Often Asked Questions - On ordering a Memorial Baby Pencil Portrait


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  • How do I know if the photographs I have of my baby are good enough for you to work with?
I usually can tell as soon as I see the pictures what I can do. It comes from experience and imagination (I can usually visualize how it will be done and how well it will work out). 
  • Do I have to send you the originals? I don't want to part with the only photos of my baby that I have!
You do not need to send the originals, in fact, I'd rather you didn't. Your photos of your baby are precious and irreplaceable and I'd hate for anything to happen to them in the mail.
Please have them scanned (you can send the file by email) or you can have good quality copies made at most copy centers. 
  • In the photos I have, a lot of my baby's face is covered up with tubes and tape. I don't want a portrait with the tubes in it. Can you do this?
In most cases, I can. What would be very helpful to me in doing the portrait is to get your recollections of how your baby's lips looked (if they looked like the mom's or the dad's lips), and for instance, if you remember your baby son's lips looking just like your husband's, then I would like to get a picture of your husband as a newborn or young baby so I could base how the lips are shaped on his pictures. 
  • My baby was only 17 weeks gestation and was a 'miscarriage'...can you do portraits of babies born so early?
Yes, I can. The biggest challenge is finding a photo that shows the baby clearly enough, because at that age they are so tiny.
  • I am uncomfortable sharing the photos of my baby with anyone.
Rest assured that communication you have with me is kept private. If you find the photos upsetting, you will very likely be very comforted by the finished pencil portrait, because it helps you remember and share your baby's sweet features, not the tubes or hospital environment. The artwork I do of your baby will not be shown on my website unless I have your permission.
  • My baby's photos show a lot of bruising and puffiness, the result of birth trauma. What can you do with photos like that?
I like to give the babies in my portraits a peaceful look.
Many newborn babies are a bit puffy, especially around the eyes. So I allow myself to draw a mild bit of puffiness, but I attempt to 'see through' the bruises and just focus on your baby's facial features. I don't draw the bruising.  
  • The photos I have were taken at the hospital. I hate everything about them.  I hate the ugly striped hospital blanket! Can you do anything?
Yes I can! Just tell me what type of blanket you want, and I'll work to make it just the way you want it. I can sometimes also change the baby's clothing into something more pleasing to you - maybe you have a special gown that you would want her pictured in, or a special stuffed animal you would like placed in her arms. It depends on the photo, but sometimes I can make all these changes. The blanket is very easily changed.
  • How much do you charge for this?
The difficulty level is generally higher for these than any of the other portraits I do. So I like to see the photo(s) before I quote. Names and dates handlettered to the portrait are an additional $25. The more changes that are needed, the more the price may vary. For instance, changing the baby's clothing in the picture or drawing a teddy bear in would count as an additional 'subject' in the portrait and would increase the price by perhaps $100 or more. When I give you your no-obligation to order quote, I don't expect the price to change in any way. The fee would only change once we had discussed it. No unpleasant surprises!
  • My baby girl just died, and I'm not really sure yet what kind of remembrance or keepsake item I want for her, but I know I want to do something.
There are many choices, along with pencil portraiture. You will find garden stones, keepsake jewelry, memorial websites, and more. I have some resources on my site (LINK).  You might choose to do just one, or several. I do advise parents to wait a little while and think about what will mean the most to them in the long-term. Don't feel pressured to have to do something right away. You can ask me questions by email or phone anytime, and I won't pressure you to make a decision on a portrait. When the time is right, you will know. 

Darla Dixon, Artist

Darla Dixon Portrait Art & Illustration

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