The magic of Sweeting’s Greetings is that every hand-drawn portrait is totally different. There are no static figures, there’s no computer editing and no template which gets ‘tweaked’ for each customer. Your portrait is a truly bespoke piece, dreamed up with you in mind and is 100% hand-drawn and hand-coloured from scratch.
So what’s involved?
In a nutshell:
- As soon as you’ve given me your deadline and a rough idea of what you’re after I’ll confirm what is possible within your time frame.
- You supply info about who (or what) you’d like me to draw.
- I dream up some dramatic compositions with a cost for each and you choose the one you like the best.
- You supply photographs (please see guidelines below).
- My mealtimes, sleeptimes and all social engagements are cancelled while I strive to turn your commission into my finest work to date.
- Then, depending on what you’ve ordered, I either print (and frame) your portrait so you can enjoy it on your wall or I use it to create a sensational set of cards so you can make a big announcement or I supply the digital file to you to add pep to your pitch document, website, merchandise etc.
FAQsWhat do I need from you?
- The photos should give a good idea of the person’s height, build and hair style. At least one shot of the face from an angle and at least one profile photo of the face (that’s a shot taken from the side at close range) is essential because I need to see the forehead, nose and chin. You can direct me to some snaps on Facebook or Instagram if there are good photos on there.
- If it’s not clear from the photos then please provide some info – are they whippet thin or enviably curvy? Retroussé nose or gigantic hooter? Lustrous curls or bald as a coot? You get the idea…
- Please tell me what the person is like, what they do for a living, how they spend their free time and if they have any funny foibles, A brief description will do fine. I’ll pick and choose from the intel you provide.
- If you’d like to specify an outfit, please do. It all helps to capture the likeness.
Please supply a photo plus any info on breed, colouring, markings and temperament of the animal.
If you don’t have a photo just let me know the breed and colour.
If I’m drawing a home I’ll need a clear photo of the front of the building and need info on the number, house name, road name and town/village so that I can add number plaques, road signs etc.
If I’m drawing a wedding or party venue please direct me to a website or let me know the name and address so I can find visual references on-line.
Please scroll up to see the guide supplied in ‘What do I need from you’.
Then please supply info on the event and venue.
If there’s no fancy dress theme and you’d like to request a specific outfit, please do.
For the back of the postcard, please email all the party details for your guests in the format you’d like them to appear. These will include the occasion, time, date, venue, whether food is provided, dress code and rsvp details. If you need help, just ask. I can send you a template to follow.
Please scroll up to see the guide supplied in ‘What do I need from you’ and also send me a clear photo of the front of the home you’ve asked me to draw (either the new home or the old one). The more photos the better. I’ll also need to know the address so I can include a number plaque, street name or signpost.
For the back of the postcard, please have a think about the ‘We’re moving’ message and email it to me along with the new address. If you need help, just ask. I can send you a template to follow.
Please scroll up to see the guide supplied in ‘What do I need from you’ so that I can draw the gorgeous new baby surrounded by doting parents, adoring siblings and so on.
For the back of the postcard, please type your own ‘New Baby’ message and send to me in an email or as a word document. If you need help, just ask. I can also send you a template to follow.
Please tell me what you are saying ‘Thank you’ for and we will take it from there.
For the back of the postcard, please type your own message and email to me or send as a word document. If you need help, just ask. I can also send you a template to follow.
The addition of family members and pets really brings the portrait to life and gives a sense of the person I’m drawing. Because all my portraits are completely different I take time at the start of the commission working out where everybody is going to be situated and what everybody is going to be doing. Then once work begins in earnest, the more people or animals there are, the longer it takes to draw. For these reasons, I have to charge for extra people and animals.
Please feel free to suggest an activity but it can be even better when I come up with a dynamic composition based on the information you supply. In 99% of cases, my customers prefer me to do the thinking. In every single case I’ll email more than one idea plus costs so you can choose what best suits you and your budget.
To make sure you’re happy with the portrait I always email a black and white version for your approval before proceeding to the final coloured portrait.
Absolutely! But bear in mind the simplistic style of Sweeting’s Greetings is part of the charm. A quick glance at my portfolio will give you a good idea of what to expect.
Once I’ve received photos and info from you, the plotting and sketching can begin in earnest. I’m not usually satisfied until I’ve drawn the various elements up to 100 times – and the studio floor Axminster is covered in a sea of balled up paper! When I feel the composition truly works I’ll email a black and white version for your approval.
It’s vital that you’re happy with your portrait. Assuming that my idea and the general layout gets the thumbs-up, I’ll always email a digital version of the drawing for you to approve. At this point you can request minor changes or additions. If you’ve just remembered something you’d like me to include, do tell me – but please remember that all my portraits are done by hand and every new composition takes hours of time to lay out and perfect. Therefore, major changes which would require the composition to be re-designed would need to be charged accordingly. A minor amend would be the simple addition/removal of small props/clothes that don’t effect the overall layout. Let’s use the black and white drawing above as an example. If Becky had decided she’d rather have her father flying a helicopter than steering a boat, that would be a major change. If she’d asked for a second boat in the picture that too be a major change. On the other hand, if Becky just wanted her Dad to be fully dressed or if she wanted me to add her Dad’s super-woofer stereo system then those amends would have been pretty easy to accommodate. If unsure, please just ask.
Yes, I’ll always email the revised drawing to you. Please note that no further amends are possible without incurring extra cost.
Yes, sometimes I use Letraset pro-markers which give vibrant colour with a completely smooth finish but almost always I colour digitally by hand using my Apple Pencil. I experiment quite a bit and decide whether the composition calls for solid blocks of vibrant colour or softer, more delicate colours which look more like ‘gouache’.
These are printed on acid-free 190gsm premium watercolour paper. These wonderfully creamy, textured sheets have a card-like rigidity so are perfect for framing.
Invitations & Cards
These are digitally printed on beautifully crisp, white, card with a satin finish on the portrait side and an uncoated finish on the page (where the recipients name or your message is printed) so you can easily hand-write the names of your guests/friends in biro, felt-tip, pencil, crayon, lipstick…
My prints are full size A4 with the drawing centred within white space for framing.
Frames are approx 12 x 17 inches.
Invites & Cards
These are 5 x 7 inches with envelopes to match.
Absolutely! My premium frames are approx 12 x 17 inches. I opt for a stylish black finish as standard. The frames can stand alone or be wall mounted. I front my frames with glass for hand deliveries and plastic for postal deliveries. Don’t be panicked by the P word – I promise the plastic looks as sparklingly good and clear as the glass does.
Once you’ve approved the version sent by email, the next thing you’ll see will be the finished article, whether that’s a stunning print ready for DIY framing, a beautiful framed portrait ready to go on the wall, digital graphics for your business or a box of invitations or set of greeting cards.
- Once you’ve approved the version of your portrait sent to you by email, I’ll outsource the digital file to a local printer.
- The printer will send me a ‘proof’ by email or ask me to collect a physical mock-up which I’ll deliver/post to you so you can check that all content and written detail is present and correct.
- Once you confirm your approval by email, the printer will run the full set and I’ll collect and deliver/post them to you along with your envelopes.
- No need to worry about any of these details now, as I will keep you up to date once things are in motion.
Ok, so Great Granny’s birthday is imminent, M&S have sold out of scented draw-liners and you want to give a truly stupendous gift (i.e. a Sweeting’s Greetings portrait)! Just let me know it’s a National Emergency and I’ll do all I can to help.
Galloping insomnia means I can turn things around very quickly (I’m up all night) so don’t hesitate to get in touch. As a rule, leadtimes start from the day I receive photos and info from you and invites and cards take longer than portraits because I outsource the printing. Please tell me your deadline when you place your order and I’ll do all I can to meet it. Please note that requests for amends or delay in proof approval can affect timings.
Whatever you order, delivery is free if you live in Maidenhead. Alternatively customers can collect for free from the Maidenhead Head Office.
UK delivery is £4 (because the cargo is precious)
UK delivery is £11 for A4 prints and £19 for A3 prints (honestly, I wish it was much cheaper but the cargo is precious and fragile and the delivery is fully trackable, insured and takes one business day to reach its destination). Please note that when the parcel reaches its destination, it will need to be signed for.
Invitations & Cards
UK delivery is £12 (because the cargo is precious and weighty and the delivery is fully trackable, insured and takes one business day to reach it’s destination). Please note that when the parcel reaches its destination, it will need to be signed for.
The buyer understands and agrees that the copyright (the “Copyright”) to the Products are retained by the original artist compiling the Product, and that the transaction contemplated herein is not a sale or license to the Copyright to Buyer. Buyer agrees not to reproduce, copy or distribute the Product.
Or in layman’s terms – when I am commissioned to create a drawing, I retain full rights over it and can re-use it for marketing purposes, include it in my portfolio, display it at Art Fairs etc. My lovely customers can enjoy the drawing only for the purpose paid.
Please ask if you have any questions.