For over 20 years now, I have been creating beautiful pencil portraits from photographs for customer across the globe. From Pencil Portraits of children, pencil portraits of dogs, pencil portraits of cats right through to group pencil portraits of entire families. Whatever type of pencil portrait you are looking for I can create the finest example of one that will be a lasting memory for years to come. If you are considering ordering a pencil portrait, feel free to drop me a line, I will be happy to talk through things with you and answer any questions you may have.
Amongst the many subjects I have been commissioned to do over the years, pencil portraits are my favourite by far. Whether it be a portrait of a dog or a small child, the life and personality you can inject into a drawing by working to intricate detail is an amazing experience. Bringing each subject to life, capturing the individual expressions and details of each personality is what gives my pencil portraits their realism.
In order to capture the most detail possible, the photographic reference I use has to be high quality, with great definition. This is because when I am drawing each subject I enlarge the reference to 300% on my tablet so I can visualise the tiniest of detail, which when finished has a realism that is close to a photograph. Take a look at some of my customer testimonials as many of them mention the detail and realism of my work. With each pencil portrait I do, I want the highest possible level of realism, so sometimes need to discuss obtaining better reference in order to achieve this, because if the photo hasn’t got the detail, the drawing won’t have it either.
If you are considering a pencil portrait commission I have tried to outline below a simple process to help you order the perfect pencil portrait.
Now this will probable be quite straight forward to you, deciding whether you’re wanting a pencil portrait of your pet, maybe your dog or cat, or is it a pencil portrait of a loved one, maybe a child or grandparent.
You may already have the perfect photo to use for the portrait, reflecting the perfect pose of the subject? Or maybe you are wanting to take a new photo for the purpose of reference for your pencil portrait? Either way choosing the right pose can make a good pencil portrait spectacular.
If you are taking a new photo for your pencil portrait, I have outlined a few poses that may help guide you when getting snap happy with your camera.
If its a person you are photographing, then to start its best to make sure the person is in a well lit environment. Just start by shooting with the model posing in random positions to help warm them up. Then start with a few structured poses, get the model to lean into the photo with their left shoulder, turning their head slightly towards their leading shoulder, try the pose with their hands behind there back, in there pockets and together in front of them. take a good 10-20 shots of various angles, altering the height position the camera is at each time. This should give you a good range of angles and positions, giving you a clear idea of what is working best.
Maybe you want to try the model in an alternative outfit, or sitting or leaning against something. Try and alter the positions of the model, adjusting the position of their arms and legs at the same time to give the pose more structure. For example if they are posing against some rocks in a beach setting, alternate the head position, turning into and away from the sun to give different structure and lighting to the face. If they are leaning back, get them to cross their ankles and lean back on their arms to add an element of relaxation to the pose.
Once you start to snap away you will find a pose you favour with the perfect lighting, whichever pose you prefer ensure the photo is crisp with good definition so it can be used for reference for your pencil portrait.
The half figure pose is a great choice as reference for a pencil portrait subject, it has a defined focus on the face of the subject, with a secondary focus on upper torso and background. This allows me to make the face the main draw of the pencil portrait, with additional detail to dress the piece up being the body. Whether the subject is a person or animal a half figure pose works really well as the eye is drawn directly to the face, while the body and background anchor it.
If you are looking to photograph this pose you can try the subject standing, sitting or even laying, try a variety of different poses using different furniture and make sure the subject is comfortable, if the person being photographed is comfortable they will more often than not have a relaxed expression on their face which will make for better reference. Obviously if the subject is an animal it can be slightly more tricky as they are a bit more difficult to manoeuvre but if you are relaxed and make the event fun and not rushed you will get some great photos, most of which will come when you least expect.
The bust pose is one of the most popular and one that spans back in history as the pose used most by some of the great artists of all time, like Van Gogh and Rembrandt. A lot of historical artists used the bust pose for self portraits, as back in the day there was no way of reproducing photographic prints to use as reference, so instead a mirror was often used to view themselves, the reference from which they drew there pencil portrait, quite clever really.
Photographing a bust pose to be used as reference for your pencil portrait is probably the easiest to shoot.The subject, whether it be human or animal can be seated or stood so allows for a little more time to be taken with the photo. If your subject is seated it may be best to used a tripod if using a digital camera, this will allow you to control the lighting and get a far sharper picture.
This style of portrait pose is perfect to capture the expression or look on the subjects face. A photo of the face, showing just a small part of the neck is one of the most well recognised poses in pencil portraiture. Whether it be an animal, child portrait or adult, this style of pencil portrait, being so close up can have a huge element of realism, through the detail captured.
If you are wanting to take a some photographs of this nature, it may be useful to use a tripod and have the subject sitting in a comfortable position. With the subject still you can adjust the background and ambient lighting to suit. Try various different setting on your camera, focusing on different aspects of the subjects face. If you are using a smartphone you can change the focus point quite easily by simply clicking on the area you want to focus, as you do the lighting changes to accommodate which can create some fantastic effects.
This scenario will work great for human photography, obviously if you are photographing a dog or other animal, you may have to get a little more creative with the their position and pose. The key is not to worry too much just snap away and you more than likely will get some great shots that will make the perfect pencil portrait.
You can choose any size you like, from A5 through to an oversized A1, this probably depends for you on where the pencil portrait is going to be positioned. The majority of people tend to go for A3 or slightly bigger, this is a great size that is big enough to capture enough detail on the drawing, but also not too big that it overtakes a room when hung on a wall.
This depends on what your budget is really. Take a look at my prices/order page for a full listing of all prices and associated sizes. A black and white pencil portrait tends to add a little more atmosphere and mood to the overall finished drawing. Whereas a full colour portrait will have a level of realism that will blow your mind. Please let me know if you have any questions I will be happy to talk through things with you.
When ordering this is a simple add on and your pencil portrait can be mounted and framed for as little as £15. See framing prices on the order/prices page.
Once you have finalised your reference of what you would like your pencil portrait to be, and chosen the size and finish of your drawing, all I need off you is 20% deposit and we are good to go. Obviously if there is a time you need the drawing for please let me know when ordering so I can meet the deadline.
A quick answer to this is yes, if you are within a 15 mile travel distance from the fylde coast, and there is a £25 charge for this service. Alternatively take a quick look at my photo guide on the website, it has some helpful hints and tips that may be of use when photographing you subjects.
Yes I certainly do, there will just be slightly more postage costs depending where in the world you are based. I package the pencil artworks very well and use reputable couriers and postal services that are all tracked and insured to ensure you receive your pencil portrait in perfect condition. Take a look at my prices/order page for postal costs.
When I have finished your pencil portrait, depending on if you require the portrait framing depends how it is sent to you. If you don’t require the portrait to be framed I will send it rolled up in a protective tube, sealed with protective internal bumpers in the tube. This will then be sent recorded delivery, fully insured and tracked.
If you require you portrait to be framed, I will initially put corner protectors on the frame, I then wrap it in 5mm bubble wrap, covering the whole frame, inc corners. I then wrap the drawing in a 25mm bubble wrap, to help protect the glass from impact. I then finish the parcel with a toughened cardboard outer, wrapping and sealing it all with extra strong parcel tape. The parcel is then either couriered or sent special delivery via the post office. All parcels are tracked and insured.