First and foremost, what animal would you like in the painting? Your idea can be vague, like a bird – or species specific, like a Western spotted owl. Please note – some animals take more time to paint than others, resulting in a higher cost. (e.g. – a zebra is more effort to paint than a horse because of the stripes.)
Is it young or old? Big or small? Is it male or female? Is it next to its’ offspring, or with the whole family? Maybe it’s interacting with another species?
I prefer to work from my own collection of reference photos, or visit the animal to take reference photos in the wild or in a zoo, sanctuary. I can also work from a high-quality photo you’ve taken.
These are sample color schemes, but it can be as varied or as simple as you’d like.
Color palette can also be designed to match your home or office.
Do you prefer photo-realistic artwork? Or, loose, impressionistic, and abstracted?
Would you like anything else included in the work? (Something in the background, a particular place, or maybe the animal is looking at or interacting with a specific object.)
The level of detail is possibly the most variable option in this list, and will affect the cost of the finished artwork the most. Higher detail = higher cost.
Do you prefer a canvas or wood?
Generally, wood is better suited for small and medium paintings. Small pieces will be solid hardwood, larger wood pieces will be a cradled wood panel.
Generally, canvas is better for medium and large paintings. It can be shipped gallery-wrapped on stretcher bars, but for pieces larger than 36″ x 36″, it is easier to ship un-streched, rolled canvas to you, or frame shop near you.
The following are sample sizes. Any size canvas can be made to fit the wall space you have in mind.