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Commission a Portrait

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 Contact me here or just give me a call +44 (0) 07932 647847

Oil painting of a child

Are you interested in commissioning a portrait to capture your family member at a special stage in life?

Or maybe you have lost a loved one and would like to get a portrait done to remember them.

If you're thinking of getting a portrait commissioned you can download my Commission Process here

or tips on How to take a good refererence photo here

I endeavour to make the commission process a stress free and pleasant experience. I'm happy to answer, without obligation, any queries or concerns you may have  

Portrait artist - livvyportraits


....I was presented with the fabulous portraits of my kids that you did.  The launch of your new website prompted me to send a huge thank you for what are stunning, exciting and energetic representations of the children.  


Jamie & Nicky Hopkins

The Commission Process:



Photo Reference

I work mainly from photos when creating  a portrait.  I will either require emailed photos or alternatively the subject can come for a photo session and quick sketches in my studio. I like to take my own photos  whenever possible and I find meeting the subject helps me get an idea of their character and expressions. A photo shoot is not essential and often not possible which is not a problem - many of the portraits shown on this website have been created without ever meeting the subject.

For the initial consultation we will discuss and agree the size and medium for the portrait and whether a photo shoot will be required or if the provided photo reference is suitable. If your photo reference is not suitable to work from please see my tips below  on 'How to take a good reference photo.'


At this point a non-refundable £30% deposit is required.

Once I have selected the photos that I feel would work best for the painting  the commission can commence.

Completion Time

The completion time depends on the complexity of the commission and my workload at the time. Ususally Oil portraits take betweeen 3-8 weeks and charcoal portraits between 2-4 weeks.

When the portrait is completed I will email a photo of the finished peice and the balance will be required. The portrait is only finished when I am 100% happy with the outcome.


Payments  are to be made by BACS bank transfer

Any significant changes that are requested after the commission is finished will be charged at £50 per hour for the extra time.

I am extremely passionate about my work and it's important to me that the customer is delighted with the end result. I have painted many commissions over the years and am happy to say I have never had to give a refund. In the very unlikely event that the client is unhappy with their portrait then I will keep hold of the portrait and the deposit and the remaining balance will not be charged.

How to Take a good quality reference photo for a painting:

  1. Ideally take the photo indoors as its easier to control the lighting 

  2. Turn the flash off- it makes a face look flat and lifeless. 

  3. Find a light source to sit the subject near to, ideally a window in daylight 

  4. Have the subject about 3 feet away from the light source,  if its too close the detail will be bleached out. 

  5. Position the subject  facing the light so the light is hitting the head off centre and to the side of the face rather than front on. Ideally the whole side of the face will be illuminated with a little triangle of light hitting the opposite cheek as well. 

  6. Try to avoid a black or dark back drop as it can suck all the range of tones away from the face. A neutral background is best. 

  7. With young kids and babies it helps to have a third person over your shoulder engaging with them- an animated expression is much more appealing than a fixed grin or just staring at a tv screen. 

  8. If using a phone camera hold it about 3-4 feet away from the subject (if your'e too close it distorts the features). 

“ Bertie’s picture is really beautiful, it captures the round cherub-like qualities of our little man at 14 months. Livvy you have captured his profile perfectly. The baby stage goes so quickly, it is lovely to have a treasure to remember this stage”. 


Emma Payne 


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