One hour portrait sketch from life

This service is only available during my Artist In Residence events.

There’s nothing like the experience of being drawn - sitting perfectly still, being mindfully observed, and waiting to see the results. Most sitters very quicky relax, switch off, and really enjoy the process… leaving with a totally unique original portrait. For the artist, sketching people from life is the equivalent of stand-up comedy - most sane people wouldn’t dream of attempting it, but a few are pathologically compelled to do it!

Frame example

Frame example

Portrait from life

Portrait from life

Portrait from photo

What to expect

A sitting for a short sketch takes about an hour, and requires stillness throughout. If this is too much, eg for young children/animals, I would suggest commissioning from a photograph instead.

We will spend a few minutes at the start discussing what you are looking for from your portrait, and select a suitable position. Most people choose to keep it simple, but you can wear whatever clothes/makeup/glasses/hat/headphones/or accessories you would like to include.

You can choose to have your portrait on brown Kraft paper (stripy texture), or smooth Strathmore paper (warm grey or tan colour). You are welcome to bring a book, mobile device, or headphones if you think you will want entertainment.

During the drawing process we can chat, but for best results it helps if your lips aren’t moving! After about 45 minutes we will pause, you can see the picture and discuss finishing touches. Following that I will ask you to resume your pose for a few more minutes, and finish the portrait.

The cost for this service is £70. I will take a photograph of the portrait, and (unless you request not) post it on my social media. I accept cash, cards, and Paypal via my website at the event. With your permission I would like to take a photo of you with the portrait, to include in my online galleries. This is completely optional!

I generally sign my name and the date, but am happy to minimise/change the format, or add a handwritten title if you would like. Please mention any special preferences at the beginning of the portrait process.

I want you to love your picture. It will not be a photographic likeness, but should be easily recognisable, and capture the essence of you in the moment. I don’t flatter subjects, because I think faces are far more interesting in their natural state.

I keep a stock of frames, so can frame portraits in the evening ready for collection the next day. Framing for A3 work, including assembly with professionally cut acid free white mount card, solid wood frame and taped back, ready to hang, is £50.

Many people (myself included) like the ‘raw directness’ of a portrait sketched straight from life - it has a different, interesting, immediate quality compared to drawings done from photos. My drawings will reflect my perception of you, observed in person. Please look carefully at the examples below, where you will see the extent to which my portraits represent the sitter - They are by definition not a photographic likeness. Just as self-portraits tend to have a very direct piercing look (the artist observing themself), life portraits tend to have a contemplative, resting expression (because it is impossible to hold a sincere smile for an hour!)

Privacy, Terms & Conditions

I connect with a wide community of artists and followers on social media, sharing progress shots, finished portraits and reference photos. If you don’t want your image shared, or want to be tagged, named, or not, I will of course respect that, please just let me know at the start. I usually take a reference photo at the start of the portrait, in case the drawing needs additional changes after the sitter moves. If you wish to share images of my work please credit my online profile (facebook, instagram, and website). See Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions for full details.