These paintings are all commissioned portraits. Naturally I tend not to be asked to paint portraits except by people wishing to be depicted as demons, fairies, mermaids and so on. If you're interested in commissioning a painting please email me, and please see below for few details which may answer some questions.

Commissioned Portraits:

To paint a 'portrait' I need at least a single good photograph of you (or whoever is to be the subject). A digital image is easiest, but not necessary.

Obviously the photo needs to show your face, but I do not necessarily need it to show the rest of you, as I can make that up. However, I must stress that it needs to be a good, clear, fairly large / high resolution photograph, with a facial expression that is suitable for the painting - I cannot make up a facial expression that is not there. For instance, if I work from a photograph with a big grin on it, the portrait will have a big grin, I can't magically transform it into a sultry smouldering look - if that's what you want you need to supply me with a sultry shouldering photo!

Similarly, the angle of the face will be as seen in the photo, though I don't have to have a straight-on shot. For the portrait of 'Stacey', for instance, she is in profile and that worked very well, too. The angle and expression will tend to suggest certain compositions, so I need the photo you want me to use before I can do a sketch. I will always do a pencil sketch first - which is subject to your approval - before starting a painting.

One other thing to bear in mind about photographs is the lighting - that will also be fairly unchanged in the final painting. Photographs taken straight on with a flash are usually not suitable - natural daylight is much better, or artificial lighting which is not directly from the front generally works well. If you switch off the flash on your camera and take a photo indoors you will generally get a yellow tinge from artificial lighting, but as long as the image itself is clear and sharp that should not be a problem.

Obviously there is no problem if you want to supply me with a range of photos to chose from.

As to subject, I'm happy to discuss and suggest ideas. These are just a few pointers to what I would need to work from. If you are interested in commissioning a painting please email me and tell me what you have in mind. I can give you an estimate of price at the time, and a firm price once the sketch is agreed. Price depends on the complexity of the painting.

I work in pencil (graphite and coloured pencils) and gouache (water-based) paint, and can undertake commissioned artwork in any or all of these media. All my work is on heavy paper - usually watercolour paper, or very high quality cartridge paper if I am only using pencils, and the materials I use mean that the final artwork must be framed with glass in front to protect it. Sorry, I do not use any media suitable for working on canvas.

Two more things I should mention are that I will only take on a commission that I feel is suitable to my work and style, and that I'm often quite busy, so can't generally complete a commission at short notice, though I will be able to let you know at the time when I expect to be able to complete a painting. So, I hope this helps, if you're interested, send me an email at and I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

All images and prints are © Nancy Farmer. Please email me if you wish to reproduce any of these images, or see my permissions page in the 'info' section.