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The painting process

Will my painting be painted on canvas? + -

Unless agreed otherwise, all my art is painted on 3mm medium density hardboard (MDF). My style requires a smooth support to paint on and MDF is perfect for this. Wooden panels are ideal for high realism paintings and are treated beforehand to make them resistant to moisture.

Can you paint my painting in oils? + -

While oils are a wonderful medium, acrylics suit my painting style more. I can varnish and hand over an acrylic painting in a matter of days. Oil paints require much longer.

Once varnished, the vast majority of people assume my paintings were done with oil (even professional oil painters). Acrylics are a serious contender with oils when it comes to realism if the artist knows how to correctly manipulate the medium.

How long will my painting take? + -

This would depend on my current workload and the complexity of the piece. I will give you a rough timeframe at the time. Generally though, most smaller works take a few weeks.

Will you varnish my painting? + -

Yes. Varnish is a very important part of the painting; a good varnish protects the paint from fading and damage.

I offer two finishes: satin and gloss. Gloss is more suited for darker paintings but can cause more glare. Satin is a great all-rounder and I recommend this in most cases.

Can I come and see you painting my painting? + -

I do not allow visitors in my studio. However, you will get to see some decent quality digital photos of the painting once the first draft is finished.

Commissioning a portrait

What makes for a good reference photo? + -

A good photo should be high-resolution, all in focus (no depth of field) and have good light contrast (e.g. light falling down the side of a face). If the photo is of a person or animal you should pick one that conveys their character.

It's also useful to send me a few and I can advise which ones would work best. What makes a good photo doesn’t necessarily make a good painting.

See my article What makes a good reference photo for a painting? for more detailed information.

Can you paint from a hard copy photo? + -

Yes. Photos can be scanned restored/enhanced in Photoshop.

Can you paint from any image? + -

Even if your photo meets all the criteria for a good reference photo, it may not make for a good painting. If I don’t feel I can produce a good painting from your photo I won’t take on the commission.

Pricing and payment

How much will it cost? + -

All paintings are different so there is no fixed price. But if you visit the pricing page I have listed some guide prices based on common sizes. We’ll agree a price once we’ve worked out what’s involved in your painting.

Do I have to pay anything up front? + -

Yes, for most jobs I will require a non-refundable deposit of 50%. The remaining will be payable once you have approved the painting. Once final payment has been received I will send you your painting.

What payment methods do you accept? + -

I only accept payment by bank transfer and do not accept cash, card or any other form of payment.

Are you VAT registered? + -

No, no VAT is payable.

Reproductions

Can you reproduce any painting style? + -

I paint realism and can paint in styles that range from loose to precise fidelity brushwork. If you want a reproduction of a style that isn’t realism, it would depend on the painting style.

Does reproducing a painting infringe copyright? + -

Per UK copyright laws, I can reproduce a painting from any artist so long as they have been dead for 70+ years. So while this precludes contemporary artists, you can commission a reproduction of some of the greatest paintings in history.

Delivery

How much is delivery? + -

This depends on the painting size and delivery speed, distance and quality. Based on your location, I will build this into the price.

Which countries do you ship to? + -

I consider commissions worldwide. Contact me to find out.

Aftercare

How long will my painting last for? + -

Even though acrylics are a relatively new medium, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that since they are a type of plastic, they last for a very long time (centuries) if cared for correctly.

The pigments used in your painting all have an ASTM rating of I which means under normal conditions of display the colours will remain stable for at least a century. Considering the varnish I put on top of the painting protects against damage from UV light, this is very much a worst-case scenario, meaning the colours should last significantly longer.

Will my painting be framed? + -

No. The type of frame you'd want would depend on the painting, your personal tastes and where you plan on hanging it. I recommend you seek advice from a local framer and avoid using any you buy from a shop and frame yourself. This is because such frames are often inferior quality and it can be a challenge to securely fit the MDF panel inside.

Where should I hang my painting? + -

Although painted with the highest-quality paints and finished with a varnish containing UV protection, your painting should not be hung anywhere where it will regularly be exposed to direct sunlight, such as on a south-facing wall, in front of a window. Direct exposure to sunlight can cause the colours in your painting to fade hundreds of times faster than if stored correctly.

See my article How to look after an acrylic painting.

How should I hang/look after my painting? + -

While your painting is extremely durable you should read my brief article How to look after an acrylic painting to keep it looking as good as new.

I have damaged my painting/my painting is dirty, what can I do? + -

This will depend on the nature and severity of the damage.

The top varnish layer can accumulate dust and pollutants from the atmosphere over time (years). This layer can be removed and reapplied making your painting look as good as new.

In either case, contact me or a local picture conservator for advice.

Wow that's phenomenonal. I love that. Feel like it captures him so well! Great work.

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