Commissions FAQ

What is a narrative portrait?
It’s a portrait that is not only a perfect likeness, but also tells a story about the person. The pose and background can show their likes, loves, passions, hobbies, work, home, and personality, etc. Or it can be more symbolic and mysterious. Each painting is special and unique, as is the person painted.

How much will it cost?
Portrait paintings start at £8000 for one person with a detailed background, plus £1000 per extra person. If this sounds expensive, please bear in mind that my paintings are very detailed and take at least 10 weeks to paint. Portrait drawings start at £180 for one person, plus £80 per extra person. Note: portrait drawing have a plain white background.

Does the size of the painting make a difference to the price?
Yes, but only up to a point. It’s the amount of detail that determines how much work is involved. Also, you need to be aware that if you choose a very small size, it may not be possible to include the level of detail you want. To get a perfect likeness, it’s only possible if the head of the sitter is no less than 3 inches in height. This may determine whether you have a full figure or just head & shoulders.

Do the prices include framing?
Yes, but if you prefer to get the framing done yourself, I can deduct the cost which is £100 for a painting and £40 for a drawing.

Do the prices include delivery?
Sorry no, delivery is extra, but can be quoted for at the time of placing a commission.

Can we have a family portrait painting?
Yes, depending on the size of the painting, it’s possible to include as many people as you like.

Can the size & proportions of the painting be designed to fit a specific space?
Yes of course. With the above provisos.

Can I have two matching portraits of 2 people, to hang together or apart?
Yes of course. You can also have the same background continuing across each painting so that together they become what is known as a diptych. Three like this would be a triptych. Note: there would be an extra charge for the extra framing needed.

Will there be many sittings?
No, long sittings aren’t necessary as I work from photographs. But only from those I take myself, except in exceptional circumstances, such as posthumous portraits. Working from photos means the sitter can choose to be painted in motion, smiling, etc, and is generally more relaxed than if they had to maintain the same pose for hours.

Will it be a perfect likeness?
Yes. As I work from photographs, what you see is literally what you get.

Can you make older people look younger, fuller figures thinner, etc?
I can smooth out some wrinkles, tummies etc, but more than this would mean there would be a danger of losing the likeness. Though the media celebrates only youth and certain figure shapes, in fact people are beautiful at any age or shape. Everyone is different and unique. Painters have always known and celebrated this.

How long will it take?
I allow 10 weeks for a painting with the amount of detail as those shown on this site. This can vary a little, but I prefer to allow enough time rather than disappoint the client. A drawing normally takes a week.

What is the procedure?
It usually takes a couple of hours to discuss and decide on the composition, size, etc, before taking the actual photos. I usually visit the sitter/client at home for this. I then produce a detailed study drawing in coloured pencils for the client to check if everything is to their liking

Can I make changes to the composition at any time?
Small changes can be made to the composition at the drawing stage, which is what it is for. But no changes are possible after I’ve begun the painting, because it would literally mean starting again.

When will I have to pay for the painting?
5% of the total price is payable before I start the study drawing. This is non-returnable if for any reason you change your mind and don’t wish to go ahead with the painting. When I begin the painting a further 45% is payable. The balance of 50% is payable upon delivery of the finished painting. The cost of delivery is included within the UK.

What payment methods do you accept?
At present, cheques or bank drafts in sterling or euros. However, I am in the process of setting up PayPal, so will soon be able to also accept credit card payments through PayPal.

I have a favourite photo. Can a portrait be done from this?
I often get requests for drawings as surprise presents, so am used to working from existing photos. But the bottom line is: the result will only be as good as the photo you supply me with.

How can I tell if my photo is suitable?
As a general rule, unless taken by a professional photographer, photos taken with flash are not so good, because facial features are flattened and shadows unnaturally sharp. It’s much better to use natural light outdoors, or indoors by a window or open door. However, having said that, I often have no choice but to work from flash photos, so don’t despair! I will advise you when I’ve seen the photo.

What medium can drawings be done in, and what sizes?
Drawings can be done in pencil, or terracotta or brown pastel, on heavy-weight, acid free paper, either A4 (297x210mm) or A3 (420x297mm) size. The framed size would be larger than this of course, to allow for the width of the mount and frame.

Does the size of a drawing make a difference to the price?
No because, as with paintings, it’s the amount of detail that determines how much work is involved, and therefore the price. However, some drawings will suit A4 better than A3 and vice versa. For example: One person head & shoulders, or half-figure (from the waist up) is fine on A4 paper. For 2 or 3 people, or a full figure (head to toe), it’s best to use A3.

How long will a drawing take?
I allow one week for a drawing of one person, and 2 weeks for 2-3 people. This can vary a little, but I prefer to allow enough time rather than disappoint the client. It is especially important if the drawing is to be a surprise present, to allow enough time. Also please remember I often have a waiting list.

When will I have to pay for my drawing?
20% of the total price is payable before I start the drawing. This is non-returnable if for any reason you change your mind and don’t want the drawing. The balance of 80% is payable upon delivery of the finished drawing. In the case of drawings sent by post, unfortunately due to some instances of non-payment in the past, I now have to ask for payment in full before I send the drawing.

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