All of my portraits are created using the highest quality materials. I work in Faber Castell graphite pencils, Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils, Derwent Lightfast and Caran D'Ache Luminance and Pablo coloured pencils. I also work in Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencils and CarbOthello chalk-pastel pencils. I work on a high quality Clairefontaine Pastelmat, Strathmore Bristol Vellum or Smooth paper or Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed Watercolour paper. I aim to capture the commissioned image in a realistic and highly detailed style. I begin by spending time talking to you to understand the specific requirements of your commission. This will include discussion about the composition of the picture, whether a background is required and the size of the drawing. All of these factors will have an impact on the time it will take to complete the commission and the price of the work. If you wish to have more than one subject in the portrait please add 20% to the price of your chosen portrait size.
I work from photographs and it is very important that the image I use is high quality. I like to have a few photos to refer to when I am working on a piece so that I can be sure to create the most accurate copy of the image. For example, you may have supplementary photos of the subject which more effectively capture colour, light and texture. I request that photographs are sent to me in a digital format via email at a high resolution. It is important that the image is clear and in focus and it is possible to see the eyes of the subject. It is the eyes and the facial expression that create the character of the portrait and capture the essence of the person or animal.
In order to book a diary slot for your portrait I request a 30% non-refundable deposit. I will keep in touch with you and let you know when I commence your portrait. I will discuss the details of the commission with you and we will confirm the reference photo I will be using. The timeline for completion and delivery will be confirmed. I will draw an outline sketch of the chosen photo for you to review and approve. If you require the portrait for a particular date please get in touch as early as possible and ideally at least 8 weeks before the date so that I can do my best to plan my work schedule to meet your requirements.
Upon completion of the drawing I will request the outstanding fee balance is paid via electronic bank transfer or cheque. Once the payment is received I will send you the finished drawing.
Simply email me or contact me via Facebook messenger to begin the process of commissioning a portrait.
Guidance on taking subject photographs
In order to take the best picture of your subject for the purposes of a portrait it is best to take the photograph at the subject's level (rather than from above). To capture as much detail as possible it is important to be as close as possible to your subject whilst keeping the image in focus. Ideally the photo will be taken on a clear day which is not too sunny or too dull and overcast.
Use of artwork and photographs
I reserve the right to use the agreed reference photo of your subject and the portrait image for my website, social media posts (e.g. Facebook and Instagram), marketing and any other future publications associated with Nicola Bird Art. If you wish to discuss this further or understand more please contact me.