1. Can you alter your drawing to be like my car?
Yes. This is probably the most commonest question I get usually from folk on the smartphones who haven't noticed this website is called 'Classic Car Portraits' so obviously a tailored to order service.
2. What size are the prints?
Another question from smartphones when my introduction page has been missed.
I usually supply a set of 3 different sized laser prints. The set includes:
1 x A4 (LASER) 210mm x 297mm / 8.3in x 11.7in
1 x A3 (LASER 140gsm gloss finish) 297mm x 420 mm / 11.7in x 16.5in
1 x SRA3 (LASER 140gsm gloss finish) 320mm x 450mm / 12.6in x 17.7in
3.Why is there not an online order form?
This is a personel one-to-one order service where you the customer asks me if I can do a portrait of a car and I decide if it's possible. Archaic? - possibly but seems the most efficient and practical method for this.
4. My car is a non-original colour. Does that matter?
No, however getting the colour exactly right is for a few colours sometimes is hard. Particularly with metalic colours which are usually affected by background colours and lighting conditions in photographic reference.
5. My car is a special and highly modified
The general format of the drawings on this site are limited to 'showroom spec', but it is of course necessary on my part to be a flexible. What is and what is not original, is often a subject of debate amongst experts and collectors anyway. If the car is so far removed from the original, perhaps it has been hotted up and looks more like a rally car then it is still possible to have a portrait done, though you will need to email some pictures to give an idea of how much extra work is available and thus make a quote possible for the extra work required.
6. Is there a charge for two-tone and metallic colours?
Only if the car in question did not have a 2-tone or metallic paint option at the time of production or the coloured areas differ from what would have come out of the factory. I have tried to use 2-tone samples on the website as much as possible to illustrate these.
7. What is the delivery time for my car portrait print?
If the car is already on the website and only needs a change of colour, number plate, caption and perhaps wing mirrors and wire wheel option, about a week. For similar cars to those on the website but actually drawn yet please use the e-mail address to enquire about availability. You could perhaps send all the necessary reference (see photo tips page) to help speed up and enlarge the list but not include any payment.
8. I'm an expert photographer why is it important that I read your tips on photography?
This only matters if I haven't already drawn the car or I haven't drawn some particular detail before. The content of photos rather than the quality is more important. Minimum perspective, square on and a reference of scale is required. It doesn't matter if the car looks a wreck with rust and bits falling off. In fact if the car is dirty or dull it may be better as reflections from flash lights don't cause flare.
9. Why have you drawn the cars windscreen wider than it is?
Although I measure the cars thoroughly I sometimes get it wrong of course but in most cases they they are actually accurate but just look wrong when compared to a photograph (usually by folk just not used to technical drawings). Only when using a telephoto lens from several hundred yards away do you get a true idea of the profile of what a car actually is photographically. It is significant that Architects, draughtsmen and engineers who are used to seeing scaled drawings do not find car profiles odd or 'wrong'. The average person is somewhat conditioned by photographic images and has a different expectation to what a two dimensional representation of their car should be.
10. Will my photographs be returned to me?
Only if requested (in the case of CDs the postage may cost as much as the CD)
Original, treasured old photographs, would be returned by recorded delivery (please include an extra SAE). Though it would be safer if good quality copies were sent or the original was scanned and emailed or burnt to CD.
11. Your charge doesn't include VAT. Why is this?
Simply, I am no longer registered for VAT. This is a slight deviation from my previous business in as far as I am now dealing with the general public rather than other registered for VAT businesses. I want to keep the price to classic car owners to a minimum. If in the future this status changes then the final price to you would be higher.
12. If I find a mistake on my print what shall I do?
A proof or 'draft' is always emailed before printing. Please check this thoroughly for any errors and email me back. If it is for a gift and you are not a 100% sure of the actual details, then it may be safer to present the proof to the recipient, allowing he or she to make the final checks ensuring the best possible end result.
13 The original drawing on your site is wrong!
Please, please let me know on your order. In some case the original subject I worked from had been modified and i have a limited knowledge of how it should be. I will rectify this for your print and ASAP update the image on the site.
14 The original drawing on your site has extras that I think wouldn't be on when it left the factory?
On the original drawing I would draw on all the extras that the owner had added, this gave the owner that extra bonus to thank him for his time regarding reference material and technical information. I may have left these on accidentally or there is confusion as to what should original. In any event I can remove anything without extra cost. Only adding or changing details increase the cost. Typical examples of this are aerials, badges, mudflaps and mirrors. Please use the contact details for a quote on extra work.
15 Is it cheaper if all you have to do is change the number plate?
No. Although changing the number plates take only a few minutes, the same applies to changing the colour and pasting in the correct mirrors etc. Putting aside the uniqueness and quality of the product, what you are actually paying for is the running of a laser printer (£1,000s), the administration (invoicing, logging, emailing etc), postage a packing, and hundreds of hours of development and original drawing and queueing up at the post office for half an hour (longer before Christmas)!
Please don't expect a discount just because, by luck the sample which appears on the website at the time matches your car. Anyway, this may only be temporary as the original drawing I work from may have been updated or altered to another colour since the uploading to the website.
16 Why do you not sell prints 'as they are' of the examples on the site
Some of the drawings were done some years ago. When revisiting them for a commission I invariably make improvements and make a few tweaks (I like to think that my drawing abilities and knowledge are actually improving) - this is usually done during or after the process of personalising them. Improvents made often with the direction from an owner when commisioning a portrait. So, I would prefer not to sell prints of work I'm not 100% sure of without spending hours checking them out without the benefit of an owner(often an expert) overseeing it.
17 My car is not on your list will you draw it for me
In the conventional sense I do not do commisions unless for publication.
The objective is to produce as many different car profiles as possible eventually for later book publication. The portrait service provides a usfull method of production and source of reference.It depends entirely whether the car is relevant to what I've already drawn. For example I've drawn about 90% of all MG models so am happy to draw any MG regardles of it rarity and whether I will ever get another order for that model.
18 Can you supply pictures framed?
No. Quite apart from the econimics (you can buy a sutable 20" x 60" frame for only a few pounds). And the problems of posting glass. For every hour spent organising a frame I could be finishing off one of the dozens of car drawings I've started.
19 How are the drawings done?
They are drawn with Adobe illustrator on an Apple Macintosh. This may seem like cheating but I've found it just as hard and time consuming as traditional methods, requiring the same basic drawing ability. Besides traditional technical drawing requires tools compasses, French curves etc. Computer drawing however has the advantage of editing and duplication making Technical Portraits available and afordable of an ever increasing number of different cars.