How to Commission a Portrait

If you contact me through this website I can call or email you to discuss what you are looking for. Below is an explanation of how the process normally works. I will be able to let you have a price once I know your requirements, but it may be useful for you to know that an unframed pastel or charcoal portrait will normally cost you less than £100.
Choosing the Photo
To commission a portrait you need to provide a good quality digital photo of the subject. The subject must be in focus, and facing in the right direction. Be warned - I cannot change the facial expression, so make sure you like the picture. However, I can change the direction the eyes are looking, and also the clothing. Formal group photos are often ideal. If you send me a selection of photos you like, I can choose the best one for the portrait.

Pastel is the best medium for children, and usually the right choice for a portrait gift. Charcoal brings out character, so can make the sitter look dramatic or moody. Pencil portraits are light and delicate in tone, but do not need to be handled as carefully as pastel or charcoal.

A portrait consists of a head, or head and shoulders. I do not do full figures.

My costs do not include getting the picture framed, though we can discuss this. Pastel or charcoal drawings are delicate, and need to be handled with care and framed as quickly as possible, as the surface can rub off. The portrait should be framed with a double mount, to make sure the picture doesn't touch the glass.

Portraits are almost life-sized. The paper size is 16.5 x 11.25 inches / 42 x 29.7 cms, but this can sometimes be trimmed.

Payment and Collection
50% of the cost is payable in advance, with the balance payable on completion. Portraits normally need to be collected in person from my studio in central Bedford.

How Long Does It Take?
Typically two to four weeks - I will give you a firm delivery date when you place your order. If you want to commission a portrait for a special occasion, please get in touch as early as possible.