Frequently Asked Questions

Do you do humans?

As a rule, no.  It’s not something I have been compelled to do, so my skills definitely lay elsewhere.  I could not, in good conscience, commit to offer a good portrait of a human until I have practiced a lot more.  I am sticking to non-human animals for now.

How do I track my package?

When I have posted your package, I will update the order with the tracking number from the Royal Mail.  You will then be able to track your package online.

How long will a pet portrait take?

Good question.  Different materials take different amounts of time owing to how the pigment is built up.  Coloured pencils take much longer than pastel work, so they will necessarily be more expensive.  As a general rule of thumb, a coloured pencil of a pet at 9×12 inches will take 10-15 hours.  If you have a specific date in mind, let me know at the time of booking.

When will I receive my order?

I will post the print either the same day or next business day that the order is placed.  The package will be sent via Royal Mail Signed For™.  All being well, your print will be with you 3-4 business days after order is placed.

Will my pet portrait be mounted and framed?

You can request mounting and framing I will give you a quote.  I have a trusted framer, and they will offer advice on the best mount and frame for your portrait.  Please note that framing will add to the cost of postage.

How will my print be packaged?

Depending on the size of print ordered, you will either receive a box or a cardboard-backed envelope.  Larger prints (over 8×10”) will be sent in a box because it is more likely that a large flat envelope will be damaged in transit.  These things do happen.  Your print will be protected with bubble wrap.  Smaller prints in the carboard-backed envelopes will be furnished with ‘Please do not bend’ stickers and reinforced with extra card.

What will I receive?

If you have ordered a giclée print, you will receive a mounted 300gsm print on Fujifilm Fine Art Photo Rag paper.  This paper is ideal for prints as it does not fade or colour over time.  It is thick and sturdy, which is why all giclée prints are posted flat.  Some artists prefer to print on thinner paper and roll them up in a tube, but I find that uncomfortable to even think about.

How are the prints measured?

All measurements are given in inches.  The measurements include the mount so that it is easier to see what size frame is needed.  If you would like the exact dimensions of the image itself in order to re-mount the print yourself, just drop me a message and ask.

Are the prints signed?

Yes.  All prints are signed, either digitally or by hand.

What’s the difference between ‘Limited’ and ‘Open’ edition?

Limited edition prints are a set of prints that will be removed from production when the maximum number of prints has been reached.  No more will be printed after that, ever.  Current limited-edition sets are limited to 100 prints for each piece.  Open edition prints are generally smaller than the limited editions, and there is no limit on the number of those that can be printed. 

Do you ship outside the UK?

Yes, but I haven’t put prices on the website yet.  The reason for this is that 2020 has been an absolute stinker and I want to wait until overseas shipments are less risky.  If you live outside the UK, please ask me for a shipping quote, but be aware that delivery times may be slightly longer than stated. 

How do pet portraits work as a surprise gift?

If you have your own photo (that you have taken yourself, or have permission to use) of a pet, I can use that photo as a portrait reference.  I will keep the project hush-hush and will not share any details on social media and potentially blow the surprise.

Can you do surprise pet portraits with a photo I got from Facebook?

That depends…

I can only work with photos that I can legally use as a reference.  Copyright law prevents anyone using a photo that they do not have permission to use.  This includes photos of pets that have been downloaded from social media sites such as Facebook without the owner’s permission, even if the intention is to use it as a gift.  While it is slightly inconvenient, and it would be lovely to be able to use any photo we want, the law is there to protect both artists and photographers.

Do I have to pay a deposit to book a pet portrait?


I ask for an initial payment of a non-refundable booking fee, which is 50% of the price of the portrait.  This guarantees your place in the calendar.  Quite a lot of work is involved in a pet portrait before pencil/pastel/paintbrush is put to paper, so I ask for the booking fee once we have had a chat about your requirements (or online chat if you would prefer).  This protects me against people who decide they don’t want to go ahead with the portrait after all, even if I have already spent a number of hours on it.

Will I have to sign a contract?


This is so that we both agree to, and have the correct expectations of, what will happen throughout the process.

I live in Berkshire. Can I pick my print or pet portrait up?


As long as we are in compliance with the government’s public health guidelines, you can collect your print or portrait.  Let me know if you would like to do this in the Order Note and I will refund your postage.

Can you do more than one pet in a portrait?

Yes, absolutely.

There will  be an additional cost for each extra pet.  The more pets that are included, the longer it will take.  I will advise you if the size of the drawing is not big enough to get enough detail for the number of subjects.  Obviously two pets in one drawing will be smaller than one single pet, so I would advise at least 12×15.5 inches for two or more pets.

I still have questions. How can I get in touch?

You can email me here, or message me through my Facebook or Instagram pages.

© Avril Parkes 2020