Portrait paintings are a unique and rewarding experience for both the client and the artist.

A portrait painting is a hand crafted item that carries a tradition and skill set that has been passed down for thousands of years.  A great portrait painting describes far more that a quick snapshot in time. Requiring lots of time, focus, and energy, a painting has the ability to portray the nature of an individual.  It is with this effort that a portrait painting can become a more honest and “real” interpretation than a photo.

A portrait painting is a collaborative piece of artwork between the client and the artist because it requires insight about the personality and life of the individual painted.

If you are interested in commissioning a painting or drawing of yourself, a  friend,  or family member, the following pages of this brochure will provide some valuable information on the portrait painting process.

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Explore the Portrait Painting Process

Step 1 - Purpose & Meaning

There are many reasons why a person would like to commission a portrait painting or drawing. The following is a list of possible ideas to help get you started:

  • Family/Friend
  • Wedding
  • Business/Corporate
  • Pet
  • Memorial

A portrait has personal significance. It’s important to ask yourself these questions when choosing your subject matter:

  • What emotion would you like the painting to convey?
  • Is there a particular meaning/importance/symbolism that you would like incorporated?

Step 2 - Meet the Artist

Whether the portrait commission is of yourself or of someone you know, good communication is key. Below are some common topics:

  • What are your intentions and expectations for this painting?
  • What is your relationship to the subject matter, and how is this important to you?
  • Who is the individual you wish to have painted? What is his/her personality like? What brings this person pride, joy, happiness?

Step 3 - Gather References

The third step is to determine reference sources. Below are some of the options available:

  • Option A: Use an existing photo(s). 
  • Option B: Photo references taken by the artist.
  • Option C: The artist directly paints the subject in real life.

Step 4 - Size & Composition

The size of the artwork is based on several factors, including: the amount of body shown, the amount of the background shown, and the intended location of where the artwork will be hung.

Step 5 - Extablish Price

The artist determines the commission price after estimating a preliminary scope of work and design concept. Portrait painting and drawing prices vary for reasons including, but not limited to; size, medium, and complexity. 

Step 6 - The Artist Creates

Once the preliminary scope of work has been agreed upon, the artist will schedule a time to begin work on the portrait. 

Step 7 - Design Review

Intermittent progress photos will be sent to the client as warranted by the artists. This will occur if the artist recommends changes be made from the originally agreed design. Examples include: adding and removing an object, repositioning an object, or changing the color of an object.

Step 8 - Completion

Oil Painting Portraits: Once the artist has finalized the portrait painting it will need to dry over the course of several weeks. Once the painting has dried, a protective varnish coating is applied and allowed to dry. Afterwards, the artist can assist the client with selecting a frame that will compliment the painting.

Charcoal Portrait: The client can request that the artist mat and frame the portrait as desired.