**Please be aware that a lengthy waiting list applies**
Thank you for showing an interest in booking a commission. Due to high demand Becky’s waiting list is approximately 3 years long.
Two waiting list system are run for commissions.
Becky’s “secure list” is maintained at 6 months long, it is booked via an online form with all the information about your commission and contact details and confirmed with a 20% deposit. Once you are booked onto this waiting list the price scale for your commission will not change, you are provided with an estimated date of completion and photographs will be arranged.
The second waiting list is a Mail Chimp sign up list. This is a no commitment list which you can sign up to with your name, email and phone number. Becky contacts people from this list (in order of registration) approximately 6 months prior to when their commission will be completed in order to book them onto her secure list. At the point of contact you will be asked if you would like to proceed with the commission, and if so, asked to complete a booking form, pay a 20% deposit and photographs will then be arranged. Currently the Mail Chimp sign up list has approximately 100 people on it which is estimated to be approximately 2.5 years worth of work.
Please be aware that due to the time-scales involved Becky’s prices may have increased before you are booked onto the secure list. Current commission prices are shown below. However, when registering onto the Mail Chimp list, you are under no obligation to complete your commission order.
In exceptional circumstances, photographs can be arranged in advance of confirmed bookings when an animal is likely to pass away or be otherwise unavailable before this point, please do contact me if this is the case.
Prices for commission drawings are dependent on a number of factors including the complexity of the subject, whether a background or additional items within the image are required, the number of subjects in the drawing, it’s size and the media used (drawings in colour including coloured pencil for A4 or smaller or pastel for A3 or larger are subject to 25% additional fee due to the increased time this takes). The following table is provided as a guide, for a more detailed quote please contact Becky.
*Becky offers a free mini photo-shoot with all her packages. Having the correct photograph is essential to producing the best quality work so, wherever possible, she prefers to work from her own photographs. There is no charge for photo-shoots within a 10 mile radius of Winslow, Bucks, UK. Outside of this area a supplementary fee is due to cover travel and additional time costs however, you are welcome to visit Becky for a photo shoot, she has a range of locations available for most situations. Please contact Becky to discuss this option further.
The above sizes relate to paper size used. Actual drawing size may vary depending on the picture format required.
Gift certificates for drawings and private tuition are available.
A 20% deposit on the drawing cost (excluding postage & framing) is required prior to starting the drawing in order to book a place in Becky’s waiting list. Reference photographs being provided by the client must be supplied at least 1 month prior to estimated commission date. Please check with artist or visit Becky’s waiting list page for current lead time.
Becky works with an excellent local framer who can provide hand made custom frames. Prices quoted are for solid ash, hand cut and lime waxed for a natural look, blue/grey or stained black for more contrast with a double mount and a choice of standard or Clarity glass (shown below). Other choices of mouldings and mounts are available on request.
Framing and mounting is done to archival standards and is fully sealed. Clarity glass provides 75% UV protection and is also unleaded and anti-reflective, providing a higher quality of finish.
You are not obliged to use Becky’s recommended framer however she does strongly advise against taking charcoal drawings unframed. The work is often very large and the paper can be easily creased. The charcoal in the drawing is very delicate and the surface of the drawing should not be touched or covered with any material as, even when lightly fixed, it is possible to smudge the charcoal. If you would like to use a different framer please advise Becky on booking so that a care leaflet for the work can be provided or contact can be made with them directly. If you would like to provide your own mount and frame for the piece she would be very happy to put the drawing in for you free of charge.
Please note framing is not included in the invoiced amount from the artist and should dealt with directly by the framer. If using the artists framer the he can be contacted directly on: Email: email@example.com Phone: 01296 712689. Framing costs are due prior to collection/delivery of the artwork.
Postage & Packing
Free postage applies to unframed work to locations within the European Union. World-wide postage is available on request.
UK postage service: Royal Mail Special Delivery (next day, tracked, signed for, £500 insurance)
Europe/World postage service: Royal Mail International Tracked & Signed (tracked, signed for, £250 insurance)
Charcoal is a very delicate medium and any transportation comes with a risk of smudging. Should you choose an unframed option we highly recommend you arrange for framing as soon as you receive the drawing and do not try to unpack/repack the drawing at home prior to framing as this will increase the risk of damage, smudging and creasing.
Delivery of framed drawings is available on request, and will be sent via a specialist courier quote based on your own specifications. Please contact Becky for a quote.
The combination of a beautifully detailed drawing with excellent photography is what truly sets Becky apart from other talented animal artists. Her photography works in harmony with her drawing, she includes a photo shoot with all her commissions and her exhibition work is all referenced from her own photographs. The combination of high quality, insightful photography and highly realistic drawing techniques produces stunning images full of character and fun. However good the drawing, if done from a poor quality, boring photograph the finished artwork will never “pop”.
Inclusive Photo Shoot
In ideal circumstances Becky likes to meet the animals in person and photograph them herself, this not only allows her to ensure she has good quality photographs to work from but also gives her the chance to get to know the animal and better portray their character through her work. Becky works very accurately from one or two high quality photographs which are chosen in conjunction with the client from the photo-shoot. Photo shoots are offered inclusive with your commission at any location within 10 miles of Winslow, Bucks, UK. She can offer a range of suitable scenic locations for people portraits and for dogs, cats, horses and other large animals within this area. For locations outside of this area an additional fee will be required to cover the cost of travel and extra time, please contact Becky for a quote in this instance.
Using Photo from Professional Photographers
Becky is happy to work from photographs taken by other people, including professional photographers but in these situations she will require written permission via email from the photographer in order to comply with UK copyright laws.
Becky can also work from client’s own photographs particularly for memorial drawings or mail-order commissions. In the case of memorial portraits Becky will accept lower quality images where no alternative is available. Please be advised that in this situation the finished work may not be completed the same level of detail and accuracy as usual.
Have a Go Yourself!
If you are further afield or wish to have a go at photographing your pet yourself Becky has put together some guidance for capturing that perfect shot!
A Word on Light…..
Good lighting is key to obtaining excellent detail in a photo. I advise against using flash wherever possible as this can cause ugly shadows and “red eye”, the flash may also unsettle any timid pets.
The best place to take photos is outside on a slightly over-cast day. Strong, direct sunlight can cast shadows which can be unflattering. If it is very sunny, try to find a patch of solid shade to photograph in (avoid trees as this can cause “spots” of shadow).
Back lit photos (the source of light being behind the subject) can look beautiful in their own right but rarely make good reference photos as the detail in the subject tends to be in shadow. Try to have the light source shining to the front or at 45 degrees to one side of your subject.
Some of the best photos I’ve drawn from have been taken from the animals’ eye line. That normally means, for example, getting down low….. very low if you have a Chiwawa or a hamster! Or perhaps standing on a stool if you’re photographing a horse! Think about how the animal views the world around them and try to imitate this to see things from their perspective, if they are laying down then copy them! You doing this usually interests the animal too, they will become curious and it can help with achieving that quirky, curious expression!
In order to make the most out of the quality of the image it’s important to fill the whole picture with your subject. If you take the photo from a long distance, when you zoom in on the bit with the pet in you lose quality. Try to get in close to the head and shoulders to capture detail in the face.
The Eyes Have It!
The key to most good images is clear detail in the eye and eye contact to the camera. It can be incredibly useful to have someone else on hand with a bag of treats! Get them to hold the treat as close to the camera lens as possible to direct the pet’s gaze, I often balance one on the camera lens itself!
Another vital tool in your armoury is a squeaky toy, save it for the key moment…. Get set up, have the animal in the right place, with the right lighting, frame your photo and JUST before you take the photo give it a quick squeak right from behind the camera then snap the perfect shot!
Character & Context
You know your pet best. You know their favourite toy…. their favourite spot for a nap….. their favourite game…. their naughtiest trick. Use this knowledge when you’re taking their photo and try to include these things in the image.
The Technical Bit….. (bear with me)
Because of the level of detail I work to it is important to me that the photograph is a good size and that when I zoom in the eyes, nose and fur texture are visible and as clear as possible. As a minimum I would advise a 6 megapixel camera (giving an image of around 6 megabytes in size with dimensions of approximately 3000 x 2000 pixels). To check the quality of a photo I advise opening it on a computer and zooming in, if the image goes “blocky” before it shows detail in the eye it is likely to be too low quality to use for a drawing. You are always welcome to send me over an image you have in mind and I am happy to check this for you.
I strongly advise against using any photograph that has been uploaded to Facebook, Instagram or other social media or transferred via Facebook Messenger. The reason for this is that these programs automatically reduce the quality of the image to a level below that required for drawing. It is possible to obtain good quality images from mobile phone photos (if the phone has a good camera) but the photos must be emailed directly to me, not sent via messenger.
The only exceptions I make to the above guidance on quality is for memorial portraits. In this situation I will always try my best to work from whatever images the client has available in the understanding that the finished product may include less detail than the majority of my work.
The most important tip is to relax, play, take your time, take A LOT of photos (I sometimes take up to 500 in one shoot!) and enjoy this special time with your pet. We are only blessed with their company for a very short time so take this opportunity to bond and make special memories that will stay with you forever.
I really look forward to seeing what you capture!
To help you on the day, you might want to note down or print out the following summary:
- Photograph outside on an overcast day
- Get down to eye level with your pet
- Fill the frame of the picture with your subject
- Use treats or a squeaky toy to get their attention right before taking the shot
- Consider including a favourite toy, game, napping spot
- +6 megapixel camera
- Email photos or send via wetransfer directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Take A LOT of photos
- Take your time, relax and enjoy yourself
If you’d like to read more on this subject the following are links to excellent guides on taking photos of your pets.