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Custom Pet Portrait

Dog Portrait Review - A Merryvaluation

Between the Merrylog, Merryvaluations and just working with the Corporate Princess in our offices every day, you'd think we'd be sick of looking at images of the princess pug. Luckily, that's very much not the case - and it helps incredibly when we start working with a portrait artist for a Merryvaluation.

When we were contacted by artist Meredith Montgomery about doing a Merryvaluation portrait, we knew it would be a fun experiment. Meredith paints in such a unique visual style, very detailed in the face, with such bold colors. We couldn't wait to see what she'd come up with for Merry.

The first step of the process is to complete a form for the artist. It asks about a dozen questions in all - about your pet, its breed, and its personality, as well as your desired date of completion, what size you'd like (she offers several different sizes starting at 8x10 for small breeds and going all the way up to 24 x 36) and any preferences you have in terms of color or composition.

Our preferences were fairly simple: we wanted to ensure that pink was somewhere in the finished product. Can't have a Merry portrait without it, can you?
Normally at this stage you would send in three physical photographs (they're returned to you with the finished painting) but since the princess is so well photographed online, Meredith chose the last photo in this review as her starting point. You also send 50% of the portrait price, by cheque, via mail. The balance is due - plus shipping - once you have received the portrait and are 100% satisfied. She's usually booked up 2 to 3 months in advance, so book early if you're planning on the portrait as a gift. A percentage of all profits is donated to animal rescue organizations.

First, Meredith sent us a color sample of the pink she'd chosen. It was a brilliant pink - we knew we were going to have one colorful end result on our hands! After that point, Meredith goes off to work her magic. She prefers to keep the final product a surprise for the owner (so if you're a control-happy type who likes to be involved in every step of the process, you might want to try elsewhere), but customers are welcome to send back portraits for revision once they see the final product.

Once the artist is done her work, she does send you an email to let you know the artwork has been shipped.

We were blown away by the portrait once we received it. Such brilliant colors (the photos don't do the blue background justice - it's a deep deep royal blue with an incredibly intense vibe). But what impressed us most of all was how well she captured the princess - the wrinkles, the folds, and the expression on her face when the original photo was taken (we did try, in the first photo in this review, to get the pug to ham up the exact same expression but couldn't quite capture it). Pugs are not easy subjects for portraits - all those wrinkles and variations in coloring - but Meredith did a fabulous job.

The level of detail and the brush work is incredible. We loved Meredith's interpretation of the princess in her shirt and tie.

The final portrait was an 11 x 14 done in acrylic. Each piece is done on stretched canvas and the canvas frams is a good 1" thick. The sides are painted, so it's suitable to hang on the wall as is or get it framed, your choice.

Would we recommend Meredith's work to others? Absolutely! You'll end up with a finished piece of art to treasure for years to come.

You can find out more about Meredith Montgomery from her web site at www.meredithaikowilson.com.

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