Mobile Veterinary Practice

Greater Rockford, IL 61107


Custom Pet Portraits

I'd like to share with you a portrait in pastels of my cat, Catastrophy, by local artist Gail Faber. The picture on the left is the final product. The middle picture is the photograph she worked from and the picture on the right is the work in process.  Dr. Christensen

                     Dr. Christensen's cat, Catatastrophy    Dr. Christensen's Cat, Catastrophy                                           

About the Artist

Drawing began early in my life. As a child I loved drawing horses, so my grandmother bought me a set of pastels and showed me how to use them. In high school I took all the art classes that were offered. Just before going to college in 1973, I painted two commissioned pastel portraits.

College took my career in another direction outside the art world. However, as time allowed, I drew portraits as a hobby. Using graphite pencil or charcoal I drew relatives, famous people and my friends' pets. In 2004 I began again to use pastel for landscapes and later for portraits.

In the last few years I have realized that pastel is my favorite medium. Painting with pastel allows me to include a lot of detail in the subject. Also, there is something about the way the pigments appear on the paper, almost a glow, that I find intriguing. Now that I am no longer working full-time, I can enjoy spending more time painting portraits, landscapes, pets and sports.

Understanding Pastels

The pastel medium is a pure pigment applied to a heavy paper. The same pigments that are used in oil, watercolor or acrylic paints are used in pastels. Pastel pigments are dry and held together with a small amount of binder, and they come in the form of small sticks.

The paper that is used for pastel artwork has a texture with varying depth that allows the pastel pigments to cling to it. One of the things that make pastel artwork so amazingly vibrant is how the pure color particles catch and refract light within the texture of the paper.

Caring for Pastel Artwork

Pastel artworks and their color brilliance are very resilient over time, as long as the surface is properly shielded. To prevent damage, the surface of pastel artwork should never be touched and should be protected from water and direct sunlight.

A frame with glass and a single or double mat should be used to display the artwork. The mat should be "Acid-Free" to prevent the paper from aging and the mat should be thick enough to prevent the artwork from contacting the glass. If the pastel artwork is touching the glass, it may result in the pastel particles sticking to the glass, either from mildew or from static charge.

Pricing and Payment

The prices listed are for un-framed and un-matted artwork. The prices are for a single subject in each size. Multiple subjects in one size will add to the cost of that size. Complex backgrounds may also add to the cost. Prices are subject to change.

8 x 10 artwork -- $225

9 x 12 artwork -- $250

11 x 14 artwork -- $300

14 x 18 artwork -- $400

16 x 20 artwork -- $475

18 x 24 artwork -- $575

A payment of 50% will be required in order to begin the artwork process. This payment is non-refundable. The remainder of the payment will be due upon completion of the artwork and your satisfaction with the artwork, and will be paid before the artwork is shipped to you.

The Artwork Process

I will create the artwork from photographs that you provide. It is best to have clear photographs with good color and sharp focus, and more than one photograph is recommended. If the photographs were taken by a professional photographer, you will need to provide a copyright consent form signed by the photographer for the purpose of this artwork.

Copyright Issues

As the creator of the artwork, the artist retains all copyrights to the artwork, even after you have purchased the artwork. The artist will retain all rights to any reproductions of the artwork for any purpose, including photographs, prints, cards, promotional displays, letterheads, business cards, advertisements, websites, etc.

Framing Options and Sizes

Custom framing can create a more powerful impact on the artwork, and museum quality framing will best preserve the artwork. Both of these options add impact and value to the artwork and both can be an expensive process.

Ready-made frames come in standard sizes, and acid-free mats also come in standard sizes. The frame size is the measurement of the "inside" of the frame. The mat size will fit into the frame size and have an opening that is smaller than the frame size. For instance an 11 x 14 frame may have an 11 x 14 mat with an 8 x 10 opening in the mat.

The size of the artwork would be 8 x 10 for an 11 x 14 frame. To help you decide which artwork size to order, see the suggestions below for frame size (in inches):

8 x 10 artwork may fit in a matted standard 11 x 14 frame

9 x 12 artwork may need a custom mat and frame

11 x 14 artwork may fit in a matted standard 16 x 20 frame

14 x 18 artwork may need a custom mat in a standard 18 x 24 frame

16 x 20 artwork may need a custom mat in a standard 20 x 24 frame

18 x 24 artwork may need a custom mat in a standard 24 x 30 frame


Please contact Gail at for more information