How to choose a good 

Reference Photo

Capturing the likeness of a family pet is the essence of creating

a coloured pencil portrait. The photograph from which I work must provide the detail that will enable me to reflect the true character

of the subject.  Below you will find a little guide of how to choose a good reference photo.

Good reference photo:

  • Taken close to the face 

  • Bright, natural lighting that reflects true colours of the subject

  • Eyes and features, fur, nose, patterning of good visibility

  • Nice composition (imagine the pose as a drawing without background, make sure nothing obstructs the subject)

  • Good quality photo that allows  me to zoom in in search for finer detail

Bad reference  photo:

  • Taken from far away/above the subject

  • No detail, pixelated or blurred when zoomed in

  • With a filter on, not reflecting the true colour/tones, taken in low light

  • Flash reflecting in the eyes

All efforts will be taken to work with any photos provided, but on rare occasion I reserve the right to turn the commission down if dissatisfied with the quality of the reference photo provided.

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Good reference photo example

Bright, sharp, nice composition, vibrant colours

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Bad reference photo example

Lovely photo, but not great reference - dark, blurry, pixelated, no definable features

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