Clare Thorbes banner
e: | ph. 613.296.5207



How to Commission an Oil Portrait of Your Person or Pet

How does the process work?
We can use your photographs, my images, or a combination of the two. A selection of images gives me a good sense of your pet's personality. When we've agreed that I'm going ahead with the commission, I'll create up to three drawings or oil sketches for you. Together we choose the pose and the painting size, and then I prepare the painting surface and start working on the portrait.

Some clients love seeing the portrait come to life, which involves regular viewings of the work in progress via email or in person. Others enjoy the anticipation of waiting for the finished portrait. It's up to you how you'd like to proceed.


When will I receive my portrait?
Two months is a realistic timeframe, since each work is unique and varies in complexity. I'll let you know before we begin if I think your portrait will require extra time. Please add a couple of weeks for the preparation of the painting surface, unless I have a prepared canvas or panel in the size you need. For a canvas support, I cut frame parts to size, sand and assemble the frame and stretch the canvas, then apply one coat of glue size and two of oil-based ground, with drying time between layers. For wood panels, I simply cut to the desired size and apply the glue and ground.
(scroll down for more information)

The sidebar at right shows prices for some standard portrait sizes. Please note that shipping costs, if applicable, aren't included in the prices I've listed. Once you've commissioned me, please pay the first third (non-refundable) of the price I quote you, to cover materials and time spent on the initial stages of the portrait. The next third is due when we've agreed on the pose, and the final third once you've approved the completed painting.


Completing the Commission
I can ship the painting to you via courier or expedited post (shipping charges will apply). If you live in my area, I'd be happy to deliver the portrait and help you hang it in its new home, or we can arrange a time for you to pick it up from my studio.

Please contact me with any questions about this process. My goal is to provide you with a superior quality, beautiful image that you and your family will treasure for a lifetime.


How much will it cost?

Dimensions (inches) Pet
8 x 10 325 400
11 x 14 615 770
16 x 20 1280 1600
18 x 24 1725 2160
24 x 30 2880 3600

(sample prices*)
*Prices in Canadian dollars. Please add 25% to the basic price for each additional animal.

HomePeopleDogsAnimalsArtist ProfileCommissionContact Blog