Photo Selection Guide

It can sometimes be difficult to work out which photo to choose to commission a portrait.

Here are some tips to help you work out which photo may work well:-

1. Photo Quality

Make sure your image is a high quality where possible. This enables me to see the detailed features of the person or pet and provides a higher quality result in the finished portrait. Recent pictures taken with a digital camera or smartphone will often include a high level of detail. However, older photos and prints may not have much detail and this means I will need to try to interpret the details. As an example if you look closely / blow up the photo and can see the details of the eyes / eyelashes this indicates a high resolution image. I can work with older photos including old black and white prints but will need to work my own interpretation into the finished result.

2. Lighting and Shade

A good natural light is preferable, without strong light or dark shade, unless you want to recreate a dramatic effect! However, ideally there will be some contrast with some darker and lighter tones as this creates interest and makes the portrait less flat. Where there is too much shade I may not be able to see the features clearly enough to create a good drawing for you.

3. Showing the Character of the Subject

Ideally your photo will show the character of your subject. I will recreate your person or pet based on whatever image(s) you send over. Photos can say a lot about someone and reflect their personality so try to select a photo that allows me to bring out their true character. It's preferable for you to send over a few extra photos in addition to the one selected for the portrait so that I can see more about who the subject is.

4. Traditional Portrait Pose?

Most portraits are of the subject smiling showing head and shoulders. This is because this works really well and the main focus of a portrait is usually the face and head. However a portrait doesn't have to stick to the usual format. Quite often a moment captured on camera can pick up someone's true nature, including their laugh or expression that makes them unique. You may want to step away from the traditional pose and go for something more individual that speaks volumes about the person or pet you are trying to capture.

5. Combining Photos for your Portrait

It is possible to combine photos, however where these have been taken in different settings and with different lighting it can be difficult to do this and create a realistic result. Where you have photos that you'd like to combine, please contact me first and send over the images you'd like to pull together. I will gladly take a look and let you know whether I can do this for you.

6. Including a Portrait Background

Sometimes the setting of a portrait is important and including a background can really enhance the finished drawing. I am happy to include a background, however please note that as this requires extra work this will mean that the price of your portrait may be higher to reflect the extra time taken. Please let me know when you send over your images if you would like the back ground to be included and I will advise of the cost of doing this.

Still can't decide? No worries, feel free to send over several images and let me help you determine which one will work best as a pencil portrait. We can also agree what the composition of the finished portrait will be.