HOW TO COMMISSION A PORTRAITSimple steps to owning your own Heirloom portrait
Commemorative Portraiture for all Occasions
Whether it be a formal board room portrait of the founder of your company, or a special gift for someone equally special or just a gift to yourself – an original portrait is a unique present.
I work to commission in Soft pastel, Pastel Pencil, Charcoal and graphite.
Available sizes: The size I work in is largely determined by the available photography, but as a guide, with good quality detailed digital images to work from I am able to scale work;
a) in graphite, charcoal and pastel pencil – from 14 x 11 inches (single head) up to 24 x 18 inches single – triple head).
b) Full Soft Pastel – from 19 x 12inches up to 35 x 25 inches approx.
(single or double heads)
(square format available eg 20 x 20 inches)
Posthumous Portraits: – are a speciality, (including board room portraits of company founders etc. ) For these very special portraits, I need to see whatever photography you have before I can consider size, medium and price.
All other portrait commissions: Please send digital images – as large as possible, and un cropped – I need as much detail as possible from the images. When I see the photography you have, I can advise on size and price.
Advice on how to take pictures for portraiture: (Whether adults, children or animals)
Position: Always try to make sure that you are on the same eye level as your subject. For very young children and animals (dogs/cats) this could mean covering a table with a cloth and placing them on the table, but being on the same eye level is important.
Light: try to arrange the subject so that the light is illuminating from one side only; usually from the direct left or right hand side. This is the perfect lighting condition for most portraiture. If you have two subjects in one portrait always make sure that the light hits the subjects on the same side even if you take the pictures separately, and I compost them into one painting.
Photos taken outdoors: are rarely suitable for our needs – more often or not the subject is squinting against the light, and of course, it is very difficult to control lighting conditions outdoors. Possibly pets with black coats are fine photographed outdoors – to get the light on their dark coats.
Props: Consider props, toys, objects which are important to the subject of the portrait. I can add trophies, favourite toys etc. in backgrounds where necessary.
Deposit: when the commission is placed I require a deposit of 30% of the quoted fee. This deposit is non-refundable once painting starts. The deposit is refundable should I be in the rare position to have to cancel the contract myself. The balance becomes due when the portrait is finished, and be paid when the painting is delivered, or in advance of delivery if the painting is to be shipped.
Deadlines: I am usually able to meet most reasonable deadlines. If there is a special date or an important deadline to take into account please talk to me in the initial stages about your requirements. As a loose guide, drawings I can usually turn around within 2 – 3 weeks depending on content, and my current workload. Please consider in advance if you require a portrait for special events; anniversaries eg Christmas, Mothers Day or Valentines Day. I need as much notice as possible for these periods.
Payment: Would ideally be through PayPal, if we do not live in the same area. I can accept personal cheques and International money orders, but these would need to be cleared in advance of commencing the portrait, which can add a considerable amount of extra time to the transaction. For most British or Spanish commissions I can accept cash.
Shipping: For work not able to be delivered personally – All work is shipped mounted, protected from surface damage, and very well packed. You may choose standard or priority shipping and this will be quoted in advance. You will not be charged handling charges – just for the shipping as quoted to me by the carriers.
Some final considerations: If the portrait is to be a special surprise present for someone, consider using a secondary email, and let me know the situation. I am quite used to surprise presentations!
Videos of the Artwork being produced: It is possible by special arrangement to obtain a copy of your artwork in varying stages of completion. If you are interested in this unique addition to your commission please let me know well in advance, and I can give you a quote.
Preliminary studies: If you are interested in purchasing the working studies sketches in pencil or charcoal usually) of the portrait let me know in advance so that I can quote you. I am quite willing to let these studies go to the commissioner at a very reasonable price.
Copyright: When sending me photographs, please make sure they are free from copyrights – preferably your own photographs. Copyright of the work I produce remains mine to use whether it be for reproductions (giclee prints) or promoting my work in the press etc. My artwork cannot be reproduced or used for any purposes, by anyone else without my written permissions.
Portrait of Willy and Weebee
With there proud owner – a surprise present for his wife.
Sennelier La Carte 19 x 19 ”
Portrait of Dako – Huskey
With his own Rachel
Pastel on Sennelier La Carte 1 x 22 ”
Portrait of Comedian and actor Gary Wilmot
Graphite on paper 30 x 40″
A lovely commission from Gary who I worked with in 1985.
Portrait Of Jasper Carrott
Graphite on Paper 16 x 18 ”
One of the many comedians who I had the pleasure of working with in the 70’s
Portrait of Angela Dent – full body pose
Pastel On Sennelier La Carte 25 x 36″
An Interesting portrait to do and we had a lot of fun deciding on the pose.