First things first, you need to know roughly what you want to order. If you would like a few tips on camera angles and such or want a few ideas if you're feeling creative, please visit my suggestions page.
After you've decided what you want, it's time to contact the artist. If you're ordering a portrait or anything based off a photograph, please do not send anything below 1000px x 1000px for a 9"x12" or larger. Even an original photograph of 2"x3" can be easily expanded to a much larger size when properly scanned at a resolution of 150dpi or higher. Naturally, most artists prefer photographs that use natural lighting and aren't over exposed, haven't faded, and aren't blurry or grainy. Artists who work with older photographs and memorials often gladly make exceptions to this.
I work in a variety of mediums:
I do not yet work with wet media, such as paint, watercolor, acrylics, or oils. I am, however, experimenting with watercolor pencils.
- Sketches. After initial contact and discussion, I begin sketching. Sometimes only a single sketch is required, sometimes I send several sketches depending on the number of changes requested from the original photograph. Creative and design works often have a few days or weeks dedicated just to preliminary sketches.
- Details. Now that the basics are good, I start to flesh it out. And make a few adjustments as necessary, such as the shape of an eye or details of a finger. Typically I am only asked to make minor adjustments at this stage since the sketches took care of the major items like clothing, body position, and background items.
- Color. If you wanted a digital drawing or tradigital work, coloring comes next. Or if you requested to have a graphite work worked over with colored pencils.
- Payment. While I don't particularly mind when you decide to make your payment, I do have a hard rule that your account is paid in full before I ship any artwork or email any high-resolution digital copies. Paypal will make invoices mandatory starting October 19th, 2017, so if we are not using a third-party like Etsy, I will send an invoice to your email address. You do not have to have an account with Paypal to receive or pay an invoice.
- Shipment. After all tweaks, adjustments, and changes, we're down to the final part! I spray the drawing with a matte fixative so it won't smudge. Then I package it and take it to the post office.
Details and Tweaks
Changes are okay!
Do not feel guilty about asking for changes! If I have not yet sprayed the drawing with the fixative, tweaks and changes are perfectly acceptable and are normal parts of the art process. It's okay to ask for them and I am very patient. I'm not going to reach through the computer screen and strangle you because you think an eyeball has gone sight-seeing.
Just please be responsible with them and don't ask me to redraw the entire picture when I send the final preview.
Not all things fall into a simple categories like drawing straight from a photograph. I am very flexible about what I work with.
- Merging Multiple Photographs
- The person or animal has the perfect body position in this photograph, but the perfect look in another, and then the best background in a third. That's perfectly fine. I will make a few sketches for you to determine if the coming together of these photos are what you want and I will happily carry it out to the best of my ability.
- Tiny Memorial References
- Like most artists, I prefer to work from large photographs so I can be sure of the fine details. But if you only have a pocket-sized photo of your grandmother, I will still do my best to render her in the size that you wish.
- Infant and Children Memorials
- It's a sad fact of life that not every child has the opportunity to grow up. If you have lost a child, it will not bother me to draw them for you. And I don't mind special requests, such as removing tubing, viewing pictures of your premature infant or being requested to try to age them to full term, and I am not bothered by illnesses that distort the body. I will always do my best to create what you want.
If you are requesting a sensitive drawing such as a child's memorial, I will not send a follow-up inquiry a few months later if you stop messaging me before committing to the order, even if you seemed to have decided to definitely place an order. I am aware of how painful such a situation is and do not wish to insensitively badger you about it.
The Packaging and Shipment
- I cut two pieces of cardboard to the size of the envelope I will be mailing your artwork in and wrap them in plastic so any potential acid in the cardboard won't stain the paper.
- I sandwich the drawing between the cardboard peices and wrap another layer of plastic around it and the CD. This isn't taped to the cardboard and I put a pull-tab on the edge of the wrap.
- This is then placed inside a mailer and marked as fragile. Yellow mailers for international shipments, a USPS Priority Mail mailer for domestic shipments.
- Time to go to the post office!
In this series...
- The basic commissioning process from start to finish.
- Not quite sure what you want? Here are some things to consider when deciding upon a drawing, such as camera angle, background, and optional themes.
- Pricing, Sizes, and Turn Around Time
- A guide to the cost of the different sizes and mediums, along with estimated time of completion. I have a page for rough estimates if you would like a quick ballpark figure.
- The accepted payment methods and a few guides to some of them.
- Cancellations, returns, refunds, limitations, and rights of the artist and buyer.
- What past buyers have had to say.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- If you don't find an answer here, feel free to contact me!