Booking a commission

If you are interested in ordering a portrait from Cara Shanley Art, I have a guidelist of prices for standard sizes in detailed graphite portraits. Recently my own personal preference has been drawing on square paper as I think that suits most single-subject artworks, but it’s really up to you. Here’s a guidelist to start with ­– once you’ve had a think about what you’d like, just let me know and we can discuss exactly what would work best for your idea within your budget.

People portraits:

A5 – £60 (one subject only)

A4 – £90 (one subject); £100 (two subjects)

A3 – £120 (two subjects) + £10 per extra subject

A graphite pencil study

Pet portraits:

A5 – £80 (one subject only)

A4 – £100 (one subject); £120 (two subjects)

A3 – £140 (two subjects) + £15 per extra subject

A very happy customer! My first dog portrait from a few years ago.

All the above prices are for highly detailed graphite drawings, and the price reflects the amount of time and work that goes into each drawing.

Non-standard commissions


I highly recommend portraits on square paper! Just let me know. They look fantastic when framed with a wide mount.

A square format portrait used on a keyring


Colour options may also be quoted for – I enjoy working in acrylic paint on box canvas or board; mixed media (usually a combination of watercolour and coloured pencils); or pastels. If you are interested in any of these options please get in touch as they would be quoted for individually.

Example of a pastel portrait

Postage and packaging

Postage and packaging within the United Kingdom will be a small additional charge, which will cover Special Delivery in order to make sure your artwork arrives safely.

The digital version will be low resolution and for approval only, and will be sent to you via the usual messaging service (email or via Facebook Messenger). No physical artwork will be posted to you until you’ve approved the final digital version of the artwork and paid the balance due.

How and when to pay

A small deposit will be requested before I start work (usually a third of the total balance). This deposit is non-refundable and the balance will only be due upon completion of the artwork under conditions as described above.

Payments may be made by Paypal or bank transfer. If you wish to have the artwork posted internationally that can be arranged. I will always let you know exactly how the artwork will be presented when we discuss your booking (unmounted or with a mount, for example). I don’t mail framed artwork unless it’s small and specifically arranged in our discussions.

Source photographs

For a detailed drawing your photo needs to be clear and close-up, preferably taken under natural lighting and with no flash. It’s very important that I can see the eyes, and that your photograph is in focus. Remember that I can only draw what I can see.

Working directly from a source photograph on the screen in front of me

Three-quarter views usually make nice drawings, although the pose you choose can really help to reveal the expression and character of your subject too. Your photo doesn’t have to be new – I’ve drawn from old black and white photographs – but it does need to be clear.

If in doubt, just send me a selection of photos so I can assess their suitability for a portrait, and I can help you to find something that will work well.

Anything more questions or ideas? Just let me know!

Wildlife illustration (source photo
© Gary Jones Wildlife Photography)