Ask The Artist!

Ask Questions, Get Answers!

This is where you can ask a question about how I paint and draw, which art supplies I use, how I run my business, how commissions work and everything else what goes through your mind.

I get so many questions from both clients and fellow artists through email, so I decided to add a FAQ section to my blog. This way everyone can look for answers they might have, and I don't need to answer to the same question twice. You can ask about anything, don't be shy... just ask!

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Latest FAQ

How much does a portrait cost?

Will the portrait be signed by you?

How do I find out exactly how much my portrait will cost on your Price list?

You have made a fantastic drawing from shelties, a collage with obedience sheltieIs it possible to buy a copy of this collage?

What perfect drawings you make. Please can you tell me how much a portrait costs, with four dogheads?

What do you use to blend with? Fingers? Tortillions?

What kind of oil do you use, for the sketching the subject on the canvas? I meen that brown colored sketch...is that an oil or something else?

How did you get started with your career as portrait painter? I've noticed how difficult it is to to do a career as an artist here in Norway, so was wondering how you went through to get where you are today. :)

How did you create this website?!

Why do you use oil paint?

I was wondering if you would mind sharing your workflow throughout one of your animal pastel paintings. Also, do you offer any tutorials online or for sale?

Is there another paper/card that you would recomend for someone starting out using pastel pencils?

How do you achieve the depth to fur and does each layer get progressively lighter or darker?

I just wondered if you have any tips for creating fur with lots of depth in pencil? What techniques can I use to make realistic fur? Does the kind of paper make a difference?

How do you get your brush strokes to stay so thin when you paint the fur on the pets? Also how do you make very thin lines in pencil?

I am confused, in another part you say you use linseed oil, but here you say no. Please help. Thanks.

Could you please tell me how long you would leave a finished oil painting before varnishing it?

How do you do to draw the first lines of the portrait? To obtain the perfect proportions?

Do you have a tutorial about painting pencil human portraits (with hair desirably)? Thank you for your attention.

When painting in layers, how do you apply paint over dry layer? Do you coat the canvas with any medium before applying?

I would love to see you make a couple of instructional DVD's...maybe a basic and then a advanced one and perhaps one for pets and one for humans...Is that a possiblity?

Is it very difficult and have you had any problems mounting the paper? I know it needs to be done for preservation and appearance, but am uncertain.

What would you recommend to use to fix your pastel work. I have used fixative but find it dulls the colour slightly and now use hairspray. What is your preference?

How do you get such a soft beautiful blend on your pencil drawings, for example on the Malamute?

For a beginner pencil portraits artist please recommend pencil ranges (e.g. 2H- 6b) and paper type

When applying layers in oils, is there a limit to how many layers you can do? Do you have to plan how many layers in advance?

I have my first portrait to paint but how on earth do I price it up? I don't how it's going to turn out etc.

Could you give me any tips on how you achieve your lovely subtle backgrounds please?

Just wondering, your pencil work (actually all your work) is incredible. Will you be doing a pencil tutorial at some stage?

Katja, your work is beautiful, can i please ask how you get such softness in the fur using oil?, when I try to blend I end up with such a muddy mess that I have to start all over again only to end up in the same situation, also if i glaze to get depth i seem to lose all brushstrokes, my high lights also look "added on" and not part of the fur any tips would be most gratefully recieved.

In working with pastels, you've mentioned that you don't preserve the final painting with fixative. I myself have seen the perils of using fixative(color gone awry, etc), but was wondering if you also never spray your work with similar medium, in between layers, for keeping things from muddying up? I've found that I need to do this, as my use of pastels is very new, and haven't the skill to blend without fixing as I go along.

I see that you mix your paint with some turpentine and a small amount of drying linseed, but can you clarify the fat over lean process for me please. Do you increase the amount of oil or the amount of paint in the mixture as you do more layers? Also, wondering if you oil out the background to give it that sheen you see in your photos?

I have often had to turn away commissions due to really small photographs being supplied by the client, where I am unable to take photos myself. Other times the photos are too small for the size they request (2 inch photo for a 12ins portrait!) or the pets are blurred or red eye. How do you deal with this politely please? Sometimes they are unable to afford good pics and it is so sad to see their disappointment, but I have to as I know I would not do justice to their payment or pet.

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