Not sure whether portrait is a joke or not

(178 Posts)
CallMeAChopper Sat 16-Oct-21 08:13:09

My friend is a hobby artist and does portraits for £30 each. She’s good at what she does but a) admits that there are some people sfe just can’t draw and b) has a dark sense of humour and messes around sometimes

My daughter is 2 years old and when you ask her to smile she bares all teeth and looks angry, it’s very funny but as a result all of her photos look like she’s growling at the camera. I asked my friend if she would do a portrait of me and DD as a Christmas present to my mum. Obviously I’m paying her.

She kept sending me updates but only of “my” part, all the photos had DD either covered up or cut off the photo. Anyway she’s now sent me the finished full version and asked whether I’m happy with it. It’s bloody hideous! She’s done a spot on version of me but DD looks like the girl from the exorcist! I know she was doing her growl face on the photo but the drawing seems to have exaggerated it and made her look really grotesque - I mean it literally looks like the cover of a horror movie.

Problem is I don’t know whether she’s joking or not!! If I laugh and tell her “good joke” and she didn’t do it on purpose it’s going to really upset her! But I can’t accept it like it is. I literally gasped when I saw it and then burst out laughing.

How on earth do I find out whether she’s joking or not without upsetting her if she isn’t?

OP’s posts: |
LubaLuca Sat 16-Oct-21 08:14:55

I need to see the bit with your daughter on. I really NEED to.

Yogawankonobi Sat 16-Oct-21 08:15:20

Maybe just say thank you and see what she says.
As an artist I would correct any work that the person that I’m commissioned by asks for.

FrankGrillosFloof Sat 16-Oct-21 08:17:17

You can’t post this without letting us see the pic…

Arabelladrinkstea Sat 16-Oct-21 08:17:22

Ask her?

However we have to see it to give honest feedback!

Pedalpushers Sat 16-Oct-21 08:17:46

I doubt she's done a portrait as a joke intending to redo it, so you'll just have to say the daughter growling wasn't what you were after and does she mind doing a more smiley one.

milian Sat 16-Oct-21 08:22:42

It’s not like you’re paying her enough to actually cover time and materials so I think it would be pretty ungrateful to comment tbh.


Kittykat93 Sat 16-Oct-21 08:22:51

Please let us see 😁

Confrontayshunme Sat 16-Oct-21 08:23:27

My SIL has a portrait a friend drew of her. It is terrible, but if your BF does it, you have to keep it up till they die so you don't fall out apparently.confused

benelephant Sat 16-Oct-21 08:24:11

We NEED to see it.

Clandestin Sat 16-Oct-21 08:24:15

Surely there must be a photo somewhere of your daughter NOT growling? Did the photo you supplied for your friend to work from have the growl in it? If so, presumably she thought you wanted the growl in the portrait — tell her you don’t.

StrongSunglasses Sat 16-Oct-21 08:25:56

Yes I agree - for helpful and informed replies I’m afraid we’ll need to see exactly what you’re referring to…

CallMeAChopper Sat 16-Oct-21 08:27:27

I’m not going to post the picture as it would probably end up in the daily fail, imagine if she saw it!

I’ve always told her she should charge more but she refuses to take anymore than £30.

She has done something similar before, someone asked for a portrait of their baby with their Rottweiler and she drew the Rottweiler teeth bared and snarling like Cujo. She presented the picture to the buyer, the buyer gasped and asked why the dog looked like that she she admitted she’d done it whilst drunk for a laugh and then presented her with the real one so she had actually done two portraits (she used the joke one on her website!) so I don’t know if this is the scenario here or what

OP’s posts: |
Clawdy Sat 16-Oct-21 08:27:43

Let's see it!

DontSettleForMe Sat 16-Oct-21 08:28:40

Maybe you could say something like “While that is an uncanny drawing of DD (acknowledging her artistic skills!) I was rather hoping to have her smiling!”.

MIL fancies herself as an artist. She did a “drawing” of DD from a photo (a school photo which was not the best to start with). She was most offended when we refused permission to share it on social media. It was hideous!

Whinge Sat 16-Oct-21 08:28:50


It’s not like you’re paying her enough to actually cover time and materials so I think it would be pretty ungrateful to comment tbh.

I agree. £30 for a portrait is cheap. It's hard to comment on the image without seeing it. But as for whether it's real or not, I would assume the image she sent you is the final completed piece. I can't see why she would take the time to send you an image of a fake portrait.

ButYouGottaHaveASkillJeff Sat 16-Oct-21 08:31:51


It’s not like you’re paying her enough to actually cover time and materials so I think it would be pretty ungrateful to comment tbh.

She paid what the friend charges. The friend has decided that £30 covers her time and materials, not the OP. Not ungrateful at all to say she doesn't like it.

dottiedodah Sat 16-Oct-21 08:32:01

Surely the point is if you are not happy with it ,then its not acceptable! There is a thin line between humour and absolutely taking the piss.I would say that you are not happy and not pay for it .And yes ,do not send any pics or they will end up in the Mail or somewhere!

Looubylou Sat 16-Oct-21 08:33:02

Yes, she is joking. Given the history with the dog portrait joke, she didn't uncover your daughter until the end. Your friend is a hoot, and knows fine well you are struggling with what to say. I'd ring up laughing, and say please get rid of the growling demon.

LubaLuca Sat 16-Oct-21 08:34:41

I’m not going to post the picture as it would probably end up in the daily fail, imagine if she saw it!

Oh, now come on! You know the rules - you describe the terrible thing to us, we imagine it to be hilarious, we beg you to show us, and when the thread has got to about 500 posts you give in and post it, and then we agree it's terrible and laugh heartily.

GoldChick Sat 16-Oct-21 08:35:02

If you sent her a picture of your daughter growling then that's what she will draw

SoupDragon Sat 16-Oct-21 08:38:20

You could reply "now I see why you covered DD up on all the progress pictures you sent me"

Smileforthebirdie Sat 16-Oct-21 08:41:57

We had a similar situation except I paid £350 to my portrait artist friend. One of the people in the painting looked nothing like real life, they were out of proportion as well. It was awful but not a joke. We had to hang it up because she was always at my house but as soon as we moved, we took it to the dump. I feel for you.

diddl Sat 16-Oct-21 08:59:24

She's asked if you are happy & you're not so tell her that!

Although she has essentially drawn what you have sent, it perhaps feels as if she is making fun of/being unkind about your daughter?

Is she really a friend?

flyingant Sat 16-Oct-21 09:01:36

I'd say thanks, pay up then put it in the bin and put it down to experience.

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