Animal Portrait Commissions

To commission a portrait you will first need to get in touch via my ‘Contact’ page.

As all commissions are unique in size, style, composition etc., I prefer to discuss these details directly with each client.

The smallest size of work would be A3.
I allow myself four weeks to complete each commission and would ask for 50% deposit on commencement of work.

I would provide each client with regular ‘Work in progress’ updates to ensure we are both happy with the work as it develops.

Initial Photo(s)

I initially ask for a selection of photos taken in good light. I am happy to take photos myself for clients in France, dependent obviously on location etc.


When starting a commission it is so important to have photos of the animal taken in a good light, highlighting the eyes and capturing the essence and personality of the animal to be painted.

The next stage is sketching out a soft impression on paper or canvas board. I don’t like to put too much detail in at this stage. I let the paint do that.

I prefer to paint on high quality paper as it is a lovely base for my loose, impressionistic style and the finished portrait is enhanced greatly when mounted behind glass as the reflections and light play dancing across a portrait brings the painting alive!

Once the composition is in place and the colours are chosen, it is time to put my first brush stroke down. This is always a little nerve racking but also very exciting.

It is then a process of layering up the colours letting the underneath layers show through, adding depth and interest to the work. I spend as much time waiting for the paint to dry, stepping back to judge and assess the work as I do applying paint.

The composition evolves as I progress and during this time I really feel I get to know the animal and the nuances of its character. I sometimes decide to change my mind about colours or background. I never really know how a portrait is going to turn out until it’s finished .. but that’s half the fun and excitement I get from painting them.

The final stage is crucial to bringing the portrait together, adding highlights and the occasional dab of colour here and there to make the portrait ‘sing’!

Et Voila!

Example of work in progress