Take Your Artwork to the Next Level
Create Commissionable Pet Portraits!
Here are my 5 Best Tips for Starting a Pet Portrait Business:
1: Create a Portfolio
If you’re just starting out, the first thing to do is build your portfolio. Draw your own pets, friends, and family pets too. It’s also a good idea to have a few portraits of common breeds, such as a Labrador retriever.
You can go to free reference photo websites such as Pixabay to get great reference photos of pets such as the Lab above.
Use these tips when getting a reference photo:
1: Eye level- Avoid using a photo looking down at the pet.
2: In-focus eye area- Capture the pet’s expression in the eyes.
3: True color of the pet fur- I usually ask for multiple photos because, depending on the lighting, the fur color can look different.
2: Get Online: Website and Facebook
Getting your own website is a must. There are so many free options now that you really don’t have an excuse! Make sure to post all your latest portraits and your price list on your website.
Post on your Facebook personal page progress and finished photos to let your friends know what you’re doing! You can also create a business page to upload your portfolio; however, your website should be where you want your clients to view your work and prices.
3: Purchase Quality Art Supplies
Acid-free paper is a necessity if you sell your artwork.
The Lightfastness of your pencils and acid-free paper are very important if you sell your artwork. The last thing you want is for your artwork to fade over time. Also, better-quality pigments will dramatically change the outcome of your drawings.
You don’t have to purchase a large set of pencils when you’re just starting out. Purchase a small starter set of professional-grade pencils for a few extra dollars instead of purchasing a large set of inexpensive, low-quality pigment pencils.
The same goes for paper; you’ll get a completely different experience with each paper type. So buy quality supplies, just not as much of them at first. Then, when you know what you like, you can re-purchase those supplies.
4: Don’t Under-Value Yourself
Charge what you have to to make it worth your while. That brings me back to posting your prices on your website. If someone asks how much you charge, you have set prices on your website so no one can try to discount your services.
I review this subject in my new online course, Create Commissionable Pet Portraits take your artwork to the next level.
5: Tell Everyone You Meet You’re An Artist!
Most of the time, artists tend to be introverts. When you’re at your local pet supply store or any local store that you frequent, let them know that you’re doing pet portraits and show them pictures of your portraits on your phone. Always have your work ready to show someone!
This is usually easy to do if you’re talking to someone about a gift, or maybe if they recently lost a pet, you can mention that you do portraits and at a discount for memorial portraits.
I have one student that volunteers at the local rescue, and her pet portrait waiting list is about five deep! You would be surprised at how fast word of mouth spreads!
👉 I hope this helps you on your Pet Portrait journey! Interested in learning more?
Click here to find out more about my online course, Create Commissionable Pet Portraits! And take your artwork to the next level! ✍️ 🎨
If you have any questions about the pet portrait online course, comment below!
Happy Drawing, Fellow Artists! ✍️
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about drawing, colored pencils, or watercolor, visit my website for more info about my Academy!