Q. Your preferred medium appears to be oil, do you use any other medium?
A. I have worked in most mediums over the years, and especially while I was at art college. I feel most comfortable with oil paint and I think it suits my method and subject matter perfectly.
Q. How long does it take you to paint one of your pet portraits?
A. I like to allow myself between 3 to 6 weeks for a pet portrait, depending on my workload at the time. This means I don’t have to rush anything and if I run into any problems, I have time to sort them out. My larger paintings can take a lot longer to complete!
Q. You have been painting professionally for over 35 years, do you ever get bored and want to do something else?
A. I enjoy doing what I do very much, but I would be lying if I said there hadn’t been times when I wished I could do something different. This was usually in the early days when I was struggling for work or inspiration, or sometimes both! Now I can afford to be a little more selective in what I do, and I’m also fortunate that I have my music to turn to when I need a break. My wife Frances and I also bought a small house in France in 2010 and we spend as much time as we can there these days.
Q. If I sent you some photographs could you do a portrait for me?
A. I always like to take my own photos if I can as I know exactly what I want, and it’s important for me to meet the pets and their owners. I get a lot of requests for posthumous pet portraits, these are particularly difficult as reference is sometimes not very good, but I know how important it is to the client to have a lasting memento of their pet (I’ve been down that road myself several times now) so I don’t like to say no. But if the photos are of very good quality and have all the detail I need, I can usually produce a portrait.
Q. How much would it cost to have my dog’s portrait painted?
A. This is a very important question, and It depends on what you want.
A typical head and shoulders portrait of a Labrador Retriever for example, produced to slightly less than life size would be £300. That includes the cost of the photo session. If the commission involved a lot of travelling then I would need to charge extra for this. An entire animal would obviously take longer and is reflected in the price. It’s always best to contact me regarding special commissions, I am always willing to discuss it with a client and will gladly give you a quote.