F.A.Q.

Most frequent asked questions by clients and artists

About Commissions

Do you do commissions for people? What subjects can you do?

Yes my books are open for commissions. Please get in touch in the contact form by clicking here or sending me an email directly to hello@patriciaotero.com. You can also see my prices in the PRICE LIST page. I am known by painting mostly dogs and cats, but I also paint people, horses, birds, any subject to be honest. You can see some of these examples in my gallery and in my social media. All projects are considered, I love experimenting and trying new things. Just get in touch in the contact form or emailing me at hello@patriciaotero.com.

What do you need from me if I want a portrait?

After you’ve paid your deposit, I need some photos of the subject you wish to have a portrait of, this could be a dog, a cat, a horse, a person, a bird etc. Having different photos from different perspectives will help hugely to get an idea of how the subject looks. Photos should be (if possible) not too close, not too far from the subject and (if possible) at the same level of the pet. High quality photos are appreciated but not absolutely necessary, I have worked using low quality photos many times. If you don’t have many photos of the subject, or you are not sure of what to send just sent what you have and I will find a way to work with the photos we have. I Also need a description of the subject, something about their personality, story, anything you wish to share with me.

How does the payment work?

Usually I have a waiting list of a few months long. A deposit upfront of 200€ is necessary for booking your place in the waiting list. The deposit is non refundable as you are booking a space in my calendar that could be used by someone else. After booking, you can provide me with the photos and description necessary for the creation of the portrait. When your turn in the list arrives I will present a mock up of your portrait so you get an idea of how the original will look. When you confirm the mock up you will go ahead and do the final payment of the resting balance. After final payment is done, I will proceed to create the original. I accept payment via Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer or Bizum.

I don’t have a picture of my pets together, can you work from individual photos?

Yes! Most of the multiple subject portraits you see in my gallery and social media have been created using different individual photos combined together in a mock up. Before creating the original I will create a mock up combining the different individual photos you provide so you get an idea of how the subjects will look together. I will try different compositions and perspectives for you to choose from.

Does my portrait come with a background?

Yes the price of the portraits includes a gradient background of one or two colours. Before creating the original I will present a PDF with different mock up using the photos you provide and I will present different background tonalities, blues, greens, browns… Up to 50 different options! If you wish to have a complex background the price would be increased. For example, you wish to have your pet portrayed near a river, a forest, or maybe laying in your home’s sofa. Maybe you wish to have a portrait of your daughter sitting on a flower field. Anything is possible. The price increase will depend on what you have in mind.

How much is shipping?

I only use UPS Air for shipping. They are a very reliable private company and extremely fast in their deliveries. You can check my reviews on my facebook page www.patriciaoteroart.com if you need to hear from other client’s experiences. The price is 50€ for anywhere in the world. Your portrait will have it’s own tracking number and it will only take anyehre between 2 to 5 days to get anywhere in the world. For USA & Europe it takes 2 days. For Canada and Asia takes 3 to 4 days. For South America and Australia takes 4 to 5 days.

How should I frame my portrait when I receive it?

When you open your portrait you will find a detailed “art care instructions” sheet, which will indicate exactly how to handle and care for your portrait. Your portrait must be framed under glass with a framing mount (called framing matt in some countries). Your portrait must be custom framed, a framing shop will know how to use right materials for your portrait to be properly sealed and closed. You should frame your portrait not long after receiving it, to avoid accidents, humidity or dust entering your art piece.

Do you accept payment in installments?

If you wish to do payment installments I can present an invoice that you can pay at your own pace until your turn in the list arrives. Once all the installments are complete I will start with your painting.

How much is shipping?

I only use UPS Air for shipping. They are a very reliable private company and extremely fast in their deliveries. You can check my reviews on my facebook page www.patriciaoteroart.com if you need to hear from other client’s experiences. The price is 50€ for anywhere in the world. Your portrait will have it’s own tracking number and it will only take anyehre between 2 to 5 days to get anywhere in the world. For USA & Europe it takes 2 days. For Canada and Asia takes 3 to 4 days. For South America and Australia takes 4 to 5 days.

About my art

What materials do you use?

For surface I like sanded paper like Pastelmat from Clairefontaine (color dark grey). For pencils I use pastel pencils. Faber Castell Pitt, stabilo Carbothello, derwent, Caran d’ache, bruynzeel…. pastel pencils have a very limited range of colours so I need different brands for different tonalities. If you have to choose a brand to start, go for Stabilo Carbothello. I also use soft pastels for my base layers. Mainly Rembrandt, Unison Colour, Schmincke. I buy my material in artemiranda.es and mundo-artistas.es.

How long have you been painting?

I’ve been painting since I was a child. I was the type of kid that could spend hours filling up notebooks and sketching on every surface possible. I went to art school as a teenager where I learned the basis of art. I value every second I spent there, I had amazing teachers, I learned many different mediums both dry and wet. It’s had a big influence in my work. I’ve been painting professionally since 2014.

Do you teach?

At the moment I am preparing an online course available about the pastel technique on 2 of the hardest colours to work with, black and white fur. (It’s in this website). I also offer presencial workshops., but unfortunately at the moment presencial workshops aren’t possible due the pandemic but I’m hoping to have more available soon.

What are those white lines that stay behind the base layers of your pastel?

The withe lines many people ask for is tracking paper. I do my sketch on a rough paper and then I transfer it to my painting surface using tracing paper. The brand of my tracing paper is “Seral” the only reason behind the lines showing through I believe is the fact that I press too hard. I have artists friends using the same brand and doesn’t happen to them so I think I just press too hard and that’s why you can see it behind the soft pastel.

Any tips on painting realistic fur?

Have a lot of patience with it. Patience is key. I am amazed when some artists don’t know what’s the issue with their portrait and they come to me to ask advice. I ask them, how long did this take you? and they say, 3 hours. Of course it won’t look good in 3 hours! Most of my portraits don’t look good for the first 5 hours, you can’t really understand much until it’s been good 10 hours in the portrait. So have patience, is the key! Another tip, make sure to focus on light and shadows. Light and shadows are a lot more important than details. Block the brightest areas of your portrait and the darkest areas of your portrait. That will give that realistic look you’re looking for.

Do you use fixative?

No I don’t, never! Fixative adds chemichals to the pastels, being such a pure pigment it will ruin it’s quality, it may yellow them with time or just affect it’s qualities in general. I work with Patelmar Board surface and it’s a surface that doesn’t need fixative.

Your photos are always really good quality, what equipment do you use?

I use a full frame camera, Sony a7iii with my G-Master Lenses 24-70mm 2.8 and my G Lenses 90mm 2.8 Macro. I also use studio lighting to have the perfect ambiance light for painting and for representing the colours as loyal as possible to the real painting in my photos.

How do you sharpen your pencils?

I sharpen my pencils with a utlitlity knife. i have tried many different alternatives, but I always come back to utility knives. Sharpening pencils makes the blades go blunt so for sharpening it’s better to use something that you can change the blades often.

How long does a portrait take?

It depends on the size and the complexity. Small portraits can take 30 to 40 hours. Larger portraits can take 80-100 hours or even more if they are really large and very complex. Every subject is different but I use a tracker and track every hour spent on my portraits that’s how I know how different is each form the other.

I would love to hear from you.

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