Nell Dewhirst


Nell Dewhirst, artist




Frequently Asked Questions

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So what exactly is involved in commissioning a portrait?

It's quite simple and can be approached in one of two ways. First, the subject has a sitting in my studio (north of Melbourne) where I might make a start on the portrait but in consideration of the sitter's time, I take reference photographs so that I can finish the work later. A sitting can take no more than half an hour.

The second option is for me to work entirely from a supplied photograph. This option works well if the subject lives a distance away; or if you already have a favourite photograph of the person; or if you would like the portrait to be a surprise gift for someone.


I've decided I want you to work from a supplied photograph, but I can't decide which photograph to use. What should I do?

You can send me a selection of shots, so that I can recommend which image I believe will work best as a painted portrait. Some clients leave the choice entirely up to me; others like to be presented with a shortlist of recommended compositions and crops to choose from.


How much do your portraits cost?

$100 for a small one (any edge up to 40.9cm)

$200 for a medium one (any edge 41cm to 89.9cm)

$300 for a large one (any edge 90cm to 102cm)

Larger sizes on request. Lay-by available.


How can I pay for my portrait?

Bank transfer, PayPal, cash or cheque.


How long does the whole process take?

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks from the sitting (or from when you decide on your final image). A work of art cannot be rushed so it is best to allow as much time as possible. A lot of care will go in to your portrait, and my creative process benefits from stepping back, pausing and revisiting the painting. I will always keep in close communication with you about its progress, and I will always deliver to your specified deadline if you have one.


What medium do you prefer to work in?

Acrylic paint on acid-free archival-quality canvas, or watercolour paint on acid-free archival-quality watercolour paper. I can also work in pastels and oil paint.


How will my painting be physically presented? Will it need framing? Do you do picture framing?

A 'stretched canvas' is pre-stretched around a wooden frame and is considered 'gallery ready'. This means your painting will have straight, smooth, well-defined edges that look clean and neat when hung on a wall. Your portrait will come complete with wire fixed securely at the back, ready to hang. While you can always have your painting framed later on if you wish to, a stretched canvas does not require framing. Stretched canvases that are unframed are also lightweight, making them easy to handle when positioning, hanging, and rotating your art.

However, a painting on watercolour paper or pastel paper will need framing.

I don't do framing but I can certainly recommend a picture framer to you.


So tell me about the framing of watercolour paintings.

Watercolour paper is delicate and needs to be protected under glass with professional picture framing. Please be aware that this is a separate stage in the process and would be an added cost (and time) to you. If you choose a watercolour portrait I would suggest you comfortably allow a minimum of three (3) additional weeks to have your watercolour painting framed.

Pastel paintings also need to be framed under glass to protect the paintwork and the paper. Again, you'll need to factor this in to your overall project cost and your overall project timeline.

If you want your portrait completed in the most cost-effective and timely way, I would suggest choosing acrylic on canvas as your medium, because it will be supplied 'gallery ready' for you to hang.


Do you deliver?

To most places around Melbourne, yes I can arrange delivery. Or, you are welcome to collect your painting from my studio. If you are a distance away, we can send it to you via post or courier.


Can I buy a gift voucher for someone so that they can decide on dimensions, medium, favourite photograph, etc?

Yes of course: vouchers come beautifully presented with no expiry date and can be gift-wrapped if you wish, free of charge.



How do I get in touch with you?

Send me an email with your ideas, or give me a call at the below number.



Tel. +61 (0)438 767 869


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