Commissioned cat painting in oils by Lisa LaTourette

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you create your paintings on a computer? 
– Goodness, no. But I’ve seen many others that do this. I also do not subcontract to Asia or have an apprentice do any work.  Each commission is entirely hand-painted and signed by me.

The only apprentice I allow is usually purring on my lap while I paint. And I don’t charge extra if a portrait somehow ends up with a bit of cat hair in it. See her in action on my BIO page.

Do you ever take commissions for other animals besides cats and dogs? 
– Yes, I am an equal opportunity portrait artist and do not discriminate. I love to paint any creature, large and small. Cat portraits, dog portraits, horse portraits. Let's not forget birds, geckos, pigs, cows or any other beautiful creature. I also do landscapes and florals. Ask me!

I’ve heard that you do something different with your signature.
-Yes, this is something I was inspired to do awhile ago. After every signature I affix a genuine Swarovski crystal in the position that a copyright would go. This is my trademark. It pays tribute to the beautiful creatures in the world and the spark of light and life that they are.

Can you paint the entire animal? 
– Yes. However, my specialty and preference is that I paint only head portraits.

Can you paint more than one animal on the same canvas? 
– I prefer to paint one animal on each canvas. If you have more than one pet, multiple canvases on a wall make a beautiful statement.

Do I have to bring my pet in to see you or can you work long-distance? 
– I have painted portraits for clients all over this great country. But if you are local (Scottsdale AZ), I’d love to meet your furball and see them first-hand. It helps me connect. Or you can just tell me about them so I can understand how you feel and what their personality is like. If you are far away, I will work from the high resolution images of your animal that you send me.

How much do you charge for an oil portrait? 
– Prices are based by the size and type of canvas that you choose. You can choose either a regular framed canvas or a gallery wrapped canvas that doesn’t require framing. I like the museum quality, gallery wrap because of the thick edges (1 ½”) in which I can paint either a phrase, nicknames or even duplicate a textile or pattern of your choosing. Simple black is also a beautiful, sophisticated choice for the edges. If you intend on framing, choose the 1/2" traditional canvas. And if you really would prefer I paint on flat canvas boards, just tell me and I will do that for you.

Find the basic cost structure on the PRICES page. If you don't see what you were envisioning for yourself, talk to me and discuss your wishes and budget. 

You can also consider ordering a giclee reproduction of one of the existing animal oil portraits in my gallery. I've had people enjoy these high quality copies for a fraction of an original commission.

I want a large painting and I don’t see the size I want listed on your pricing.
-No problem. When the size goes up, I like to discuss the scope of the project and estimate it accordingly. Just talk to me and I will work with you.

How much can I expect to spend on shipping? 
– I allow my clients to deal directly with my shipper. This way, you are in control. Shipping charges usually run between $22- $57 dollars depending on canvas size. The only request I have is not to use the U.S. postal service.

How long will it take to finish my pet's portrait? 
– Once we begin discussing your custom painting, I will give you a time frame for completing your painting(s). I am quite busy during the holiday season. It is best to order early for holiday gifts. A general rule of thumb is to allow two months. I give each commission my full attention and commitment. Sometimes that requires more time on my part. And remember, if we don't think we can meet a deadline, a gift certificate will allow your recipient to actually participate in the process. It can be quite fun and exciting.

What kinds of photos can you use? 
– I need high resolution images, where I can clearly see the eyes and nose. Taken with a camera or a smartphone, these would preferably be emailed to me. Once I have your images, we can discuss whether I can comfortably work from them to give you what you want.

Do you have any advice on how to take great photos of my pet?
– I realize it isn’t that simple. When I take photos, I do it with my iPhone and I take at least 20-40 images. I try different rooms, inside and outside, different angles. By the time I’ve taken 10, the animal is usually more comfortable and accommodating.

Use natural light whenever possible, it is always preferred over indoor flash.  Photograph your pet in an outside setting or inside, near a window with enough light that a flash is not required.  Early morning or late afternoon light is a softer, more angled light.

If you snap a photo at night inside, try to use one singular light source. It can be quite dramatic and powerful because of the shadows and highlights.

For realistic animal portraits, take the photograph from the level of your pet.  Standing and pointing the camera down at your pet creates a distortion that lends itself to a more creative and contemporary approach, which I can do if you’d like. Those tend to be more lighthearted and whimsical in nature.

How do I send photos?
– Your photos can be sent via email or postal mail. Once you place your commission order, I will tell you where to mail them.

What if you don't think the photos are good enough to use?
– If I think the images you sent me won't work, I will ask you for more photos. If I really think I can't do a great job on your pet's portrait, I will tell you.

What if I want to give the painting as a gift?
-These custom portraits make excellent, heartfelt gifts. If there is someone in your life who already ‘has everything’, gifting a custom oil painting of a cherished pet will be incredibly unique and treasured forever. Last holiday season, every recipient of my custom animal portraits was reduced to tears. The good kind of tears! The unconditional love of a pet can permeate even the toughest shell.

Remember, you can choose to give a paper certificate as a gift instead of a finished painting.  This allows the recipient to be a part of the creative process, which is fun.

If there is anything else you wish to know, please email me via the CONTACT page. I love to hear from people and enjoy your feedback.

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