I require a selection of photo's to paint from. Please do invest some real time in the photography process as photo quality affects the quality of your final portrait.
Photographs should be in a digital format. Today, phone cameras are of such good quality their products can be as good as a digital camera.
Please send the photograph in as high a resolution as possible as I need to be able to zoom in without pixellation as I study the fine details and subtle tonal qualities of features like the eyes, fur and nose. To avoid loss of resolution, please send the original image from your phone or camera rather than a compressed copy from social media.
The subject needs to fill the frame and be in focus.
Try to get down to the subjects eye level rather than taking it from above. With pets it helps to get a friend to gain the animals attention with a treat. Move the treat around to encourage the animal to change the position of its body and head, allowing you to capture a range of poses.
You can also try squeaking and making funny noises to get dogs to cock their head and prick their ears into quirky poses packed with character!
Get as close as you can to the subject so the subjects head or body (depending on which study you require) fills as much of the frame as possible (without cutting parts off). I would generally advise against using zoom to achieve this unless you have a really good camera as you can lose resolution.
Please take your photograph in natural lighting, This is best achieved outside or by a large window. Avoid bright sun as this casts stark, unnatural shadows, deadens the colours and creates a "flat" image. it may also cause the subject to squint.
Fior the same reasons, please always avoid the use of flash.
It is best to use a bright day with cloud, in moments when the sun has "gone in". Make sure the light is behind you rather than the subject to avoid casting shadow on the subject.
People get great results using the gentle sun of sunrise and sunset. The red spectrum that prevails at this time casts beautiful colours into the coat which will add tonal interest to your painting. This effect is particularly pronounced on black or white animals.
A crisp frosty morning also tends to cast a pleasant light.
You will be happy to know that you don't need to co-ordinate a whole pack of dogs into the perfect group shot for your multi subject portrait!
If you take seperate photographs I will arrange them together into a composition. However it is important the photographs are consistent in lighting, resolution and level to/distance from the subject, otherwise the finished portrait will look odd.
Alternatively, I can visit you and take photographs of the subject/s with my own DSLR camera. This will be at a charge of £20 + 45p p/m.