The process usually begins with a meeting to consider the patron’s objectives and subject matter. At that meeting, we will discuss the objectives of the portrait, size, possible settings, lighting considerations, garment, theme, possible additions such as desk items, background paintings and/or books, and steps to and timing of completion. Of course, I will answer any questions that the patrons have and their ideas and thoughts will be given the greatest consideration.
I will usually bring a SRL camera and professional lighting equipment. After our discussion, I customarily do a photo shoot of the sitter - some 75 to 100 or more photographs. I will take photos in various lighting conditions, locations, settings and poses. We then review them and decide which photos will be the best resource for the work of art. The best images are assembled to determine the most appropriate composition. For example, I may use the hands of one photo, but the figure from another. This procedure cuts down the otherwise potentially long sitting times required for a portrait, and is particularly valuable in the case of children and pets. My preference is to paint from life, but a combination of life sittings and photos often works best. The client should expect that the portrait to be a dynamic, expressive view of the sitter.
On every commissioned portrait, and for many other commissioned works in oil, I create for review by the patron a full size charcoal drawing of the planned work. In the case of a portrait, I also create a head study in charcoal or graphite on Bristol paper. I will also deliver a color study for the portrait. We meet and confer to select the final pose and composition, make other aesthetic decisions, and review preliminary renderings. These preparatory works are presented to the patron for approval prior to beginning the final painting. Having a portrait painted is a special event and the participation of the sitter/client in the process of the portrait is essential to its success. This presentation usually occurs within a couple months of the start of the project. However, I can adjust the timing to meet the patron’s objectives when appropriate.
One third of the cost of the portrait is paid upon signing of the letter agreement, provided by the artist, setting the mutual expectations for the process and portrait, one third at the presentation of preliminary works, and the balance is due at the time of delivery.
Head and Shoulders Oil on Canvas $2,900
Half Length with Hands Oil on Canvas $4,500
Full Length Oil on Canvas $6,000
Framing and travel expenses are generally not included in the above quote. A fully detailed background and/or additional figures in the portrait may increase the quote. Applicable state sales tax will also be added.