Pet Portrait Certificate of Authenticity

Art Is My Career | 16th June 2023

an artist sitting at a canvas painting with a dog

We are a nation of pet lovers, with BBC News reporting that over 17 million homes in the UK own at least one pet. No wonder then, have pet portrait artists thrived in recent years, with more artists than ever specialising in this adorable niche.

However, as the number of pet portrait artists grows, so do the number of poor-quality offerings, scams and confusion among customers. When there is so much choice, customers find it harder than ever to know which artist to commission. Painting or drawing someone’s beloved pet is a huge responsibility. Professional pet portrait artists should take steps to reassure clients that their work is authentic, high quality, long-lasting and overall a good investment. That is where a pet portrait certificate of authenticity comes in.

A professional pet portrait certificate of authenticity elevates your pet portraits and delights your art clients. In this article, we will explore the importance of certificates of authenticity for pet portrait artists and look at how they enhance the value of their work.

What is a certificate of authenticity?

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is a document that is used to declare the authenticity of a piece of art. Usually, this takes the form of a printed certificate, and is issued by the artist or gallery representing the artist. A certificate of authenticity has several functions. As well as certifying that the artwork is an original, authentic piece by that artist, it also contains valuable information about the work itself. This acts as a historical record that can accompany the artwork throughout its life.

By including a certificate with each commissioned pet portrait, the artist instils trust and confidence in their clients. The certificate provides assurance that the artwork is an original creation by the artist and not a replica or a counterfeit. Clients appreciate the extra effort and attention to detail, which improves your reputation as a pet portrait artist.

What should a pet portrait certificate of authenticity include?

Pet portrait certificates of authenticity are designed to accompany the pet portrait when you send it to your client.

The overall design is up to you (although if you want a quick and easy solution check out our Certificate of Authenticity Template Pack) but as a bare minimum your certificates should include the following information:

  1. Statement of Authenticity – A short declaration that the artwork is authentic, copyrighted by you, and contact details for the artist.
  2. Title of Artwork or Name of Pets – Not every pet portrait commission will have a formal title, so just write the name of the subjects instead.
  3. Artists Name – The name of the artist who created the pet portrait.
  4. Artwork Size – The dimensions of your artwork (not including any frame).
  5. Date Produced – When the artwork was created.
  6. Medium and Materials Used – For example, oil paints, watercolour, etc.
  7. Artist Signature & Date – The signature of the creator and the date of signing.

If you are including a certificate of authenticity for limited edition prints of your pet portraits, you can also include the edition number or serial numbers.

Attach the certificate of authenticity to the back of your pet portrait using mounting corners, or include it with other documents such as the artwork invoice, care guide, business card or compliments slip. The certificate should always be kept with the artwork, whether it’s being sold, gifted, or exhibited.

Lots of pet portrait artists include a certificate of authenticity as part of the documentation they send with a portrait to the client. Other documents you can include are business cards, compliments slips, post cards, and artwork care guides.

Examples of pet portrait certificates of authenticity

Example 1: Pet Portrait Certificate of Authenticity

Example 2: Pet Portrait Certificate of Authenticity

Example 3: Pet Portrait Certificate of Authenticity

Example 4: Pet Portrait Certificate of Authenticity

Certificate Design and Presentation

The design and presentation of your certificates of authenticity should be something you consider carefully. If you spend many hours creating a beautiful pet portrait, you need to make sure you have a certificate that doesn’t let it down at the last minute.

Your certificate should align with your artist brand and use a clean and appealing layout that is easy to read. A well presented certificate enhances the overall perception of your artwork too, and is a sign that you have good attention to detail.  This conveys a sense of professionalism and quality to your pet portrait clients.

When choosing a paper stock, 300gsm or 350gsm is recommended, anything less feels thin and poor quality in the hand. Its important that your certificate is robust enough to survive a lifetime with your artwork, so laminated finishes are also useful. Most printing companies can advise on which paper stock and lamination finishes will best suit your needs. Any files need to be created in a resolution of at least 300dpi for printing purposes, in a CMYK colour model.

When you sign your certificates, try to do so with a consistent and recognisable signature that matches the signature you have put on the artwork. This establishes your signature and helps demonstrate authenticity across your body of work.

How to make your pet portrait certificates of authenticity stand out

Pet portrait clients love a personalised touch, whether it be in the artwork itself or in your other documents.

Here are some tips for making your certificates of authenticity extra special.

  1. Add Your Logo – Adding your artist or art business logo makes your certificates feel professional and enhances your overall brand.
  2. Add Foiling– Foiling is a printing technique that adds metallic gold or silver foil to certain parts of your certificate. This service is offered by lots of printing companies now, and really gives your certificates a luxury feel.
  3. Add A Wafer – No not the kind you eat! Wafers are gold or silver foil medallions that you can add to your certificates as a seal. You can even emboss them with your branding.
  4. Embossing – Add a bespoke embossed design to your certificates. A bespoke embossing stamp makes your certificates difficult to replicate by fraudsters, and gives an extra level of attention to detail to your products.
  5. Add Artwork Images – Some artists scan or photograph the pet portrait commission, and have it printed onto each certificate of authenticity. It takes a little longer but provides an undeniable link between your artwork and your certificate.
  6. Use Professional Certificate Designs – Unless you have tip-top computer design skills, it can be hard to create certificates that feel of a high enough quality to represent your beautiful artwork. Use professional designers or buy our Certificate of Authenticity Template Pack to be sure you are using a quality design.

Security Measures and Documentation

Pet portrait artists may choose to incorporate security measures into their certificates of authenticity as an added layer of protection against fraud. These measures can include custom embossing, watermarks, specific printing techniques, serial numbering, or gold wafer seals. A certificate of authenticity is meant to reassure pet portrait clients that the artwork they have bought is authentic, so the more security measures you can incorporate the better.

Busy pet portrait artists can create hundreds of artworks per year. In this case, documentation and archiving becomes important. Artists should keep copies of each certificate of authenticity for their records. By doing this they have an accurate archive of every work they have produced, the specifications of that work and information about its creation. In the event of any dispute or fraud, it gives you an extra level of accountability and protection. You may choose to keep both digital and physical records. Be sure to keep track of which certificate corresponds to which artwork. Adding an image of the artwork to your certificates makes this job a lot easier, but another way is to give each pet portrait a unique code, which is replicated on your certificates of authenticity.

Certificate of Authenticity Template Pack

(5 customer reviews)
£30.00

The Ultimate Certificate of Authenticity Template Pack for Artists. 100% Customisable Certificate Templates for Original Artwork and Fine Art Prints. 20 Unique designs and 40 templates. PSD, Canva, PDF, JPG, PNG Files Included.

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Pet Portrait Business Resources

Need extra help setting up your pet portrait art business? Browse our wider range of helpful products including books, workbooks, eBooks, Audio Books and more.

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Certificates of Authenticity Template Pack

Certificates of Authenticity Designed For Pet Portrait Artists

Whether you are a pet portrait artist specialising in artwork of dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, reptiles or even birds, this range of certificates of authenticity will meet your needs. These certificate templates have been expertly designed by real working artists (including international pet portrait artist Sema Martin). We put years of experience into every product in our range. That’s why you can rely on Art Is My Career for certificates of authenticity templates of the highest quality. Pet portrait artists working in any medium, be it oil paints, watercolour, digital art, coloured pencil, pastel or graphite can use the certificate of authenticity templates specified here.

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