In order to render lifelike and highly detailed results, a good quality photograph of your pet is required. This is of course not always possible, for instance when the pet has passed away. I can draw a portrait of low quality, blurred photos, but in this case some guesswork is always required and the result may not be 100% accurate. Here are some tips for a good photo:

I am happy to assist you in choosing the best reference photo for your portrait. Once the reference photo has been approved by both parties, I will send you an invoice for a 25% non-refundable* deposit of the final portrait price. After the deposit has been paid, I can give you an estimated date for the start and completion of your portrait. I send you updates throughout the whole drawing process to ensure you will be happy with your portrait.

*The deposit is refunded only in the unfortunate case that I have to cancel your portait.

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Email: it@ilonatdesign.is | Instagram: @ilonatdesign

Reference Photo Guidance

A perfect reference photo is well lit, ideally taken at the pet’s level. The eyes don’t have to be directed at the camera but they should be clear and open. All the details of the face are clearly visible.

A good reference photo doesn’t have to be professional, phone photos work just as well as long as the subject is clear. This photo example would also work as a full body portrait.

If you use a DSLR, please use a smaller aperture for the portrait reference photos. Shooting wide open while focusing on the eyes tends to blur the nose and the snout, making it harder to see the details. I recommend an aperture of f3.5 or higher. In this example the snout is slightly blurred, but the details are still visible.

Photos taken from above or at odd angles rarely work as portraits. It the subject is too far away, the fine details become fully obscure.

Harsh sunlight directly on the pet causes blown-out highlights and deep shadows, making it really difficult or even impossible to see the details in those areas. In this example the dog is also squinting and the details of the eyes are lost.

Please make sure that the whole head and some of the neck and chest are included in the frame. Otherwise improvisation and guesswork are needed to fill in the missing parts, and the result may not be accurate.