fine art horse pet portraits by commission

Horse Portraits Process - Following a Live Commission

This page follows a live horse portraits oil painting commission. Below gives a full description along with photos from the first contact with our client all the way to the packing of the painting. If you are looking to commission either an oil painting or a pencil drawing of your horse, hopefully this page will give you a good insight into how the commissioning process works. If you have any questions or would like to send us your photos, you are more more than welcome to email us at any time.

Sending us your Horse Portraits Photos

Una commissioned a portrait of Chico which you can see and read about below. Una was a previous client who commissioned a pencil montage of her dog Tess a number of years ago. Sadly Tess passed away and both Una and her husband wanted to commission a painting of their new dog Amber along with their horse Chico. We are going to follow the commission of Chico below, however you can see Una's other paintings and drawings in our galleries. Una already had a range of photos taken of herself with Chico and sent us a few to work with along with some snaps of Chioc they had taken at different times during the year. If clients are able to take photos using a digital camera, it gives us a much crisper and clearer image to work from opposed to mobile or tablet photos. If you would like information and guidance about taking photos for a portrait, pop over to our horse portraits photography tips page as it might help give you some ideas of the kind of photos we need.

Horse portraits process


The mock-up creation

Nicholas had one particular photo he liked form the range Una emailed us and along with Una's guidance we all agreed that the pose was perfect, however Chico needed slightly more main showing and the photo below was a good example of how it should be. Una and Nicholas chatted about sizing for the portrait and the composition had slightly governed the square shape and we all felt a 14" x 14" portrait would really work well.

Horse Portraits Process


The Deposit and Final Payment

Once our clients are happy with the mock-up, we email our clients with a secure payment email link to make the deposit of £500. The mock-up is then placed into our Client List. As soon as clients are nearing the top of the list we drop them a line with the final payment link. This is a safe and secure payment link personalised. We use Worldpay as our payment provider and accept all forms of payment including debit and credit card along with American Express. We also accept Paypal and bank transfers and can arrange instalments too.

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The Portrait in Progress - Art Studio Blog

As soon as Nicholas puts brush to canvas, I start taking photos of his portrait on his easel, often with his hand working on the painting. Every few days I add these to our 'On The Easel' blog so that our clients and visitors can see how the painting is coming along. Clients often get really excited about seeing the stages and we are always happy for them to share our posts on their facebook page for friends and family to view. If your portrait is for a surprise and you prefer not to have your portrait on the blog until the painting has been given to the recipient, please do let us know. Clients can comment on our On The Easel blog at any time or they can email us if they would like us to make changes while the portrait is in progress.

Horse Portraits Process Horse Portraits Process


The Final Scan

As soon as the painting is complete we scan the portrait into our iMac and email our clients with the finished painting. The scan below shows the full scan along with a detail of the painting. At this stage our clients can let us know if they needed any changes made.

Horse Portraits Process


Designing the Frame

Una asked us to frame Chico along with her painting of Amber so that they matched. She was looking for a gold style frame. Our swept and moulded frames take 3 weeks to be made as each frame is made bespoke for clients. I have added lots of lovely photos below so that you can see Chico when the painting was frame and complete. The first photo is of the painting on our table easel on our plan chest in our studio. This helps to give the painting scale.

Horse Portraits Process Horse Portraits Process

Our gold and swept frames are built up at the back and sides to cover the depth of the canvas. Most generic frames don’t have a deep enough rebate to cover the depth of canvases. If you are having your portrait framed with your local framer and its one of our oil paintings, ask to see samples of their deep rebate frames. Our canvas depth is approximately 21 Millimetres. As you can see form the photo below, the edges are beautiful. Overall our gold and swept frames are incredible professional and very high quality. We only use with luxury framing for our portraits.

Horse Portraits Process Horse Portraits Process

The backs of the framed portraits are just as important as the fronts. They are covered in artists tape and the fixing never screw into the actual canvas, they are held in place by 'ladder spring clips'. The only time fixings are screwed into the actual frame of the canvas is when you are hanging your canvas unframed. We also make sure there are 'bumpers' on each corner so that the frame doesn’t lean against your wall.


Horse Portraits Process

Videoing the painting

Some of the paintings and drawings that are framed are Video for our website and our clients to view. This allows clients to really see the portraits up close and in more detail.


Packing The Horse Portrait

Once the painting is framed and thoroughly dry , the portrait is packed ready to send to our clients. We first cover the portrait using cellophane as you can see in the photo below. This just protects the portrait from any dust during the packing process.

Horse Portraits Process

We then use a professional packing foam to protect the entire outside edge of our frame. When packing the pencil drawings we have very similar corner edges that work with our thinner frames. This colourful blue packing really is wonderful and we would advise clients to keep it just in case they need to transport or move the painting in the future.

Horse Portraits Process

We then cover the frame and blue foam with a layer of our soft white foam on a roll. This keeps everything in place and covered ready for the next stage.

Horse Portraits Process

We have tried many different types of plastic and card over the years for packing our portraits, however nothing has worked as well has hardboard. We purchase the sheets form our local builders merchant in 8' x 4' sheets. They very kindly cut it in half for us just before delivering and we store it in our workshop. This is then much easier for us to bring one or two sheets to the studio when we need it and cut each one to size for each painting or drawing. We then bring everything together with our 'Handy Wrap' plastic wrap, which is fantastic stuff. it sticks to itself almost like cling-film and I not only wrap the middle and edges, I also wrap the circumference too. This definitely holds everything in place.

Horse Portraits Process

The next layer is another round of our foam on a roll. This not only protects the portrait but also to protects the hard edges of the hardboard. It adds a bit of extra padding to make everything soft for the final layer.

Horse Portraits Process

The final is to pack the portrait into our double walled cardboard boxes. We use clear wide tape and add our fragile tape along with the delivery address and customs and delivery details from the courier. Our courier collects the portraits direct from our studio. They are sent on a next day service, or overseas 3-5 day delivery.

We hope that you have enjoyed our Horse portraits process page and if you have any questions, you are more than welcome to email us at any time. We are looking forward to working with you soon!

Horse Portraits Process


Melanie and Nicholas,
Kimba's portrait arrived safely and last night Clay opened it. He is so happy with it. We both feel you captured him perfectly! Thank you so much, I'll recommend you to all my animal and horse loving friends.
Best wishes,


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