Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the appeal of a pencil portrait?

A: People ask this questions in many different forms, which is most often, “Why do people ask you to do portraits?”
There is a very personal appeal to having a loved one, whether a child, pet, grandparent, etc., drawn by an artist. Every artist has their own touch that brings out something special about the subject, such as a mischievous glow, the glimmer of kindness, etc. A portrait can demonstrate types of features that might not otherwise stand out in a photograph.

Q: Hand drawn portraits seem a little expensive; why is that?

A: A hand drawn portrait differs from a photograph in that a photograph happens at the click of a button. Professional photography takes more time and skill, of course, which is why professional photographs also cost more than the average photo print.
You’re not paying for just the finished product of the graphite portrait; you are paying for the artist’s experience, preparation, materials, and skills.

Q: How long does it take to complete a portrait?

A: Completion time all depends on the number of subjects in the portrait and the amount of detail. Portraits can take three hours or up to thirty hours.

Q: What is “artistic license?”

A: Artistic license is something that the artist employs to improve the quality of a portrait; ie. by including a feature that might not be visible on the original subject. Such examples could be adding highlights to bring the portrait to life, sharpening something in the portrait that is blurry in a photograph, etc. These changes are meant to improve the portrait without changing the actual composition of the subject.

Q: Why is your website address in the middle of the photo?
A: I get this question a lot! The website stamp is actually a watermark, designed to prevent someone online from stealing my work. This in no way means that I think my friends would ever do such a thing; it’s entirely because the image is online and is public, and I have no control over where the image goes. The watermark is there so that people know the piece belongs to me, but the mark is not permanent! It does not appear on the actual work.

Q: Why is the watermark so dark? I can’t see what’s behind it.
A: Sometimes I do use a lighter watermark, but when I want to prevent someone from entirely copying my design, I will use a less opaque watermark. Again, the watermark is NOT part of the image – it’s added digitally before I post the photo.

Q: Can I buy your work?
A: Yes, but of course there’s a bit of a book to be read here. I’ll try to summarize very quickly just the main things that you need to know.

– I do not sell commissioned work to anyone except to the person who commissioned it (so drawings of someone’s family/pet, etc.). Otherwise, that’s just kind of creepy! Commissioned work will be clearly marked as such.

– You can commission me to draw something, as long as YOU own copyright to what I’d be drawing (ie you took a photo of your child or pet, and want a drawing done using that photo as a reference). If you take a nature photograph, you can commission that; you just can’t go onto Google and find a picture that you like and say, “Here! Draw this!” It’s not my image and it’s not yours, so that’s called stealing. There are ways around this (ie owner permission), but that’s something to bridge if we get there.
Q: Do you sell originals?
A: Not at this time, with the exception of commissions. I will be doing up prints of various works in the near future, which will be available for sale, but originals are not for sale.

Q: What type of mediums do you use?
A: A loaded question, because I use lots of different mediums! I use ink, acrylic paints, watercolour paints, oil paints, graphite, charcoal, and oil based coloured pencils.

Have more questions? Go to the ‘Contact Me’ page and send me a message when your question.