portrait.

  1. Mock-Up or Sketch
    Mindy will create a digital mock-up of your realistic portrait, or a sketch for cartoon portraits, and email it to you for approval. Mock-ups are quick and sometimes messy digital re-creations of what your final Portrait will look like. They are not exact, but will give the general idea of what the finished piece will look like. Clients are welcome to ask for changes after viewing their mock-ups, as once work on the actual Portrait has begun, changes cannot usually be made.

  2. Sketch and Progress
    Once your mock-up has been completed, Mindy will start work on your Portrait and send progress photos and updates if you desire (you may choose to be surprised at the end or receive progress photos, up to you!). All portraits start with a sketch, and then are fleshed out from there depending on the medium used. Most Pet Portraits usually take a minimum of 2 weeks but usually longer depending on schedule and portrait type. If you have a deadline you are hoping to have the portrait by, it is imperative to let Mindy know ASAP! Most schedules can be worked around, but deadlines of 30 days or less may result in a rush fee or may be declined if the schedule is full. Most people assume Cartoon Portraits are quicker and easier than realistic; but they take just as much time, thought, and expertise to get right as any painting! It's safe to assume that Graphite Portraits take longer than Watercolor ones, and anything with a background will add extra time as well. Rest assured, however, that you will be contacted regularly with progress updates and any emails will be answered promptly.

  3. Finished Portrait
    When the pet portrait is done, a high quality scan or photo will be sent to the client for final approval. It is important to note that in both Watercolor and Graphite mediums it is practically impossible to make any changes to a finished piece.

    Sherwood Pet Portraits offers custom double matting of any finished pet portrait for $25, or mounting the painting on a wood block for $40. This lets the client bypass the big box framing stores that charge almost three times more for custom matting, and insures that your original portrait will have a beautiful matching mat hand-picked by the artist or, in the case of mounting on block, would have the painting on a canvas-like wood frame that can be hung on the wall immediately. Matted and mounted portraits will be shipped to the client and ready to frame or hang upon arrival. If you are interested in having Mindy mat or mount your portrait, you can add it to your cart when ordering your portrait (It is available as an add-on item on the Order Page).
    Whether you choose to mat or mount your painting or not, at this point arrangements will be made for shipping or pick-up of your Portrait.

  4. Shipping or Pickup?
    When everything is done and ready to go, the portrait will be shipped to you, or a pick-up time will be discussed. Portrait Pickups will be in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. If you are unable to pick up your portrait in Fort Collins then please supply an address to ship to. Due to the nature of the postal service, great lengths are taken to ensure that all portraits are protected against damage during shipping. Sherwood Pet Portraits now offers free shipping or pickup on all portraits! Shipping comes with tracking and insurance.

Ready To Order?
Head on over to the
Order Page or send a question through the Contact Form.

By commissioning Sherwood Pet Portraits, you agree to the Terms of Service