How to commission a portrait.
Commemorative Heirloom portraiture for Special Occasions
Whether it be a formal board room portrait of the founder of your company, or a special gift for a special occasion - an original portrait is THE unique present.
Portraits in Soft Pastel, Pastel Pencil, Charcoal or 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 up to 24 x 18 inches.
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 of mine, (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 or in some circumstances I would advise you to take new pictures.
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 children and animals 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.
Photographs 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. (This does not mean I cannot paint the subject in an outdoor setting).
Props: Consider props, toys, objects which are important to the subject of the portrait. I can add trophies, etc. in backgrounds where necessary.
Contract and Deposit: when the commission is placed I require a deposit of 30% of the quoted fee and sign a contract to this effect. This deposit is non-refundable once painting starts. (a copy of the contract will be available for you to download) 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 you approve the final image which I will send you by email attachment.
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 be through PayPal. 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: 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 of the portrait let me know in advance so that I can quote you.
Copyright: When sending me photographs, please make sure they are free from copyrights - preferably your own. 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.