The painting process
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Yes. Photos can be scanned restored/enhanced in Photoshop.
Pricing and payment
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.
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.
I only accept payment by bank transfer and do not accept cash, card or any other form of payment.
No, no VAT is payable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I need this painting in my life - amazing work 👏