I welcome commissions. On the most part I work from photographs, so the images that I use need to be clear and of a high quality. I am happy to consider photographs given to me by a client. Alternatively, I can arrange a professional photo shoot, whereby I would visit you in your own surroundings, accompanied by experienced portrait photographer Alice Whitby. Together we would spend time getting to know you and discussing your ideas with regard to the composition of your portrait. However you choose to proceed I like to find out about the subject's personality prior to starting the portrait as getting to know them will give me an insight into their character that is invaluable when painting or drawing their portrait.

The time taken to complete a commission can vary dramatically depending on the composition, size, scale and background detail of each painting and so quotations will be tailored to your individual requirements.

If you have any questions or would like a quotation please contact me
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About Alice Whitby

Alice Whitby is a London based photographer specialising in portraiture. Her curiosity draws her to photograph people intimately in their homes, work or personal space, exploring each individual’s relationship with the environment they inhabit. Alice graduated with a First-Class Photography Degree from Nottingham Trent University in 2008 and went on to assist a range of photographers in London. She is now working on long-term personal projects and commissions.

Click here to take a look at Alice’s website.
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"Thank you so much for my portrait. I have not stopped looking at it. It's amazing"

- Sarah Hunt-Allen

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Reference Images
I work from photographs, often photographs provided by the client. The quality of the imagery provided makes a huge difference, and so I have put together the following guide to help you chose or take a photograph that will translate successfully into a portrait. Please note that when images are uploaded onto social media sites the images are compressed and lose quality. Where possible please send the original image file. If you are unsure if an image is suitable then please get in touch, I am always happy to advise.
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The subject is close up
Well lit
No Harsh contrast between highlights and shadows
High-resolution image showing lots of detail
All features are clearly visible
Clear contrast between background and the main subject
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Dark image
Harsh lighting from the left hand side
Unfocused and blurry
Poor resolution / lacking in detail
Facial features are difficult to make out
The busy background detracts from the main subject
Photography Tips
When taking your photographs think carefully about the angle from which you take the shot. Photographs taken from too high (i.e. looking down on a child) or too low can distort the subjects features.

Use a good quality camera set to a high resolution. Most phones are equipped to take high quality images these days; make sure that the resolution is set to high if you have the option and make sure that the lens is clean and smudge free.

Lighting can make or break a portrait. Outdoor light is best. Indoor light can be very yellow altering the colours in your photograph. Make sure people are well lit from the front with a diffused light, strong directional lighting, like direct sunlight and strong indoor lighting, will create harsh shadows.

Make sure that the face is in focus, that the eyes in particular are clear and not over shadowed (zoom in to check that there's no pixelation) and take lots of photographs so that you can choose the most successful.
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Commissioning a Portrait
The process of commissioning a portrait will start with a dialogue during which we will discuss your initial ideas and I can answer any questions that you may have.

After deciding on how to proceed I will provide you with a formal quote and estimated time for completion. On accepting the quote I ask that you pay a 25% deposit before I start work and the remaining balance on delivery.

Once your portrait is complete I will be in touch to offer you the chance to review the work. Some people prefer the surprise of seeing the portrait for the first time on delivery, but if you would rather, at this stage, I will email you a
photograph of the finished piece and invite your feedback. If any changes are needed then these are usually minimal.

An oil painting will then take a further 2-4 weeks before it is dry enough to apply a temporary varnish.

If you live within an hours drive from Corsham I will arrange a convenient time to hand deliver your portrait. If you live further afield I am happy to arrange it to be couriered to you at an additional cost.
When enquiring about commissioning a portrait please send the relevant imagery and include answers to the following questions:

Where are you based?

Are you looking for a portrait in oils or graphite?

What size would you like it?

Are you commissioning the portrait for a particular reason? i.e. a surprise gift or anniversary.

Who is the portrait of? How would you describe their character?

Do you have any special requests?
If you have any questions or would like a quotation then please get in touch:
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Pricing Guide
A4 Head Only
A3 Head/Shoulders
A2 Half Body
A1 Full Body
Per Additional
A4 / 25x25cm
A3 / 35x35cm
A2 / 50x50cm
Single Portrait
(no background)
Single Portrait
(with background)
Per Additional
These prices are approximate and may vary slightly dependent on the complexity of the composition provided by the client, or if the size requested is different from those stated here.
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These prices are approximate and may vary slightly dependent on the complexity of the composition provided by the client, or if the size requested is different from those stated here.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you work from printed photographs?
I prefer to work from digital imagery as there is usually more clarity and I am able to zoom in on small details, which suits my way of working. However, there are occasions when it is possible to work from hard copies in which the subject is close up. The eyes are the best way to tell if an image is suitable - can you clearly see the details around the eyes? I can only paint or draw what I can see. If in doubt then please just ask. If you wish to send a digital reproduction of a hard copy photograph then please scan the image at a resolution of 300dpi.
Can you work from multiple photographs?
I have worked successfully from multiple photographs to create group portraits, but it is not always possible. In order for this to work, and not look to artificial, all images need similar lighting (i.e. both outdoors with the light coming from the same direction), the subjects need to be a similar proximity to the camera, and the photographs need to have been taken from a similar angle. If you have taken several family photographs in quick succession and someone looks better in one, whilst someone else looks better in another, then send both images to me and I'll superimpose them together.
Can you make alterations to the images?
Minor alterations such as removing small blemishes or wrinkles in clothing are possible on request but larger alterations, like removing glass, or altering an expression come at a risk of losing the likeness, and so I prefer not to.
How long do oil paints take to dry?
Oil paints take 2-4 weeks to be touch dry (depending on the ambient temperature and the colours used - some colours have a longer drying time). Once touch dry a temporary retouch vanish can be applied, creating a gloss finish whilst allowing the paints to continue drying. Paintings can take a minimum of 6 months to be cured enough for a permanent varnish to be applied.
How long does a portrait take?
Pencil portraits are quicker to complete than oil paintings but the length of time taken can vary greatly (anywhere between 1 and 6 months) dependant on the size and complexity of the composition. On providing you with a formal quotation I will include an estimated completion date.
Do you provide delivery?
I will hand deliver to anyone living within an hour of Corsham. I you live further afield I can have your finished portrait couriered to you at an additional cost.
Are the portraits framed?
The portraits do NOT come framed. Most people like to be able to choose their own frame. If you wish for me to provide framing, I use Right Angle Picture Framing in Corsham, and I can liaise with the framers on your behalf, send you photos of the different framing options, and invoice you separately at cost.
How do I pay?
I prefer payment through bank transfer, and will send you the transfer details should you wish to proceed following a quote. I do however accept most methods of payment. I ask for a 25% deposit prior to starting with the remaining balance due on delivery.
What if I am not entirely happy with the outcome?
At completion of the portrait I will offer you the opportunity to review and feedback, at which point I can make any necessary alterations. Your satisfaction is of the upmost importance to me and if for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your portrait I would offer a full refund.