Are you having trouble deciding what you need? 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.
None of these are hard-and-fast rules. These are just a few ideas to get you started if you're having trouble deciding what kind of drawing that you want.
Photographs and Digital Photographs
- Preferrably nothing smaller than a good 2"x3" at 150dpi or higher.
- An 8"x10" or larger needs at least a minimum of a 1000px x 1000px reference file.
- Use photographs with good, natural lighting that hasn't been over exposed by the camera flash.
- Reference photographs shouldn't be blurry, faded, or grainy.
- Multiple photographs of varying angles are recommended.
Because children and pets tend to move around a lot, some people use cameras that take a series of pictures rapidly, or they film a video and then take still frames of their favorite shots. If you're not that tech savvy, that's fine. I've gotten plenty of practice merging photos with my own rambunctious toddler.
A Level angle keeps the proportions most in tact and is usually the friendliest angle to work at and the preferred angle to order.
A Bird's Eye angle gives the appearance of looking down on something, and can distort an image so there is a big ol' nose and a bitty rump on dogs.
A Worm's Eye angle gives the appearance of looking up at something, and can make your cat appear to look down on you more than usual.
In more humorous and light-hearted photos, such as all the grandchildren sitting on a limb high in a tree or that quick look of surprise the dog gives you after it's decorated your house with the remains of a newspaper or roll of toilet paper.
Foreground and Focus
How much of the person, animal, plant, or object do you want to be shown in the picture? Just the head and shoulders, perhaps the torso, or the full body?
If you do a partial body, there is also the edge to consider. The drawing can go all the way to the edge of the paper. There could be a soft fade. And there can be a shaped fade, such as an oval, square, diamond, or other shape.
The bust view is particularly recommended for very small paper sizes, such as the 5"x7" or smaller.
Edge and Bleed
The background can have a multitude of variations.
Many people just want a plain, simple background. Some want a soft fade from top to bottom, or inner to outer. Some like to have a more mottled background similar to one of the background choices when you go to a portrait studio. On occasion, I am asked to do a patterned background, such as checkers. Sometimes I'm requested to do a partial background, such as a patch of grass. And of course, there is also the full background where a drawing covers the entire paper.
I find a themed layout a lot of fun to do. These typically involve use of borders to enhance the picture or to include multiple elements dear to the person.
Partial Outer Frame
Full Outer Frame
This design follows along the edge of the paper.
This is a very versatile layout. It could be the profile view of a person with their portrait on the inside. The shape of a favorite flower with the favorite pet in the interior. It could be the shape of a deer with the forest drawn within. There are many possibilities.
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!