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Step by Step

Poppy portrait.jpg

Here are some important things to consider when selecting or taking photographs which will help to make your portrait truly special....

Decide on a size

I have been asked to draw all kinds of combinations in the past, the biggest so far has been 9 people in a portrait!

As a guide though, A4 and A3 are good sizes if you would like 1 or 2 subjects in the drawing. A5 (half of A4) can also make a lovely little gift of 1 subject, but this is the smallest I can offer.

A3 and A2 are popular options for drawings with up to 4 subjects in, but if you have something different in mind please contact me here and we can discuss your requirements further.

Select some photographs

I work from photographs rather than sittings, which is much less intrusive and more convenient and means I can take commissions from all over the country, and world!

It also means I can compose a portrait out of two or three different photographs of different subjects. In other words, if you would like a portrait of 3 or 4 people, and you don’t have one photograph of them altogether, I can still create this for you from lots of separate images. I have been able to do this for people who have lost loved ones and would like to remember them and include them in a family portrait, for example.

Decide on a style

A portrait can sensitively capture a special moment and show the character and personality of someone so it is important to consider this when selecting photographs for me to work from.


You might like a drawing that portrays the cheekiness of your loved one in a laugh or smile, or stillness and thoughtfulness with a pose where the subject is looking away from the camera, slightly up or down.  You might also like me to work from your favourite photograph where the subject is looking straight at the camera, which is also fine.

There is no right or wrong when deciding on a style for the portrait, but it is important to think about it first before selecting.

Here are three examples of different poses and good quality photos.


The right kind of photograph

If you are unsure whether your chosen photos are suitable enough, just contact me and I will let you know if I will be able to work from them. I am happy to discuss this with you before handing over any deposit too.


But in the mean time, here are a few helpful tips...


High resolution photographs taken straight from the camera are the best for me to work from as they are large files containing lots of detail. Downloads from social media are often not suitable as they have been resized and compressed and as a result will have lost most of their important detail.

High Resolution


Make sure the photographs are nice and clear. I cannot draw from blurred, out of focus images as there is not enough detail to work from.

Not Blurry!


Large photos of the subjects face are preferable. If the photograph is of the subject in the distant, I will not be able to draw enough detail from it in order to produce a high quality drawing.

Equally make sure whole body parts are in the photograph, I cannot draw a head or arm if half of it is missing in the photograph!

Nice and large


The best photographs to work from are taken in natural light, not too harsh, bright or dark and without flash.

Outside conditions are ideal

as this will give the clearest photos with the most natural shadows.

Nice and light!

Email me your photographs

Although I work from 1 main image, a selection of photographs of the subject is preferable, that way I can discuss with you what I think would work best for the composition.

Once you have selected your photographs, we can arrange how to get them to me, either via email, USB, dropbox or delivery if they are real photographs.

I will never use your photographs for any purposes other than making your portrait, nor will I pass them on to anyone. Your photos, as well as your contact details, will be kept confidential.

After this, I can then get cracking on your portrait.

The finished Commission

Once I have finished your commission, I will email you a high resolution photograph of the drawing..


If you would like any alterations, or aren’t quite happy with something, just let me know and I will do my utmost to amend it until you are 100% happy with the portrait. It might be just a little tweak, but I would rather I corrected it to make it the perfect portrait you have been looking forward to receiving.

When you are happy with the finished commission, have emailed me written confirmation of this, and have paid the remaining amount, I will send the portrait to you.

I hope you will love your portrait and find a special place for it, but if for some reason you are not happy please see my terms and conditions page for refund, cancellation and alteration terms.


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