How long does it take to draw a pet portrait?

I’m often asked how long it takes to draw your pet. The honest answer: it’s different for every subject and portrait size. All my portraits are drawn with coloured pencils, and they are all built up of many layers. But the complexity of layers varies depending on the fur texture, complexity and colours.

The time it takes to draw also depends on the size of your pet portrait, and when you’d like your final drawing to be ready for. To give you a guide as to what to expect, here’s a look at how much time I usually need to draw and how far ahead you need to place your order.

How much time does each pet portrait take?

If you choose one of my mini pet portraits, which are 4×4 inches in size, I plan for these to take a minimum of six hours to draw (yet I always allow up to eight hours). Mini pet portraits are a very popular option for my customers. They’re ideal if you’d love a cherished pet portrait from an artist that’s within a smaller budget. You’ll also find they’re well-suited for a room when you have limited wall space; or, once mounted, they’re great sitting on your desk or a small shelf.

Mini pet portraits

The middle-sized pet portrait I offer is 8×6 inches. I’d always allow up to 15 hours to complete one of these for you. These are a great size if, again, you have limited space on the wall, and fit nicely on a desk or shelf. See here:

Portrait of duck

Finally, the largest size of my pet portraits, 12×9 inches, takes between 20-30 hours. It’s harder to estimate a time for the larger pet portraits, as the increased size and added detail means the complexity of the animal’s fur and colours are even more in focus. That said, these larger pet portraits are currently the most popular size I draw, especially for horses: the larger canvas gives me a bit more space to add those all important details.

Portrait of Cockerpoo

For all sizes of pet portrait, drawing time depends, of course, on the colours and textures in the animal’s coat: the smoother the fur, the less time it will take to draw.

How much notice do I need to give for a pet portrait order?

Giving as much notice as you can means I’m more likely to have the availability to draw your pet portrait for exactly when you need it. Ideally, I need at least a month’s notice so that I can make sure I have enough time to draw your pet. This is particularly the case if you’d like a large, 12×9 portrait, as these can take 30 hours to complete.

If you are thinking of commissioning me for a special date, then it’s always best to enquire as soon as you can. I can then give you my current waiting list times, and a good guide as to whether or not I can fit your pet portrait in the diary at the right time for you.

Naturally, I’m always busiest in the run up to Christmas. This starts from September onwards, so if you are thinking of a pet portrait as a Christmas present then the sooner you can let me know, the better. I can then get a deposit invoice out to you which, once paid, will secure your date in the diary. Here’s a form to fill out to book your pet portrait.

Finally, I never rush my work. Each pet portrait needs you to choose the right photo, and for me to carefully select the colours that build up the layers in those early stages of drawing that create the base for your image. Your pets are precious, and capturing them perfectly is so important to create the pet portrait that shows off their personality.

See some of the pet portraits I’ve drawn, take a look at how I work, and get in touch to find out more about how much notice I need for your drawing.

Some of the pets I draw even make it onto merchandise in my new store ‘Chadwick Valley’. Take a look here