The process of commissioning a portrait is really straightforward: Just email Sophie your chosen photograph/s, preferred portrait size and whether you would like pencil or pastel. Sophie is happy to advise on all aspects of composition, style and size. She is also very open to bespoke and more unusual requests so just ask away if you have an idea
Get in touch with Sophie with any questions you may have with no obligation. If you would like to proceed, you can chat by phone or email to discuss your portrait, preferred size, pose and medium (pencil or pastel). Sophie is happy to advise on all aspects of composition, style and size. She is also very open to bespoke and more unusual requests so just ask away if you have an idea.
The photograph is the single most important part of the whole process. The clearer, brighter and better quality the image, the more detailed I can produce the portrait.
Try to find an image that captures your beloved's spirit and personality
They should be the focus, filling the lens without too much background and most importantly with their eyes open. The image should preferably be taken at or near their level. The composition of your bespoke portrait could be a study of their face, with or with out shoulders or of their full body. For cars, they are best taken at an angle rather than straight on or to the side but that is entirely up to you.
The Next Step
- Once you have taken your photos, please email them to Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together you go through them to discuss the one best for the portrait
- For first time commissions, Sophie asks for a £50 deposit to be paid by bank transfer.
- The balance is due on completion.
- Please allow two to three weeks from agreeing all aspects of your commission to dispatch. Sophie will advise you immediately if additional time is required for complex commissions or during busier times, such as pre-Christmas.
As soon as your portrait is finished, Sophie will email you to arrange delivery/shipping. Please be advised that though your drawing is sprayed with a fixative that prevents smudges, it should never be touched as it is still possible to smear the graphite which sadly is irreversible.
Packaging: All original portraits are elegantly wrapped in charcoal tissue paper and ivory ribbon, before being placed in a protective box to ensure safe transit.
UK: Free Royal Mail tracked or Special Delivery on all bespoke commissions
Europe, USA and further afield: please contact Sophie for a quote as it depends on the size and destination. For international orders, Sophie often sends A3 and A2 portraits in postal tubes to ensure their protection and reduce postage costs. However framed portraits can also be sent. A5 and A4 can be sent framed
All original portraits and silhouettes come mounted in a classic black, white or natural frame. Should you prefer to choose your own frame, Sophie can send it unframed. Alternatively, Sophie can advise on bespoke framing.
How long will my portrait take?
Sophie's usual turnaround time is 2-3 weeks but do bear in mind that this may be longer in busy times of the year such as in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas and Father's Day, or for more complex and larger portraits. Sophie will happily advise on lead time at the
Can you create a composite portrait using multiple photos?
This depends but I usually advise against it because there will be so many differences in light source, colour, subject sizes relative to each other etc. However sometimes it is possible so the best thing is to contact me to discuss your wishes.
Can you change any features of the image?
I am able to make small alterations to the clothes and hair. I am also able to create quirky portraits such as adding clothes to a dog or sitting them on a bike, though this is time-consuming. I am not able to make changes to the subject's facial expression, for example making a smile from a frown. This is due to the fact that a smile doesn't just come from the mouth, it changes all the muscles in the face and the appearance of the eyes. Each person's sitting face and smiling face is entirely different.
Can you work from a physical photo?
This really depends on the photo and the size of the portrait you want but usually the answer is yes. I have often worked from old photos where people or animals have passed away. If you are unable to do so, I can go to my printer to ask him to produce a print out for it. It can usually go up a little in size but I might not be able to produce an A3 or larger from a small photo. The reason is that with digital images, the resolution is high which allows you to capture minute detail. Small, old or out of focus images make it very difficult for me to identify details.
Can you create character pet portraits?
Yes, and sometimes these are my most entertaining portraits to draw! In the past I have drawn a dog in 18th century cravat and suit, and have placed two dogs on a bike. This was particularly tricky because the only reference photos were of the dogs and the bike, I could only find cartoon reference images of dogs on a bike and I had to manipulate the dogs' muscles to look like they were riding. But the effect was wonderful!
What payment methods do you accept?
I accept most major credit cards and Paypal on my website, I do not pass on the processing fee to my clients. I also accept online bank transfer and cash.
When do I pay and what guarantees do you offer?
I ask for a £50 deposit before starting your portrait and the balance is due on completion before delivery. It is so important to Sophie that you are totally happy with your finished portrait. It hasn't happened yet but if for any reason you are not satisfied, she will endeavour to make any corrections or adjustments she can, redo the portrait if absolutely necessary or give you a refund.
Can I buy extra prints of my portrait?
Yes absolutely! I can provide high quality fine art prints using premium 350gsm card and inks to ensure long lasting enjoyment. With all inks however I always recommend that these are not hung in direct sunlight or over a radiator. I charge £25 for A5, £35 for A4, £45 for A3 and £60 for A2.
How do you send the portrait?
Within the UK I use a 48hour tracked service or Royal Mail Special Delivery. For international orders, it really depends on the country and size of the portrait. I use either Royal Mail tracked or Parcel Force. Local orders can be delivered personally
How will my portrait be packaged?
I wrap your portrait securely in a protective box to ensure safe transit. Larger portraits are protected by a layer of cardboard. To send A3 and A2 portraits abroad is often very expensive and some clients prefer me to send it in a high quality 3mm thick postal tube, wrapped with protective crystal paper and special tape to ensure no humidity gets in.
Do you frame my portrait?
I always think your portrait deserves a proper frame which I am happy to advise on and supply for you. I do offer a simple classic black or white frame because I always think it looks so much better when unveiled in a frame