Frequently Asked Questions

What can I have drawn?
Almost anything! If you have a photo, I can draw from it. People, animals, houses, cars, landscapes - you name it. I can combine more than one photo into a single portrait. I can put your portrait in a different background. For any special orders, please contact me to arrange a price.
How do I pay?
If you want to use a credit card, order online theough the order link at the top of the page. You can also pay by check or money order through the mail. I require a 20% deposit before beginning the work. You don't pay the balance until you have seen and approved a photo of the finished portrait. When you are satisfied with the portrait, I will send you a link to pay the balance and shipping online, or you can send a check by mail.
What if I'm not satisfied?
When your portrait is completed I will send you a digital photo of the portrait. From this photo you can suggest any changes, and continue to do so until you are satisfied. If you continue to be unsatisfied after two touchups your deposit will be refunded.
How long will it take to get my portrait?
The usual time for me to complete your portrait is two weeks from the day I receive your deposit, although at busy times it may take longer. If you need a portrait more quickly, feel free to contact me and I will try to accomodate if my workload allows. Once you have paid the balance, the portrait will be shipped the next business day.
How are the portraits shipped?
I spray the drawings with a fixative so they can be safely rolled without risk of smudging. I send them rolled in a heavy cardboard tube. Due to some problems I have experienced with Priority Mail, I am now shipping Express Mail only.
What are my framing options?
I do not sell framed drawings. A reputable framer in your area will be able to provide a frame in a style that suits your decor and the portrait. If you are going to frame the portrait yourself, be sure to cut a mat; this protects the portrait from rubbing against the glass.
Can I have changes made?
When I have completed your portrait I will send a photo of it by email. You can request as many changes as you like.
Can I have have more than one photo combined into one portrait?
No problem! I can take the head from one picture and the body from another, take people from different photos and put them in the same portrait, add a background from another photo. I will try in all cases to make the most pleasing and convincing composition. See the page on group portraits for some examples.
How good will the portrait be?
I guarantee my work. If I don't believe I can do a good portrait with the photo you send me, I will return it and your deposit. Keep in mind that the better a photo is, the better the portrait will be.
Will the portrait fade?
Pastels and charcoal are extremely stable materials. Unlike paints, they are pure color, with no binder to tellow. The pigments are minerals that, like semiprecious stones, don't change with time. I use high quality, acid free paper that resists deterioration. With proper framing your portrait can last hundreds of years!
Do I need to spray the portrait or do anything else to preserve it?
I spray the portrait with fixative before sending it, so that the particles of charcoal and pastel adhere to the paper enough to ensure safe shipping. Too much fixative will dull the colors, though, so it is not adviseable for you to spray the portrait again. The best care for your portrait is proper framing, with glass to protect it from dust and rubbing and an acid free mat that will keep the portrait from touching the glass.
Do I need to frame my portrait immediately?
If you don't frame it immediately you must treat it with extra care. Don't roll and unroll it repeatedly, and keep it in the mailing tube for protection from wrinkling, dust and fingerprints.
Why not get my portrait from a big company?
There are several companies advertising on the internet that hire anonymous artists from third world countries to draw and paint portraits. These artists have no personal contact with you, the customer; they can't understand your special requests. You don't have any control over the style of your portrait, because any one of a number of artists could be assigned to your portrait. They also often use cheap, inferior materials that will yellow and fade in time. Most of these overseas companies require full payment in advance but claim you are protected by a full money-back guarantee. There is, however, little legal protection when trying to get a refund from overseas.