Once in a while you come across a painting you love so much that you want to step inside it and live in its reality. At least, you do if you're me (gosh, I love art). But I never expected it to happen with our pet portrait reviews.
Then I got our portrait from Gwen at Iconic Dog and had to relearn how to review pet portraits. Because this painting so exceeded all of my expectations that I feel I need a new type of review system just to give this work its due.
Gwen's portraits specialize in what she calls "deep customization": she works very closely with you to ensure that the entire painting, from color scheme to theme and more, is to your personal taste and also meaningful to your life and your home.
When Gwen and I discussed the details by phone (as she does with all of her clients), I told her about my love of cupcakes (baking, eating, and viewing - they're so iconic) and baking in general (I love to bake - it's my stress reliever, and just smelling chocolate, butter, and sugar make me feel better). I sent her a few links to source images that were a "bake shop" feel and asked if we could incorporate the princess into a pink-colored bakery-themed painting.
As with all of our reviews, I then turned Gwen loose on the Merrylog to find a source photo that excited her and made her creative juices fire. She came back with this photo of Merry in pink pearls on her own pink sofa. Then she went off on her own for a month or two to work on the design.
She emailed me a photo of the finished piece and I literally fell in love. So creative! So beautiful! Gwen actually sourced cakes and cupcakes from a local bakery to use as a guide when painting in the Sweet Shop details (now that's attention to detail - I don't know how she resisted snacking on them). I couldn't wait to see it in person.
The finished product is breathtaking and now hangs in my kitchen in a place of honor. Literally every person who comes into my kitchen comments on it.
The piece is painted entirely in oils (Gwen will sometimes use some acrylics for the background, but all dog figures are done in oils) on high quality canvas with a deep unstapled edges. The edges are finished so that you can hang it framed or unframed (I always liked the look of unframed, personally).
Unlike many portrait artists, Gwen only requires 25% of her fee down to start the work, with the balance due before shipping. Prices vary depending on complexity and size - it's easiest to discuss pricing in person, but don't worry - her professional manner will always put you at ease.
I cannot recommend Iconic Dog highly enough. This pet portrait is literally breathtaking and even better in person (believe me!). There is no way you could be disappointed with work of this calibre.
You can find out more about Iconic Dog from their web site at www.iconicdog.com.