Fine Art by S.G. Chipman

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a portrait cost?
Portraits start at $425.00 USD
How can I pay you?
I prefer Paypal, but also accept checks drawn on US banks.
Do you do your portraits from life, with models sitting for you?
No. I work exclusively from photographs that are either taken by me or provided by the client. Asking a person to sit for a drawing is a long and painful process, not to mention incredibly boring for the person being drawn. You've got better things to do than hold still for me while I put your likeness on paper!
What sort of photographs make a good source photo for a portrait?
Photographs should meet the following criteria:
  • If a digital photograph, it should be of a high resolution greater than 1024 x 768 pixels. No cell phone pictures!
  • If a printed photograph, the photo should be free of blemishes and signs of age and at least a 4 x 6".
  • The photo should contain a relatively close-up snapshot of the subject in good lighting. For example, outside on a sunny day.
  • You should be the copyright owner of the photograph, or have permission from the copyright owner to use the photo in this way.
Would you rather have a digital or printed photo?
Either is fine, but digital is preferred. I'll scan your original and make my own print to avoid damaging it in any way.
How can I deliver my photos to you?
You can archive them with a program like WinZip on windows or StuffIt on OS X and email them to I will provide you with a street address for photos that you don't have digital copies of.
If my photographs don't meet your criteria, will you take the photos for me?
If you live in my area, sure. Otherwise see these tips on taking a quality photograph of the subject.
Can I expect the composition of the drawing to be the same as it is in the photo?
Usually no. I will clip and move the composition around for the best visual appearance, as well as remove any objects that I don't feel add any value to the piece.
I want to see your work in person before I commit to a contract. Can we get together beforehand?
If you live in my area, of course.
Do you do portraits of animals?
Sure. See this portrait of my cat, Javascript and this one of a friend's dog.
How long will it take you to finish the drawing?
Expect a turn-around time of about two weeks depending on how busy I am. I will communicate with you when we agree to work together exactly when I expect to have your piece completed.
I'd like a very large portrait - say 18x20". Is this possible?
I normally work at 8.5 x 11 inches for single subjects and 11 x 14" for two subjects. If you'd like a larger peice, I'm happy discuss it.
I really like one of the drawings in your portfolio. Can I purchase it?
If I still have the original, sure - otherwise I will happily send you a print.
Can I see an example of a source photo and a portrait derived from it?
Yes. Where source photo's are available, they are linked to from the drawing's page here on the site.
What sorts of things do I need to agree to before you'll do a drawing for me?
See the Commission a Portrait page for information on this.
What is the Model Release Form?
This form says that its okay for me to draw you or the person you've asked me to draw and that it's all right for me to use the finished drawing in my portfolio and as an example of my work to show other potential clients. You can review the form here.
What is the Contract for Commissioned Artwork?
This is simply a contract between you and myself that states what my responsibilities to you are and yours to me, as far as the service I provide goes. It outlines your rights and mine. You can review the contract here.
Do you use any software when creating the portraits?
No, the portraits are all created by hand the old fashioned way.
Are the scans exact replications of the drawings?
No, they aren't. The originals look far better, as the scanner isn't able to capture the luminosity of layers and layers of color or the subtle transitions from light to dark.
Do your drawings come in a frame?
No, framing is left to you.
What brand of colored pencils do you use?
I use Prismacolor Premier pencils.