A good reference photo = An amazing portrait.

All of my commissioned portraits are drawn or painted using reference photos from clients, therefore, the reference photo is key to help me produce a beautiful realistic portrait.


Image requirements:

  • Send the original high resolution image - don't worry if the file size is too big as you can send this to me for free via wetransfer.
  • Send a photo clearly showing the head and shoulders of the subject
  • Make sure the facial features are clear and visible
  • Send more than one image of the subject (if you have them to hand). This helps me determine the correct colours and focus in on details
  • Make sure the image is well lit and isn't too dark or overexposed.


Things to avoid:

  • Try to avoid sending images that were posted on social media. These websites optimise images and reduce the overall image quality. This makes it unusable as a reference as it is hard to see the details of the subject.
  • Images that are out of focus or blurry. I can only draw what I see, so if you send me a blurry photo I can only make up the details which may not be an accurate portrayal of the subject 
  • Please do not send hardcopies of the photos - I prefer using digital references


If you are struggling with your choosing your photo reference, please get in touch and I will do my best to help guide you further.

An example of a great reference photo and the final portrait:

Pet Portrait Commission by Sheetal Toor of Art By Toor