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Frequently asked questions

Every commission is unique and I am always happy to answer your questions but here you will find answers to some I am most often asked. 

Can you work from my photograph? 

I often work from clients photos and am very happy to do so if they are of a suitable quality. Please send me the highest resolution copy you have and it helps if you can share some other photos of the person so I have a better idea of what they look like.

For the larger investment pieces I prefer to meet my subjects and get to know them a little because it helps me to achieve the best likeness in the portrait. A photoshoot offers the perfect opportunity for this, it can take place in the location of your choice and we take as long as is needed. I take lots of photos and select and edit the best of these to share with you so that together we can choose the best photos for the portrait. You are welcome to the digital files for the photoshoot. 


Which media should I choose?

All of the media I work with are of archival quality and if properly cared for my portraits should last for several generations. The difference in prices reflects the time each takes me. Which clients choose comes down to personal preference and the size of the space where they are planning on hanging the portrait. You can read more about this on my gallery pages here...


...but basically pencil is better suited to small portraits, while charcoal is very effective at a larger scale and can be used to make statement pieces for a larger wall. Oil paint is very versatile and can work well at any scale.

Pencil and charcoal both need to be framed behind glass, where as the cradled wooden panels and stretched canvases I paint on can be hung directly or can be framed depending on preference. See my advice on framing. 


Can you put people from different photos into the same portrait?

Although I use a montaging technique for my group portraits it is not something I generally recommend with clients own photographs because usually there are too many differences between the photos, such as direction of the light source and camera perspective, to make the finished piece look natural and believable. You might prefer to consider having a set of portraits made which can be hung together or framed with a multiple aperture mount in a single frame. 

How long does it take you to make a portrait?

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This is one of the questions I find most difficult to answer because every portrait is different and I don't stop working on one until I am completely happy with it, for some that is quicker than others. Generally speaking pencil is quicker than charcoal and both drawing media are much quicker than painting. An A4 pencil portrait will usually take between 8 and 10 hours, a single oil portrait might take weeks. The most time consuming aspect in each media is getting the likeness of the face which is why I charge per person. Oil painting also requires drying time, both between layers and when finished before varnishing. This can be up to six months. I take bookings in advance and always have a waiting list. 

How long is your waiting list?

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I usually have a waiting list for larger pieces of between six months to a year, so if you know you would like something for a certain date get in touch early to discuss and book a slot. 

Outdoor photoshoots are best in the summer so I open bookings for these early and then work on the pieces over autumn and winter.

Pencil portraits can sometime be made sooner than this because they are so much quicker and can be made when I need to take a break from bigger pieces, so it's worth getting in touch to ask. 

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