Initial Contact To begin the process of commissioning a portrait, you contact me through email or a phone call. We’ll talk about your wishes and hopes for the portrait. I’ll ask about the subject and we’ll talk about the setting, or objects to be included in the painting. We’ll discuss fees, the size, a letter of agreement and time tables. Ask me anything; no question is unimportant and this is your chance to decide if you think you’ll enjoy working with me. I want you to be comfortable and fully satisfied. If possible I’d like to meet the subject and take photos. If that’s not feasable (the subject is deceased or the portrait is a surprise gift) I’ll ask you to send me any photos you have of the person or people (families, children, board of directors, etc.) After exploring the photos I’ll contact you with ideas, thoughts and suggestions.
The Sketch Once we have decided on an appropriate size, setting or background and discussed any and all details regarding the portrait I will begin the sketch or drawing (a “sketch” may sound rough, but it will be quite detailed). I may send you a number of “thumbnail” or rough sketches if we want to explore various ideas. We’ll talk again after you have the sketches to iron out any details or concerns you might have. I will always try to explain my reasoning for any directions, or approaches I might suggest the portrait take. You will always know precisely what you will be getting. Once you are comfortable with the sketch I’ll begin the painting.
The Painting Sometimes a simple painting will only take three weeks, but usually a month is required for a beautifully rendered portrait. I will be using any photos I took as well as any you have provided. Sitting is not required but a visit with the subject is always nice. My process is fairly direct: I work on stretched canvas or linen in oils. The size of the portrait can be anywhere from 12 inches to eleven feet on a side (my smallest and largest to date). I will work from the sketches we decided on together and I sometimes use charcoal, pencil or projections and chalk to transfer the sketch to canvas. My oil paints (and canvas materials) are of the finest quality and my methods ensure a long lifespan for the work (estimated at hundreds of years if treated properly). I will contact you for delivery of the finished painting and can help arrange for framing if desired. IMPORTANTLY: changes can always be made, so rest assured you will be happy.
My fees are based on my 40 years as an artist and reflects my taste and discipline in providing my clients with only the finest value. I have always been able to satisfy every one of my clients. I do not charge strictly based on the size of the painting, but more on the complexity of the composition. Size matters to some extent and paintings under 24” on a side will be slightly less expensive than larger ones. Paintings with one or two people will be similarly priced whereas paintings with larger groups or complicated backgrounds, or including numerous objects tend to be a little higher. The average price is $20,000 to $30,000. I’d be happy to discuss any terms you’d like me to consider.
The canvas and all copyrights are completely yours once my fee has been paid. The only stipulation I request is that I be able to use the work in my portfolio, but I have clients who wish to remain anonymous and I honor all such requests.
Any special requests are always welcome. I hope you will contact me to further your dreams for a fine oil portrait that will last for generations.
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