09:47 am, 22 Feb, 2018 (ACDT)
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In the Beginning

Of course I will alter small details, such as stray hair across the face or something like that, if it's asked of me.

The method I use is to ask the client to find several good photographs (though often there is a big difference in quality between a 'good' photo and the 'favourite' shot they would prefer so usually I end up working with a favourite). These can be colour or black and white. I prefer close ups as it is much easier to pick up tiny details (but sometimes it isn't possible to provide a good close shot).

With these I pick images that provide a good portrait view and then use that for the basis of the sketch.This can sometimes be tricky, especially if I am given pictures that lose a lot of detail when enlarged. This is often the case with digital camera photos. Many seem to take great shots until you enlarge them a bit...then hey, it's pixel city! But I'm a professional (ahem again)...I manage.

As an example, for one of my commissions,

I started with these images:
Daves DadDaves Mum
In this portrait I was asked to 'neaten the hair' of the gentleman in the photograph. I also lifted his face. I only had a couple of images of him that I could really work with as most of the photos were either fairly poor quality or were too small. I had no front on shots or any photos that truly showed his eyes.

He had passed away quite a few years ago. The lady had passed away more recently so it was decided that they be shown together. I actually drew two identical sketches (rather than a sketch and a copy) which were then given to the late couple's two daughters. I personally really love this sketch.

The result was this sketch
Portrait of Daves Mum and Dad

Another that I did was as a present for a 30th Birthday. It started off with these photos:

Ken at 18 monthsKen as a childKen

and finished as this portrait
Portrait study of Ken

The black and white photo (which actually began it's life scanned in colour, which was then unfortunately devoured by my computer and is still floating around in there somewhere) was very poor quality when scanned and even worse when enlarged but in the end, with lots of d'oh's and aarrrggghh's it turned out really well. Both he and his mum were thrilled with it! :)

Some other examples of my commissioned work.

(Again...please note that the scan quality of these sketches is awful and a lot of the fine detail is missing. I love technology...sigh).

Portrait Study of my brother Michael

(A3 - 11.5" x 16.5")

This portrait (my second) was commissioned for my brother's 50th birthday after my sister-in-law saw the one I had done for our sister (see below). It was done as a sort of mini depiction of his life so far. Happy Birthday Michael!

Steves Mother and Father

Steves Father

(A4 - 8" x 11.5")

These two portraits were early works. They were both done as a single commission. The photos I was given were small and became very grainy when they were enlarged. It was quite difficult to make out quite a lot of the detail but with the help of my trusty magnifier, I was able to get it done with good results. The man in both portraits are one and the same, but at different ages.

(A3 - 11.5" x 16.5")

My sister Barbera

(A3 - 11.5" x 16.5")

This was the very first portrait I ever did. It was done as a surprise for my sister Barb (before I even thought of ever doing another one) on her 40th birthday and the one that started off this whole venture. She cried with joy when she saw it, then I cried, then we laughed, then she cried again. Hey, it was an emotional and happy time. :)

Aussie Visit

(A3 - 11.5" x 16.5")

This sketch was done as a reminder of a fabulous trip Down-Under by my 'in-laws' from the UK. Four separate photos were used for this one and melded together into one big happy family portrait. Oh, and a great time was had by all! :)

Thank you for reading this far

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