Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, which means we were paid a fee to conduct an objective review of this product.
I’ve often said that dog owners are worse than grandparents – we can’t wait to make anyone and everyone look at dozens of doggo photos for no reason at all.
I know my phone is overflowing with photos of my pooch, and I’m guessing yours is too.
But instead of just leaving these photos on your phone or posting them to social media, you should consider doing something special with a few of your favorites — like having them turned into a custom portrait, crafted by a real artist!
PortraitFlip is a company that helps you do exactly that.
We tried out their service recently, and we’ll share our experiences with the service here!
Read on to learn how the process worked and their basic pricing information. And – most importantly – we’ll share a photo of what a finished portrait looks like.
PortraitFlip: The Basics
Getting a painting of your pooch from PortraitFlip is pretty easy.
First, you’ll need to pick the medium and style you’d like. You can choose from:
- Black pencil
- Colored pencil
- Oil paint
You then pick the size you want. You can choose any of the following (not all sizes are available for all media):
- 8” x 8”
- 12” x 12”
- 12” x 16”
- 16” x 20”
- 18” x 24”
- 24” x 36”
(Editor’s Note: Since originally publishing this review, PortraitFlip has added additional sizes. See their site for details)
Next, you’ll select the finishing option (rolled, gallery wrapped, or framed), and shipping method. You can choose the free shipping option, which takes about 25 to 27 business days, or the express shipping option, which takes about 16 to 18 days.
At this point, you upload a photo (or several, if you are including multiple characters in the portrait) using PortraitFlip’s handy uploader. There is also a place where you can add any suggestions to the artist.
From there, you’ll move on to the payment portion of the process. The prices range from as low as $50 for an 8” x 8” black pencil portrait with free shipping to $405 for a 24” x 36” acrylic painting with express shipping.
But PortraitFlip embraces a pretty neat policy: You only have to pay 30% up front.
Once you’ve paid the deposit, the artist will get to work. When the portrait is complete, PortraitFlip will email you a photo of the portrait for your approval.
If you need any corrections or changes to be made, the artist will do so at this point. Once you’re happy and approve the painting, you will pay the balance due and get ready to receive your new portrait.
Our Experience with PortraitFlip
PortraitFlip reached out to us a few months ago, and we were excited to try out their service.
I dug up a good photo of my pooch and sent it in (along with my shipping address) on October 31st.
The photo, for your viewing pleasure:
As you can see, the photo is a bit blurry, but I just love her smile in it. PortraitFlip’s representative indicated that the slightly out-of-focus photo wouldn’t be a problem at all.
We went with the 18” x 24” oil paint option. I mentioned that I’d prefer to leave the background of the photo out, and simply have my dog painted on top of a simple colored background. They said that was fine.
And for the record, I specifically included a photo of her wearing her harness, as she wears it more-or-less constantly, and I wanted a portrait that reflected my mental image of her.
I received an email on November 15th explaining that my portrait was completed. They included a photo of the portrait, and I thought it looked awesome!
There was a brief snafu with my shipping address, but that only took one email to sort out. All considered, it only increased the length of time I had to wait by a day, so no big deal.
I received the painting on November 26th. We had opted for the framed version, so it arrived in a flat cardboard box.
The painting itself was wrapped in transparent plastic, and then wrapped again in a layer of bubble wrap.
In fact, it was wrapped up so thoroughly that it took me a few minutes to remove all of the plastic layers. But, that’s certainly better than receiving a damaged item.
The painting itself was quite nice! I’m no art critic, but it looks great to me:
And, apropos of the very first sentence in this article, a photo of my pupper with the painting:
It’s instantly recognizable as my dog, and the painting resembles the submitted photo nearly perfectly.
It has what I would consider a “medium” amount of detail. You can’t make out the details of her toenails or see the buckles on her harness clearly, but that seems to be a stylistic choice (which I liked).
The entire thing looks just like her, but the artist really nailed her facial expression, which delights me to no end.
I wasn’t terribly concerned with what type of background the artist chose, but I like the one he or she painted.
Now I just have to find somewhere to hang it!
PortraitFlip: The Good and the Bad
Overall, we found PortraitFlip’s portrait-ordering process to be pretty great.
But, like any service, there were good and not-so-good things about the experience. We’ll summarize the pros and cons of the service below.
- The portrait I received is beautiful!
- The 30% down policy is quite nice and takes a lot of the worry out of ordering custom artwork.
- It’s nice that you can include several different pets, even if you don’t have a photo of them together.
- The site’s interface is clear, simple, and easy to use.
- PortraitFlip has been responsive to all of our inquiries and requests.
- The portrait was well-packaged and arrived in flawless condition.
- PortraitFlip offers a wide variety of options, including style, medium, sizing, and finish (framed, gallery wrapped or rolled).
- PortraitFlip is generally less expensive than similar pet portrait services, such as Paint Your Life.
- Some of the larger sizes are certainly not cheap. However, these prices are pretty similar to those of other custom art services. Ultimately, you can’t get around the fact that custom artwork costs money!
- It took a while to get all the plastic off the portrait when it arrived, but this really wasn’t that big of a deal. Plus, it is probably necessary to ensure that the portrait arrives in perfect condition.
- Shipping takes a little while, but that’s a minor issue too. Just be sure to plan ahead if you’re going to use PortraitFlip for a gift.
Honestly, we couldn’t come up with many downsides to PortraitFlip at all. Even the problems listed above are relatively minor – they certainly wouldn’t prevent me from ordering more in the future.
PortraitFlip: The Bottom Line
Ultimately, I have loved the experience with PortraitFlip. I love the art I received, and I appreciate that the process was pretty easy to navigate.
Go give their site a look if you’re considering commissioning some custom artwork of your pet. You’ll be glad you did!
Also consider checking out our guide listing various pet portrait artists and services here!