Below you will find an overview of the commissioning process for a portrait drawing.
Portraits can take between 1-8 weeks to complete depending on size, subject, details and workload. Contact me if you need to have the portrait finished by a specific date.
1. CONTACT ME
2. CHOOSING YOUR PHOTOS
3. REVIEW AND APPROVE
HOW TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE PHOTOGRAPH
When commissioning a portrait, the most important item is the reference image for me to work from. The quality of the photographs you provide greatly affect the outcome and quality of the finished portrait. Please send as many reference photos through email or using WeTransfer.
Tips for choosing photos
Choose digital photos with the highest resolution possible.
It is possible for me to work from older photos when I can still see some details.
- The subject should not be too small or taken from a distance. A close-up shot is best for detail and accuracy.
- Make sure that everything is in focus and does not break up when zooming in. If details are missing, I will not be able to fill them in.
- Photos should show good contrast between light and dark. This means that the photo should not be overexposed (too light) or underexposed (too dark).
Tips for taking photos
Get in close to your subject. Take photos from the chest or mid torso up to obtain the most details.
- Use natural light when possible. This will result in sharper images as subjects in artificial light tend to look more granular.
- Cloudy days or sunrise/sunset provide beautiful lighting for subjects. Try to avoid very bright sunlight when outdoors, this will create hard shadows.
- When taking photos of children and pets, try to get to your subject’s eye level. This will result in a natural looking photograph without distortion.
- Front-facing portraits are always a good choice. To get a slightly more artistic look, you can try experimenting with different positions, like a 3/4 or side view.
Side view dog portrait
3/4 view portrait
Joint portraits and multiple portraits
If you want a joint portrait, it is possible for me to assemble multiple photos into one. However, for the most satisfactory outcome, I recommend taking photos of all subjects together.
- For separate portraits, I also recommend photos taken at the same time. They will look nicer together and complement each other in terms of style and lighting.
- Small adjustments can be made when needed, but consider: removing any stains or blemishes, tidying up hair, etc. However, It is not possible to change the expression of a face without compromising likeness.
HOW I WORK
Before I put pencil to paper, I will create a digital mockup of the photos. This will give you an impression of what the drawing will look like, in terms of size and composition. I do not send progress photos in the early stages of a drawing, as it will not provide an accurate representation of the final result. This is because I work in layers. As you can see in the work-in-progress photos below, I start my drawings with an outline and slowly build up the shadows in layers. I add more detail in the later stages.