1. What medium do you use in your portraits?
Just about all of my portraits begin with rough sketches using studio quality graphite pencils (I prefer Derwent). For black & white drawings I like Eberhard Faber studio quality graphite pencils. For color portraits I use Prismacolor Premier color pencils. I also use Caran D’Ache or Stabilo pastel pencils for special needs.
2. I don’t know which to choose: black & white or color?
Each has it’s own merits: graphite pencil portraits, rendered entirely in shades of light and dark, calls more attention to your pet’s character and personality. Color portraits can better capture your pet’s colorful coat or unique markings. Not surprisingly, color portraits will create the most realistic likeness of your pet.
3. Why do color portraits cost more?
My color pencil technique involves the application of many layers of color, which requires more hours than a graphite drawing, as well as more pencils. For example, an 8 x 10 full color portrait may take 10 hours or more to complete. The result actually appears more like a painting than a drawing.
4. What type of photos can you draw from?
I draw from your own photos for reference. However, if the photo is of poor quality the drawing process is much more difficult because I have to guess at what I am seeing. So take your time photographing your pet and get as many clear images as possible. Take as many as necessary, try to get different angles in various lighting until you have more than one successful photograph, and I have enough to choose from for the best reference photo. Here are a few tips for achieving the best photo of your pet: 1) Sit. Lie. Roll over! Get dow low to get a pet’s-eye view of the world; aim your camera from different heights and angles, so you’re shooting a portrait and not a snapshot, 2) Get a 3/4 angle. The best angle for portraits is a 3/4 front view, somewhere between a frontal view and a profile, 3) Focus on their eyes. Your pet’s eyes are their most expressive feature, so be sure they are visible in your shot, 4) Use natural light, avoid flash. Outdoor photos on a bright but cloudy day are best since flash photos indoors tend to wash out the details in the shadows, 5) Use contrasting backgrounds. If your pet has dark hair, photograph them in front of a lighter background, and vice versa. 6) Zoom in. Use your camera’s zoom feature instead of getting physically close; your pet will pose more naturally without having the camera right in their face, and your photo won’t be as distorted or out of focus, 7) Take lots of photos. For every great shot, you’re likely to have many more that don’t turn out, 8) Be ready, be patient. Keep your camera close at hand, you never know when that “prize” photo will happen, 9) Steady now. Camera shake can ruin an otherwise good photo, so use a tripod mount or stand to keep your photos unblurred, 10) Have fun! Keep photo sessions short and fun. Don’t get discouraged if your pet doesn’t cooperate right away; use a friend to play with them so you can be ready to snap that special shot.
5. Do you offer multiple animal discounts?
Yes! I offer a 10% discount if you order more than one portrait at the same time.
6. Can you draw more than one pet per portrait?
Yes, but keep in mind that adding another pet(s) in a single portrait requires each animal to be smaller in size. Also, it requires more time to complete the portrait, which increases the time and price slightly.
7. Do you draw any kind of pet?
Yes! I can draw your bird, horse, hamster, ferret, rabbit, whatever pet you have.
8. Does my portrait come framed?
Sorry but I do not offer framing at this time.
9. Do you ever draw backgrounds on your portraits?
My current style is just the animal, no background. So if your photo includes a background, it will not be included in the portrait.
10. How long will it take you to complete my portrait?
Typically I am able to turn around a portrait in 2-3 weeks. It may take longer if you order a large size, or if I am working on other orders placed before yours.
11. I need my portrait quick, do you ever offer rush delivery?
If you need a portrait done quickly, I will be happy to accommodate you as best I can. A small rush fee may apply.
12. What if I’m not happy with my portrait?
Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed throughout the entire process. I will send you periodic updates to make sure you are happy with how the drawing is progressing. In the unlikely event you are not happy with your order, you need not accept the art nor will you owe the balance of the commission payment.
13. How do I pay for my portrait?
A 50% down payment is required before I begin work on your portrait. I can only accept cash or check at this time. More details on my Orders & Pricing page.
14. Do I own all rights to my portrait?
All artwork on this site is copyrighted by Scott A. Schiller and ThePetSketcher.com. All rights reserved, including but not limited to the following:A. Your purchase of a work of art buys the artwork itself, but not the right to reproduce it for promotional and marketing purposes. Reproduction rights remain with the artist, which is customary for artwork and photography under U.S. copyright law. No images on this web site may be re-published on the web or via email, or in print for any reason without my written permission.