Over the past few years I’ve created hundreds of custom portraits, including families large and small, best friends, furry friends, work colleagues and newlyweds.
But what is it that makes some illustrations extra special? I’ve pulled together a list that reveals the top five 5 things to include when you order a portrait, so keep reading to find out! By following these simple tips, it will help me create a unique illustration for you that soars head and shoulders above the rest!
1. Unique outfits
Now, I know a lot of folk do happen to wear jeans, a t-shirt and trainers (me included!) but the key to making my figures instantly identifiable is to choose a recognisable outfit. Perhaps they wear a uniform for their job, or have specific clothing for their hobby? Alternatively, fancy dress can be a really fun option too!
The following family came back for their second portrait, and this time chose me to capture them in their halloween outfits. As you can see by the comparison pics, I replicated each outfit as closely as possible, making this portrait a cute reminder of a special moment in this family’s life,
Patterns really help to make an outfit recognisable. Do they have a favourite flowery dress, or checked shirt? By replicating exact patterns, it really helps the character look like their real-life counterpart.
The following portrait is probably one of my favourites from last year! The customer chose some really distinctive outfits and added lots of little personal details too…
Again, the key to this is being specific. To sound like a very famous food ad – it’s not just any pair of jeans, it’s a skinny fit, high waisted indigo wash pair of jeans! Think about the cut, length and brand of clothing – do they always roll their sleeves up, leave their jacket unbuttoned, or their shirt tucked in? All these details really help!
These are another great way to help identify each figure. Choose something that relates to their hobby, profession or personality. It could even be an item that links to a memorable story – “remember the time when…!” For children, it might be their favourite toy, blanket, food, game or hobby.
This could be your home, a holiday location or business premises – they all add that extra element to a portrait and make it truly personal. The portrait below was one of two I created for this customer, with this one showing them as they are now in front of their family home, and another showing them 20 years ago as a couple on the beach.
Well that’s it! I hope you find these tips useful and look forward to hearing from some of you soon! If you are interested in having a Hillfolk custom portrait, click here.