Commissioning a portrait is simple, below is a quick guide to what's involved.
Styles and Sizes
I currently offer colour portraits (in colour pencil or pastel) and 'black and white' graphite portraits in a variety of sizes to suit your needs, from a small intimate 8 by 10 inch portrait to a large statement piece of 12 by 16 inches. If you aren't sure what size to go for, consider where you would like to display your piece as this may dictate the size you choose.
For Colour portraits I use either lightfast colour pencils or pastel pencils depending on the final desired effect.
They both involve lots of layers to create depth and detail in the final piece. Colour pencils tend to allow for more fine precision and detail, pastels tend to have a more painterly finish and are especially good for super fluffy pets. For both mediums I use Claire Fontaine Pastelmat paper to get the most from them. If you have a particular preference you can let me know when you book your commission - if you aren't sure or don't mind I will choose what I feel will work best with your paticular reference photo.
Graphite portraits have a classic, clean, timeless feel to them - they allow a soft level of detail, focusing on tone and value. They are, by the nature of the medium, more simplistic and monochromatic than other choices but still offer a beautiful timeless portrait with the same attention to detail as the colour options.
If you're not sure what to go for you can always get in touch to talk it over!
Photos should be clear, in focus and of a good resolution - the better quality the reference photo, the more details I wll be able to see and to include in your portrait - most modern camera phones are up to the job - It really helps with the likeness of the subject. It also helps to ensure everything you want included in the portrait is visible in the photo - no missing ears!
If you have more than one subject and can't get them all looking tip top in one photo or are struggling to get that one perfect shot you can send multiple photos to me as I can combine details from the different photos to create the best portrait. If you are at all unsure if a particular photo will work please do send them over and we can discuss it in more detail.
Click below for a more detailed guide on getting that perfect reference photo for the perfect portrait.
So now you know what size you want, you've decided on a style and you have chosen your reference photos, what's next?!
If you haven't yet contacted me to discuss your options, now's the time to do it. Send an enquiry form with all the details and any specific requirements you have including the names of the portrait subjects. I will then be able to confirm my next available commission date and or book a date to suit you.
Assuming everything has been agreed I will send you an invoice and confirmation of your booking. You can choose to pay in full at the time of booking or pay a 30% holding deposit to secure your space. You are then welcome to pay in installments and the final balance is payable on or before completion of the portrait. Payment can be made via PayPal or bank transfer. (you do not need to have or create a PayPal account to use this option)
When I am ready to start your portrait I will create an initial line art and send this to you for approval. This is the perfect opportunity to check the placement and general size of your portrait and ensure you are happy before I start adding all of that lovely detail!
Unless your portrait is a surprise gift, I will share regular updates on my social media as I work through the piece and you can follow along or avoid my pages if you would like it to be a surprise for you! If it is a gift and you would still like to be kept updated, I can send updates directly to you.
However you have decided to be kept up to date, when I finish the portrait I will send you a photo for approval before I package it up and send it off to you. At this point it is likely to be difficult to make any significant changes to the portrait but small changes may be possible.
Packed and Posted
Once your portrait is complete and you have confirmed you are happy with the piece I will spray it with a UV protectant, mount it with archival tape and package it up ready to send to you along with your Certificate of Authenticity - see the process below. Portraits are sent via Royal Mail First Class Tracked Service. Artwork comes finished with a ribbon and wrapped in tissue as standard but if you would like the piece to be sent direct to it's recipient you can also choose to add a gift card and presentation box for £8.00.
Feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Not only does it help me to stay on the right track or find ways to improve my service but it also helps prospective clients know what to expect when they work with me.
My facebook page does have a facility to review directly or you can send your testimonial feedback directly to me (and confirm you are happy for me to share it!). I always love to receive videos or photos of people opening their portraits or even the portrait framed and in situ in your home! I do all of this to create a portrait that will be loved and it is genuinely heartwarming to know how it has been received
Any shares or tags on social media are also very appreciated.
"Sophie is an amazing artist producing truly wonderful art. As you can see from the picture Sophie captured Harper totally in every little detail. We are over the moon with it and think its beautiful."