Advanced search

To not put up a portrait of DD that commissioned a friend to do because..

(18 Posts)
starsandstripes Fri 26-Nov-10 16:03:12

I don't really like it or think it's that good..

I have a good friend who is a professional artist. We were in art class at school together and have been friends since we were little.

From what I remember at school she was really good at portraits and life drawings. I was ok but not fantastic.

So I thought I would commission a portrait of my DD. I paid her and gave her a nice picture to draw from as she is not local to us. And DD wouldn't sit for a drawing as she's too young to sit still long enough.

She posted the portrait a week ago and I have to say I am really underwhelmed by it.

Dp isn't that impressed and it does look a little like DD, but not fantastic.

So the question is would it be unreasonable not to put it up even after spending a significant amount on the portrait and it being done by a close friend?

I'm tempted to just re- do the drawing myself from the same photo as I honestly think I could do a better job...even though I haven't drawn for years.

P.s I have namechanged as my normal name has a profile with pics and would feel really crap if my friend saw this post.

starsandstripes Fri 26-Nov-10 16:04:13

That I commissioned

NeverEatYellowTaintedSnow Fri 26-Nov-10 16:05:15

Is it something you could put up just when your friend is there?

As an aside, is it so bad that you should be requesting your money back? I guess that would be the end of the friendship though.

curlymama Fri 26-Nov-10 16:05:21

If you don't like it, don't put it up. She's not going to know the difference if she lives far away. or if she visits, tell her you gave it to your Mum or in laws.

starsandstripes Fri 26-Nov-10 16:12:42

It's a pretty big picture so would require framing.

I would be too embarrassed to tell her I wasn't that pleased with it let alone ask for my money back.

She doesn't live locally but come back home to visit parents and friends. So will see her in the next year most probably in the new year.

It's such a shame because I was really looking forward to the portrait and feel really bad for not liking it.

ENormaSnob Fri 26-Nov-10 16:14:34

Yanbu and I wouldn't put it up either.

starsandstripes Fri 26-Nov-10 16:31:50


If you were in my position would you tell her that you didn't like the picture?

EmmaBemma Fri 26-Nov-10 16:38:58

A family friend did an oil painting of my daughter and I as a gift, in thanks for some work I did for them. I didn't like it. I gave it to my mum, who did like it, and it now hangs in her house. I told the family friend that my mum liked it so much she asked if she could have it, which is pretty much the truth... problem solved. Is something similar an option for you?

fedupofnamechanging Fri 26-Nov-10 16:46:38

I don't think I would say something unless I was prepared for the friendship to end. No matter how tactful you are, it will still be criticism of her work and she will be hurt by that. I'm not an artist, but I imagine it would be very hard to get a 'sense' of someone and produce that in a painting, without having had them sit for it. That said, she should have asked to meet your DD if she needed to see her to get an accurate likeness.

I would tell the friend that you gave it to a relative as a present. i wouldn't display it- it will annoy you every time you look at it, because it is not an accurate likeness.

I'd put this one down to experience and next time get someone who is not a friend to do the painting. That way you will be free to complain if you don't like it.

If you are okay about the friendship being damaged, then you could say you don't think it looks like DD and would she mind having a sitting with DD and trying again. Perhaps if she meets your daughter, she will see for herself what the problem is.

For me, I think a lot would depend on just how much money I'd spent. Do you think it will bug you for ever if you let this one go and learn from experience

wotnochocs Fri 26-Nov-10 16:49:14

I think it would be very difficult to draw somebody you don't know from a photo.I wouldn't put it up if I didn't like it (except when said friend comes to visit)

FakePlasticTrees Fri 26-Nov-10 16:53:43

So give it as a gift to your PIL for Christmas. Tell your friend you've decided to give it to your ILs. Everyone's happy.

Except your DH who is pissed off about the money spent.

And your PIL who have been gifted a picture that doesn't look like their DGD.

nosnownosnow Fri 26-Nov-10 16:56:11

Namechange or no namechange, if she sees this thread she's going to work out it's you without seeing any photos on your profile I would have thought... wink

ragged Fri 26-Nov-10 16:57:07

Ooh, that happened to my mother, and I was the DD. My mother was very disappointed and hung it in a rather out of the way place.
I quite like the portrait and have it hanging in my lounge now. Maybe ask around and see what other people think of it before you decide not to display it.

northerngirl41 Fri 26-Nov-10 17:38:18

I too think it might be the copying from a photo - after all, you aren't looking for an exact replica of real life when you commission a piece of art, you are wanting to capture the essence of that person. (Otherwise why not just blow up and frame the photo?). I think you might have been better if friend knew the kid well or could have had at least one sitting.

We had a portrait done when I was a kid of me, my mum and my siblings. We posed for it and the artist was one of some repute. Being squirmy kids we didn't actually sit still long enough for her to draw so mostly she just did it from memory and imagination. All of us look completely nothing like us in the picture. My dad hates it, it hangs in a spare room somewhere.

However, I love it because we'd taken along my pet dog and he did sit very still for hours encouraged by the promise of a jaffa cake and it's a fantastic picture of him!

starsandstripes Sat 27-Nov-10 18:49:02

Hopefully my friend will not see this as she doesn't have kids so is unlikely to pop on a parenting website.

Quite re-assuring to know that it's not uncommon to receive duff portraits. grin

I would have thought that a picture would have been enough for a professional artist and they must have to work from photos all the time as a painting or picture can sometimes take months to complete, but then i'm better at coping art than creating my own IYSIM.

I understand about a portrait is ment to catch the essence of someone but I wouldn't mind if it was a little abstract but you could still definitely recognise it as being DD and that resemblance would be strong enough that in 10/20 years time you would still recognise it as being dd.

starsandstripes Sat 27-Nov-10 18:50:30

Could give it to the inlaws...grin

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-10 18:55:52

Put it away and, depending on when your friend comes next, either say you've not found a frame you like yet or get it out if the cupboard and realise you do like it after all. sometimes pictures look better after a reasonable length of time without seeing them.

Merrylegs Sat 27-Nov-10 18:59:20

My friend did a fantastic portrait of my kids from photos only, so not having a sitting shouldn't be a problem for a competent artist. (I don't know what I would have done if it had been rubbish, though! Probably asked her something like "Wow, interesting! Are you pleased with it?")

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: