“ Custom Original Hand Painted Pet Portraits „
***** Contemporary Pet Portraits *****
Being an avid dog lover (other animals are ok but nowt compares to my dribbling furry friends) I wanted something special for myself and my lovely new home in the ghetto of Burnley. Also, I'm a selfish cow and buying myself presents is fun.
I knew I wanted something to remember the girls (they're not dead but you never know my luck..) but I didn't have a clue what. Placing my trust firmly in the reliable old internet, I quickly realised that I wanted a huge painting of them. There were so many styles of paintings that I didn't have a clue which one I wanted - I knew I couldn't be arsed to take the kids anywhere for pictures so that limited it a little. I also knew I didn't want the standard painting that looked like a photo - I've got a ruddy camera - I can do that thanks. So...
***** The website *****
www.contemporarypetportraits.co.uk does exactly what it says on the tin. It's dead easy to use - there's the headings across the top that link to the page you want to view. I particularly like the gallery as both the paintings of my girls are on it but you can scroll through Laura's previous paintings and for me that was the clincher - I knew it was the style I wanted for my home.
There's a clever page on the site where a slideshow takes you through the design process and you can see how her latest creation is coming on.
***** The Process *****
On the website there's a page called "I want one" and I did, so I clicked on it - told you it was simple, just like me. This tells you to contact her and I dutifully did. As it turned out Laura lives not too far away so I felt really confident that she was a normal person not about to run away with all my hard earned pennies. I knew I wanted a large painting to make a real impact on my white walls but I'm no artist and I wasn't sure what I really wanted. This is where Laura really helped.
I merely sent a load of photos via email to her and she sent me back her ideas which she'd mocked up on the computer.
I'm fairly sceptical when it comes to internet things due to the fact I'm jinxed but I felt completely confident with the whole process - I had a personal number, email address, many emails with her work in them and I knew she was real and not a figment of my very overactive imagination - plus I'd still not paid her anything.
The mock ups were fantastic; she'd managed to edit an average photo of some puppies with a washing up bowl (don't know why it was there but it featured in the picture) into a really nice portrait of a single pup. She sent it in different colours to give an idea of what she felt went right for that size and particular picture. Being a pain in the rear, I wanted it to match the kitchen exactly so when you looked through to the lounge, the greens would match thus creating an extension of the kitchen (god, I talk tripe sometimes). Laura went out of her way to use the remains of my kitchen paint for the background of the painting - now that's some service! Once I'd made this decision of a lifetime, I paid my 30% to ensure I'd a space in her painting schedule. Throughout the whole thing Laura kept me informed as to how it was going and because there was no particular date that I needed it for I felt relaxed that it was coming on nicely.
***** The prices *****
The prices on the website are as follows and if you want anything different, I'm sure that she'd sort it out for you.
Single Subject 14 x 11" : £80
Single head shot 28 x 20" : £150
Singel head shot 30 x 40" : £230
Two subject head shot 30 x 40" : £300
Ok, so it seems expensive and the girls had to starve for a month but actually, it's very reasonable considering time, effort, materials and based on the other painters I looked at, it's really a good deal for something that is unique, to my criteria and will hopefully last a lifetime.
***** The End Result *****
I was that chuffed with the end result (I sped over to her house to fetch it so fast that a new land-speed record was created) that I promptly asked her to do another for me - told you I was selfish. The paintings can be posted too though so it's a great service for anyone, anywhere in the country.
The acrylic paint creates a textured feel and is so bright and vibrant that although it's essentially only four colours in total, the puppy looks alive and she's really captured his little face. It's also finished with varnish to ensure it's longevity. What she's done with my fairly crappy photo is amazing and because it's so unique, tons of people have commented on it and asked who did it (I want to lie and tell them I did but I have an immense fear that I'll be struck down immediately by him up above which would be annoying to say the least).
It was easy to hang because it's so light being only a canvas and no frame. I used my trusty Woolies picture hanging kit and Ta Da... it's stayed there ever since. Cleverly, because there is no frame, Laura continues the image over the sides of the block canvas - well I thought it was a nice touch anyway.
***** Summary *****
This is a perfect present for a friend or more importantly, yourself.
Laura also does people paintings now which would be really cool present to someone.
I love my two pictures, Tiffin hangs in the front room, lording over all she surveys and Henry lives in the living room - check them out on her website!
I can't fault a) the website, b) the process, c) the artist herself, because it went swimmingly from start to finish.
It's a fantastic concept and I saw her flyers at Crufts this year so I know the paintings are gaining in popularity.
To try and describe it wouldn't do the paintings justice so just have a look!
Thanks for reading!!
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