What is the cost of a pencil portrait?

As with all artwork, prices range hugely, this depends on multiple factors; the size of the artwork, the medium used for creating the artwork and the subject for the artwork. The last one, the subject of the artwork is probably the most important as this will dictate the amount of time required to create the artwork.

With pencil portraits this is scaled down slightly as the only dependent factors for cost is the size and subject type. That said the subject type can be a single portrait or multiple portraits in the one drawing.

Every pencil portrait artist will have their own unique style which will indicate the level of detail you can expect when ordering a drawing from that artist. Some artists can cover multiple styles from loose sketch through to hyperrealism, but this is not the norm, most artists have one style there are well versed at and have hung there hat on that being their signature style.

Different types of pencil portraits

Before looking to order a pencil portrait drawing it is important to identify the style you would like your portrait drawing so you can filter your search more concisely. When sourcing an artist to complete your portrait drawing take a good look through their portfolio to ensure the style is exactly what you want before investing.

Loose sketch – Black and White

A loose sketch can offer a very vibrant and more fun aspect to a pencil portrait drawing as the pencil strokes are less uniformed and give an overall more lively feel to the drawing. A loose sketch pencil portrait normally comes in considerably cheaper in the range of pencil portraits available. In contrast a hyper realistic pencil portrait of the same subject could take 5-10 times longer for the artist to produce, which comes with prices on a similar scale.

Prices for Loose sketch

As a rough guide you can look to be paying in the range of £150-£350 for a loose sketch pencil portrait at A4.

Larger sizes for pencil portraits may go outside this price bracket.

Timeframes when ordering a loose sketch pencil portrait

Obviously dependent on the waiting list the artist may or may not have a loose pencil sketch at A4 should easily be completed within 10-14 days. But as ,mentioned check with the artist as they may have a back log of order, which is a good thing as they are in demand for good reason.

Photo Realism – Black and White

A photo realistic pencil portrait will be a lot more realistic that the loose sketch outlined above. The overall drawing at a glance with have accents of photographic realism, hence the name, giving a far more realistic look to the portrait. This is probably the most popular type of portrait people favour when looking to commission a portrait drawing. This level of realism comes with a slightly increase prices tag due to the added work involved in achieving this style of portrait.

Prices for Photo Realistic pencil portraits in black and white

Photorealistic pencil portraits have considerably more work involved and you can be looking to pay anywhere between £350 – £1200. The artist should have a proven track record and have numerous examples to show you their signature style. This price guide is based on A3 and larger sizes of portraits may cost more.

Timeframes when ordering a Photo Realistic Pencil Portrait.

Again check with the artist you have chosen to do your pencil portrait first,  but once they start the drawing you are normally looking between 2-4 weeks to complete your A4 photorealistic pencil portrait. In addition if you are having your portrait drawing mounted and framed prior to delivery this can take an additional week to complete.

Hyper realism Pencil Portraits – Black and White

Hyper realism is a relatively new style that has only been on the art scene for the last 5 years really. It is a artistic style that is as close to a true photograph as you can get, the level of detail is unbelievable, even down to the finest level of detail on faces picking up even skin pores and minute detail. This level of pencil portraiture takes a phenominal amount of time but with results that will make you question whether the artwork is actually art or photography. 

Prices for Hyper realistic pencil portraits in black and white

Hyper realism as mentioned above takes a huge amount of time and patience to complete but with astounding results. The prices you can expect to pay can range from £750 – £5000 and beyond for sizes above A4. This type of artwork is a real investment and for good reason, the amount of artists that can achieve this level of realism are far fewer than the two styles of pencil portraits above. When looking for a hyper realistic artist do you research well and more than likely you will need to work remotely with reference and correspondence as the artist you choose could well be overseas.

Timeframes when ordering a Hyper realistic Portrait Drawing

If you choose an artist that specialises in this type of drawing then you can pretty much guarantee you will have to wait as they will be in high demand. As a rough gauge an A4 hyperrealistic drawing can take 6-12 weeks to complete, up to 300-400 hours so you will need to be patient, but it will be worth your wait.

Taking all the above into account if you are looking for a colour pencil portrait to give you an idea, a colour pencil portrait, using A4 as an example size, can take 3-4 times longer than a black and white and also cost you the same in price.