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People always ask me if I do custom drawings. The answer is: Yes I do!

I also draw animals other than cats (including but not limited to dogs, birds, lizards, horses, and turtles).

I can interpret a favorite photograph in my unique drawing style. But what I LOVE to do is to help you use your imagination in creating your special pet portraits. Using your ideas and photographs, you and I will design a piece together, every step of the way. I will submit sketches at various points of progress for you to critique. Here's an example of how it's done:

This is "Classy", an ebony silver mackerel tabby Oriental Long Hair.

His person asked me to do his portrait riding a dolphin. She wanted him to be looking straight out at the viewer with his intelligent, expressive, yellow-green eyes. Below left is the first scribble I did of this concept. As we talked, we expanded the dolphin concept to a pod of three, jumping out of ocean waves. Classy would be riding on the one leaping the highest. My client liked that idea, so I developed the scribble further. She mentioned that the Sirius star cluster was important to her, Classy, cats in general, and dolphins. I incorporated that constellation into my scribble after doing some research . I sent this scribbly-sketch (below middle) to my client for her input: we made a change in Classy's paw position. My refinements produced a "foundation drawing". It looks like what you'd see in a coloring book, and is used as my guide for the actual drawing. This is what I submitted for her approval (below right).

With her 'go ahead', I transferred the image on to Arches 100% cotton paper and began building the colored pencil drawing, layer by layer. Below on the left, you see the "work in progress", about half-way done.

My friend, Mark, had asked me what color I was going to make the stars in the Canis Major constellation. I told him orange and yellow. He suggested we research what colors they actually emit, and so we did. We studied many charts to determine which were the most significant stars and made the diagram you see below. You can see we added one more star (Omicron 1) than I had originally plotted on the foundation drawing.

I continued to work on the dolphins and the waves, adding layer after layer of dry, sharp colored pencil. My goal was to intensify the colors and bring dimension to the piece by developing the shadows. After one last layer of black on Classy, I sized the star cluster and transferred it to the drawing. I continued to work until the drawing told me it was finished. A jpeg of the drawing was emailed to my client for final approval. She loved the piece, especially Classy's expression! She felt the motion and jubilation I had captured, and decided to call it "Star Souls Riding the Waves!". I finished the piece by writing the title and signing it with my name, copyright symbol and year.

(This image measures 11" x 15") © 2015 jamie s.perry!


How much does a custom drawing cost?

Prices vary according to size and complexity of the piece. Basic prices begin at $850 for a 6" x 8" close up face. (This will frame to 10" x 12" or larger.)

An image measuring approximately 8" x 11" -which is enough space for a full body pose with a simple shadow and an important toy, flower, etc.- starts at $1800. (This size will frame to 14" x 18" or larger.)

For an image measuring approximately 11" x 15" -which allows for a lot to be going on-, prices begin at $2400. (This size will frame to 16" x 20" or larger. This is the size of "Star Souls Riding the Waves!", the drawing pictured above.)

Larger images with multiple critters and/or detailed backgrounds begin at $3500.

Actual dimensions will be determined by the shape of the composition. Some pieces will be square, some will be long and narrow.

You won't have to pay everything up front. I work on a payment schedule, usually consisting of 3 to 4 payments. The 1st payment is paid when you commission me to do your drawing. The second payment is due when you approve the foundation drawing, and the final payment is due on completion of our project. FRAMING, SHIPPING, AND USE RIGHTS ARE EXTRA. As the Creator of the actual drawing, I retain all rights unless specifically stated in writing.

PLEASE NOTE: These are current prices as of April 2015. Prices may change without written notice...

How long will it take?

The simple answer is that it will take as long as it takes...!

A small drawing usually takes 50 - 90 hours to complete. Larger pieces can easily log 150 - 300 hours, or more. I use only dry, sharpened colored pencil to create my work. Combining stroke work and scratching techniques, I build the drawing -layer upon layer- to produce glowing, saturated colors and rich textures. Usually I can complete a drawing in 6-8 months. Very large and complex pieces may take up to 2 or 3 years. I want to create the most beautiful drawing I can for you, and it's the drawing itself that lets me know when it's done. Because colored pencil is a such a time-intensive medium, please contact me 9 months to a year in advance if you want something for a specific occasion.

Please remember that I do have a show schedule to contend with, so some seasons will be busier that others.

What you need to do for me:

Start collecting HARD COPY photographs for me. I want photos that show accurate colors, special markings, typical poses and expressions, any objects that you want included in your drawing. These will be my reference materials - they will be taped to my drawing board while I work.NOTE: Do not send me original treasured photographs. Please make and send me copies. The photos will be returned to you when the drawing is completed.

Think about a situation that you'd like me to portray. You may see your critter in a formal pose with a trophy, or your pet riding a dolphin... You're only limited by your imagination! Remember, anything can happen in a drawing.

Tell me anecdotes about your pet. This is how i learn about your critter's individual pussonality / dogma / essence. This is what I want to capture for you!

Especially during the design process, I will send you jpegs for critique. Since the foundation sketch is what the whole drawing is built on, it's important to work out the details before I transfer the composition to the cotton paper. Colored pencils are not forgiving!


This section is always "Under Construction"...

2015 "Turbo Charged!" - Image: 12" x 12"

Meet "Turbo", a polydactyl tuxedo boy (he has 5 toes on each foot) . He is splayed out (his favorite position), showing off his amazing feet from the seat of his dad's Honda Goldwing.

2015 "The PaJean Journey" - Image size: 28" x 40"

The PaJean Look, Pamela and Jean Bassett’s cattery started in 1987. This daughter-mother team produced 21 Grand Champion Persian cats from 1991 to 2007. They are all pictured here in chronological order starting from the upper left. At the end of this description, I’ve provided a guide for you to meet them all -in order- by following the Yellow Brick Road. On the way, you will see the red Dodge van that the Bassetts purchased after Trinket Love earned the Cat Fancier’s Association 1994 Cat of the Year. The van carries the organization’s logo on its roof, and Trinket Love’s achievements on its body.

Along the road you will see golden bronze bricks that form the letter ‘T’. They will point you in the right direction as you travel. They also honor Jean’s cats whose names always started with the letter ‘T’. You will also meet Kim, Pam’s sister, a commercial pilot who often helped Pam, Jean, and their cats fly to shows. In this drawing, she flies a biplane pulling banners that celebrate The PaJean Look and the cattery’s
back-to-back Cat of the Year wins across the Millennium, represented by fireworks. Pam and Jean commemorated their three Cats of the Year by minting pink, silver, and blue doubloons which were tossed
to everyone who attended the 2000 CFA Awards Banquet. In this drawing, they fall from the sky with the fireworks. You’ll also meet Grand Champion Persian “Don Casmarro” who went to live in Brazil and started The PaJean Look’s international bloodlines. He sits on a globe featuring South America.

Jean passed away in 2007, where this journey ends. Pamela commissioned this piece to tell their story.

2013"Three Musketeers" - Image size: 16" x 20"

Meet "Davey" (on the counter), "Chelsea" (striking a regal pose), and "Dannie" (greeting you with tail-up and tongue out attitude). They were inseparable - they were always referred to as The Three Musketeers. Their mom wanted them in their warm and welcoming home. She wanted to feature the chrysanthemums that she grew in her garden. So we planted the yellow ones in a decorative container and put them by the window. The purple and lavender mums have been incorporated into the luxurious carpet the cats have rearranged. Because their mom is a lover of horses and horse racing, I gave her a horse farm outside her window. Also a lover of classic cars, in the barn is a 1923 Ford Roadster commemorating the year she was born.

2014 "Beauty Queen" - Image size: 5 1/2" x 15 1/2"

Indeed, "Vanna" is a beauty queen! A Maine Coon who done her mom proud with numerous accolades and awards! Here she is with one of her favorite trophies. But she would "purr-furr" you look at HER!

2013 "Akasha - The Fifth Element" - Image size: 16" x 16"

This is "Akasha" (a Sanskrit word describing the element from which the 4 others --fire, air, earth, and water-- came from). His mom wanted him to be portrayed as Grand Ruler and Lord of the Universe (because he IS!!!). We surrounded him with representations of the other elements, and a frog for good luck!

2011 "Stargazing" - Image size: 11" x 15"

Meet "Zanzibar", a champion Birman. He's known as a star. He knows he's a star! We first met at a cat show, when his mom commissioned me to draw his portrait. I asked her how and where to portray him; she really didn't know. But she invited me to meet him at his benching area. I ducked out of my booth the first chance I had and went to meet Zanzibar. The area was quiet, with very little activity. His mom woke him up, and out of his enclosure emerged a huge, confident, layed-back, golden-auraed, Adonis-of-a-Birman! He attracted attendees and exhibitors like bees to honey! The benching area -all of the sudden- was filled with cat-loving paparazzi ALL caught up in the spell of this STAR! Did it phase him? Not in the least! He just flopped down on his side, looked at us with those dreamy tanzanite eyes, and oozed his charm. We were smitten...

Again, I asked his mom how she wanted him portrayed. She said, "Doing that!"

I asked her what he liked to do. She said, "Hang out in the garden."

"Does he have any favorite flowers?" I asked. "STARGAZER LILIES!!!" , she exclaimed.

I titled this portrait "Stargazing".

2010 "Snowfall" Image size: 11" x 11"

This is "Kukui", a beautiful cross-eyed, feral Snowshoe. She typically slept on the top of her couch, nestled into the pillow break with her snow feet cascading down, creating their own avalanche. I designed a white woven throw patterned with crocheted snowflakes. It seemed only fitting to complete the scene with falling snow in the background.

2003 "A Basket Case" Image size: 11" x 15"

"Farrah" liked to sit in --and demolish-- baskets that her Humans would decorate for her. They would place them in different rooms for her to find. She especially liked tearing apart fake birds...

The following video was filmed by Washington D.C.'s FOX 5 TV station at the National Capital Cat Show in Chantilly, VA: