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FAQ

Click here to go to the Ideas and Info page to see visual samples of what I talk about in the following questions. 

What size do you recommend?

I get this question a lot. There are a few factors to consider when deciding on a size. If you have a large house, and large is also a relative term so I like to say if it has more than 6 windows, or a lot of details around the outside, porches, stairs extensive landscaping, stone and brick work that you'd like to see then I'd go with the 11 x 14. Conversely if you have a poor quality, lacking in detail photo of a small cottage, it's difficult to paint it large because I just don't have the visual information needed to dig into the details. In the end it is your decision. I'd be happy to suggest what I think would work best if you are undecided. One more thing to consider is the proportions of you home, and for extra long homes, such at the one pictured at the top of this page, I'd advise a  non standard custom size so you don't end up with a disproportionally large sky. I have more info about this on the ideas and info page under the example of the ranch painting.

I only have one photo of the house, and it's not great, can you work from that?

Good news, there are more ways to find photos of your house than just what you have. Consider just typing the address into google and seeing what comes up, it could be listed on Zillow, even if it's not on the market. Google street view is another great way to get a look around. I will often ask for the address of the home just so I can do a virtual drive by and get a feel for the setting.

I only have one photo of my dog/cat, and its not great, can you work from that?

That is a tough one. Once I take a look at the photo I will give you my honest opinion.

Is your painting done digitally?

NO! It's the real deal.  I come across many people advertising watercolor portraits but in reading the fine print I see the word digital come up, or a total avoidance of the painting process altogether. They are taking a photo and running it through a series of filters and applying effects. When something looks too cheap to be true, there's a reason for that. Look for key words such as "watercolor likeness" or if it's never declared openly that it's an actual watercolor. 

Will you show me the painting while it's in progress?

Once I see your photo/s I will ask questions and that's your time to make clear anything you want included or left out. I will show a sketch before I begin if there are things that aren't very clear.  For example, if I am combining a few dogs into one painting and I want to make sure I have their sizes in relation to each other correct.  If we discuss ahead of time and there is something you really need to see, please let me know. Once a watercolor is underway things can't go backwards, it's a transparent medium. Unlike oil or acrylic, it can't be painted over. 

Do you only accept orders for houses and pets?

I can paint more than animals and houses! Consider a favorite hiking or biking spot, or a cherished childhood toy. Even a snapshot of a simple moment can make a great painting!

There's a car in the driveway of my house photo, can you take that out?

Yes, as long as I have some kind of reasonable idea of what is behind the car. If its not just something simple, please provide me with an extra photo from another angle so I can get another view. 

Can you add my dog onto the front porch of my house?

Yes, if you have a photo so I can see what the dog looks like. 

Can you change the seasons?

In your painting, yes.  

Does my watercolor painting need a mat?

There are 2 reasons why I include a mat with your painting. The first is simple it looks good! Secondly it protects the painting. The mat board I use is archival/acid free. Having worked in the framing industry for several years I have seen my share of the damage paper backing and paper mats can do to art work, namely yellow stains and foxing . Another reason is to give the surface of the art a little space so it's not touching the glass. Moisture can build up in the frame underneath the glass and a little bit of space protects the art. When my paintings are done on aqua board, their is no paper to protect and the front is finished  with a fixative and waxed - (see below) That all being said I have a few that I have matted and put under glass anyway because  I just like the look of the mat. 

I've noticed your paintings are not just done on watercolor paper, can you tell me more about these other surfaces?

  • Mineral paper (sometimes refereed to as stone paper) It’s made of 80% calcium carbonate (limestone powder) and 20% HDPE (high density polyethylene; plastic resin) The source of the calcium carbonate is waste material from marble quarries and off-cuts which are ground and reduced to fine white powder. Very environmentally friendly, the production of mineral paper uses no water, no acid and no bleach or optical brighteners. It’s extremely strong and durable, resists tearing and buckling and remains perfectly flat, its also pH-neutral and is 100% recyclable (class 2 plastic)

 

  • Aqua board, is a hardboard that is protected with a proprietary Archiva-Seal™ and coated with an acid-free clay and mineral ground with a texture similar to cold-pressed watercolor paper. When the painting is completed it can be sprayed with a fixative and rubbed with a wax, making the surface waterproof and it can be framed without glass.

 

  • Watercolor ground is an absorbent primer that allows the use of watercolor, or acrylic paint/ink, on a variety of surfaces. I use it on a cradled wood panel, or flat hardboad. Depending on what the substrate is and the finish used it can, like Aqua board, be framed without glass. 

 

  • Arches watercolor paper,  made the traditional way, on a cylinder mold, in France. The 100% cotton fibers are evenly distributed, making for a more stable paper that can withstand more water without warping or bleeding. Arches paper is sized with natural gelatin that prevents tearing or linting.