Some time ago on an art forum an artist asked how to go about getting an art grant to start a pet portrait business. That made me wonder what kind of expenses did she plan to incur? Fact is it costs very little to begin doing pet portrait commissions. All you need to get started are a few examples of your work, some business cards to pass around and a website to show your work and take commissions.
There are lots of places online where you can print up some biz cards at a low price or even make some yourself with your computer and printer as I did with mine. I slip a few in with the portraits I ship.
For a website there are a number of free services that give you a quick and easy way to set up a site such as WordPress or one of my favorites, Weebly Once you got that, the only thing left to do is find your customers. No grant needed.
Most of my pet portraits are head and shoulders but occasionally I get a request to paint a full body dog portrait that includes a background. Usually the customer has some idea of what they want the background to be, the person who commissioned this painting wanted the dog laying in a grassy field.
I play around with the composition in a graphics program until I come with something I think will work, then I make the sketch and paint it.
While visiting an art forum I was surprised or rather should I say stunned to learn that some portrait artists trace the photo for the portrait they will be painting, and it seems to be quite acceptable practice to do so. That is something that I would not feel comfortable doing, when someone commissions original art I’m assuming that they expect the whole painting to be made from observation including the sketch used as the basis for the finished art.
When I do an original pet portrait I make the sketch on tracing paper by observing the photo, sometimes if the sketch is too small for what I want, I scan it into the computer, enlarge it and trace the printout of my enlarged sketch but I don’t and never have traced a photo for an original portrait commission.
So you can be sure when you commission original portrait from me you are getting genuine original art.
Find out more about my original pet portraits by visiting my website