Frequently Asked Questions

You can find the answers to the most common questions I'm asked here. But if you can't see what you're looking for or you want to check something out with me - please do contact me directly.

Q. How much do you charge for a bespoke pet portrait?

A. My prices start from £95 for an A5 size pet portrait. My most popular size portrait is 8" x 10" and this starts at £125 for a single pet, head and shoulders on a plain background. For more size and price options, please take a look at my price list.

Q. What is included in the price of my pet portrait?

A. As standard, all portraits come with a custom double mount of your choice, regular updates, revisions (if required), premium art materials and hours of detailed observation and drawing. Your portrait is a unique piece of art, created just for you as a lasting memory of your treasured pet.

Q. What photographs of my pet should I send to you?

A. The better the reference photo, the more detailed your pet portrait will be. The best photos are those that you love because they really capture your pets character, ones that show your pet's eyes and colouring clearly, pictures taken outside (or in good light) and preferably at eye level with the animal. I understand that this isn't always possible (especially if your pet is no longer with us) so I will always do my best to work with whatever you have available. For more tips on getting the best images (and examples) I've created this simple pet photo reference guide.

Q. I'd like to commission a pet portrait drawing as a gift but I can't get a reference photo, can you help?

A. A pet portrait drawing is a wonderful gift for a family member or loved one. They are ideal for birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day or to commemorate the life of a special four-legged family member. If you can't get a reference photo (and don't want to spoil the suprise!) then a gift certificate is the perfect choice. My certificates can be bought for any amount and will come gift boxed, with a personalised gift tag, a welcome letter from me and full instructions. In a hurry? I can send the certificate directly to the lucky recipient for you. Take a look at my gift certificate page for more details and to buy.

Q. Can I buy a pet portrait drawing as a last minute gift?

A. You can buy a gift certificate for any amount and I can send this to the receipient directly on your behalf. Phew! Problem solved! This is a great option as it means the recipient can be part of the whole commission process, choose their own reference photo for me to work from and select the size and mount/framing options that they want. All certificates come gift boxed with a personalised gift tag (with your message) and a welcome letter and instructions from me.

Q. How long will it take you for to create my pet portrait drawing?

A. Each drawing is a unique piece and the length of time it'll take me to draw your pet portrait will depend on the complexity of the image and the size of portrait you've selected. As a rough guide, my most popular size pet portrait is 8" x 10" and a single pet head and shoulder portrait of this size will take approximately 15-20 hours. My work is based on close observation of your pet and involves thousands of individual pencil strokes to create the highly detailed, layered pet portraits that are my signature style. Once we've agreed a start date - I generally advise a completion time of 1-2 weeks. If you need your pet portrait drawing by a specific date I'll always do my best to accomodate this. Please be aware, I have an order book with a varying waiting list. I can advise you of my booking schedule - just drop me a line.

Q. How do I book you to draw a pet portrait for me?

A. I aim to make it as easy and as enjoyable for you to commission your pet portrait drawing by me as I can. I've put together a little guide to the process which you can read here. To start the ball rolling, simply get in touch for a chat.

Q. Do you draw portrait subjects other than pets?

A. Yes! I love a challenge! I've had the pleasure of drawing people, places and pets. While pets are my most commonly requested type of portrait I am happy to consider all requests. Got an idea? Get in touch and let me see if I can help.

Q. What art materials do you use?

A. To ensure your artwork remains in perfect condition for many years to come, I use fine art, archival quality materials. The surface (or paper) I most commonly use is called Pastelmat and is produced by Clairefontaine - this is a premium surface which is acid free, archival and lightfast. This means the colour will not fade or discolour under standard lighting conditions. I use a large variety of professional pencils depending on the portrait subject matter and effect I want to create. My most commonly used pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos, Caran D'Ache Luminance, Derwent Procolour, Derwent Lightfast and Caran D'Ache Supracolor. 

Q. Can I come and see your work before I decide to book?

A. If you are local to Bromsgrove (Worcestershire, UK) and would like to come and see my work 'in person' and meet me then please feel free to contact me and arrange a date to visit. Alternatively, most of my previous commission work is available to view here.

Q. Do you just offer pet portraits drawn in colour pencil?

A. Colour pencil (both colour and grey-scale work) is my most popular medium but I do also work in gouache paint. For examples of my paintings please take a look here.

Q. I have more than one pet that I want you to draw, what are my options?

A. Depending on how many pets you would like me to draw - I can either create one piece that features your pets together or I can create a series of individual drawings. I'm more than happy to take a look at your images and work with you to decide what would work best for you.

Q. Do you offer framing for pet portraits?

A. Your pet portrait will come with a custom double mount as standard - cut to a standard external size so that you can buy an 'off-the-shelf' frame easily. This is the most cost effective method of framing your finished piece. If you'd like a bespoke framing solution I can arrange this for you. I work with a local framers (Artyfacts Gallery, Bromsgrove) and will send you pictures of how your pet portrait will look with a range of different mount and frame options. If you need your portrait delivered it'll be supplied with premium acrylic "glass". This is to avoid breakages and damage from broken glass to your custom artwork.

Custom framing starts from £40 - you'll receive a full quote based on your choice of mount and frame.

Please note - delivery charges for framed portraits will be quoted for separately, due to the increased weight and insurance value.

Q. I live outside the UK, do you accept international commissions?

A. Yes - I just need digital photos to work form. I ship orders all over the world and can provide a custom quote for you for shipping. All portraits are sent tracked and insured - I ensure that they are wrapped and packaged securely.

Q. How will you deliver my portrait?

A. Your portrait will be sent securely - sandwiched between foam boards and wrapped in corrugated card with corner protectors.


UK Postage: Royal Mail Recorded Delivery - £6.50

International: Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed - Price on application

Local to Bromsgrove, Worcestershire? You're welcome to come and collect your portrait in person.

Contact Claire Mills

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire  UK | | 07870 596263

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© 2019 by  Claire Mills. All rights reserved.