This is Daisy the lovely little cockapoo. What a treat she was to work on - those great big eyes and fluffy face!
Daisy's colouring suited the pale grey background I used here. I normally use either pale grey, anthracite (very dark grey), dark blue or white backgrounds.
For my pastel paintings I use a heavy duty paper called Pastelmat that really grabs the pastels, and allows me to use multiple layers. This is fantastic for creating realistic fur effects. I'll make my suggestions for your paper colour when you book and supply your photos, but of course it is your decision. I do understand that the portraits need to fit in with existing decor / colour schemes.