Portraits on paper


A portrait on paper can be a good solution where a clay portrait isn’t possible for some technical reason, or for time limitations – or can simply show a different side of a house. Because we don’t have to wait for the clay’s drying process or the firing cycle, a portrait on paper can be much quicker to achieve, and so may fit the bill when time or budget is tight. Some of Liz’s clients have chosen to have a drawn portrait on paper in addition to their commissioned clay one – the one shown above is an example, and you can see the clay portrait of this lovely Georgian house and barn on the Gallery page of favourite past commissions.


A portrait on paper begins in the same way as the clay portrait: Liz makes a detailed working drawing on graph paper from your photos – the more detailed the better – and then transfers this drawing by hand onto densely textured handmade paper, drawing through the graph paper with a blunt needle to incise the lines into the surface of the thick handmade paper.


This incised outline is then drawn again in pencil, then modelling and light are added, and the drawing sealed. So the portrait is, in effect, drawn three times, brick by brick, and a hand-lettered inscription is often included in the design, either below the drawing or to frame it. The result is a detailed black and white/ grey-tone signed original portrait of your special place, in graphite on acid-free handmade cotton rag paper. These portraits start at £300 for something very straightforward, and they can be supplied framed or unframed; framing usually adds about £50. Liz is always happy to give an estimate of cost from a photo, and though she usually has a waiting list for clay portraits, she can sometimes fit in a portrait on paper for an earlier date.

Royal London hosp drawing