Pricing guide

Pricing is tailored to each artwork, reflecting the amount of work involved. Here’s some examples:

  • As a starting point, I charge approximately £0.25 per square centimetre. For example, a 40 x 50cm pastel portrait with one subject would be around £500.
  • A small oil painting of 31 x 31 cm would be approximately £250 (charged at a slightly higher rate due to the cost of the panel surface).
  •  Each additional subject adds to the time and care I invest in the artwork. To reflect this, I typically add 50% to the base price for a second subject.
  • Before beginning any commission, I’ll provide a clear, personalized quote to ensure we’re both happy with the price and understand the scope of the piece.
  • I ask for a 50% deposit before work starts, with the remainder to be paid on completion.

Reference photos

The quality of your portrait relies heavily on the quality of the reference photo(s) you provide. Here are a few tips to help you choose the very best photos for your artwork:

  • Digital format: For best results, I prefer to work with high-resolution digital photos. Most modern smartphones take a good-quality photo, but a great photo taken with a DSLR is even better.
  • Focus and clarity: The sharper the photo, the better. Blurry details make it difficult to capture likeness and the nuances of expression.
  • Distance: Get as close into your subject as possible, without cropping essential detail.
  • Angle: It’s important to make sure you get down to the same level as your subject to take your reference photo. Photos taken from above the subject, as is often the case when taking photos of animals smaller than yourself, look strange and don’t make good reference photos.  
  • Copyright: To avoid legal complications, make sure you own copyright of the photo. This won’t be an issue if you took the photo yourself, but you will need to get permission if the photo was taken by someone else, especially if they are a professional photographer. 
  • Good lighting: Natural outdoor light is ideal. Avoid harsh shadows or overly dim indoor lighting which can obscure details.
  • Personality: Choose a photo that reflects the subject’s personality and features. Candid or posed is fine, as long it feels authentic.
  • High resolution: Larger image files allow me to zoom in on the important details without pixelation. When we’ve decided on the best photos, I’ll provide you with a Dropbox link where you can upload them. This avoids the compression that often occurs when emailing photos. 
  • Multiple angles (if possible): A few photos from slightly different angles help me understand the subject’s features in three dimensions.

Pastel paintings

I use high quality, archival pastels on a specialist surface called Pastelmat. Pastel pencils have become one of my preferred mediums due to their unique vibrancy and ability to capture fine detail. Pastels are also highly durable, meaning that with proper care, your portrait can be enjoyed for generations to come. To best preserve these qualities, professional framing under glass is essential. Until your artwork is framed, please handle it with great care to avoid damage.

Oil paintings

I also offer portraits in oil on canvas or a prepared panel. Due to the necessary drying times between layers, these take longer to produce. Additionally, your oil painting will need a few weeks to fully cure before the final protective varnish can be applied. Pricing for oil paintings is comparable to my pastels, with a little more added due to the cost of the surface. Oil paintings on canvas or board don’t need to be framed, and should never be put under glass. This can save a substantial amount on your overall costs.

Materials

I always use the highest quality, archival materials which, with good care, have the potential to last for generations. 

Size of artworks

Where practical, I like to work as close to life-size as possible. Horses and large animals are of course an exception. Working fairly large allows me to capture fine detail and to create an accurate likeness. The smallest works I produce would be around 12 x 12 inches which would be suitable for a small animal, or a closely cropped image of a medium sized animal. 

Feel free to reach out via my contact page if you have any more questions or if you’d like an obligation-free quote – I’m always happy to help!