The Process

More often than not, my clients give me the freedom to decide on most aspects of the commissioned artwork. Sometimes, though, they will have certain preferences for the piece and I will follow their lead.

If you are happy to get started and let the process unfold, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Here are some things to decide when commissioning a fine art portrait:

  • life sittings or from photographs
  • size
  • medium

Your portrait can be painted from life, from photographs, or a combination of both.

I personally prefer to paint from life. But sometimes my clients don’t have the time to sit, as a portrait like this would require 6-7 sittings of around 2 hours each, while a portrait like this would need at least 10. Alternatively, there is the option of a life study in oils which would only require up to 6 hours in total.

The sittings are neither too boring, nor hard. All of my sitters, including children as young as 7, claim to have enjoyed being painted, and even dogs have endured sitting for a portrait! A lot of the time we chat about this and that, while I work.

A portrait commission from a photograph is quite different. Usually large detailed paintings of children call for the use of photographs. The same applies to group portraits, although life sittings in both cases are also possible. For a posthumous portrait commission clients will of course need to provide me with photos.

If possible, I like to take photos myself, combining the photo-session with sketching. However, you might have a very special photograph that you would like me to base the painting on, and I am happy to go along with your wishes.

Once the photographs are chosen, I’ll work on the composition and send you a couple of mock-ups by email. We’ll discuss these and, once the composition is finalised, I will proceed to paint.

It is also possible to combine life sittings with reference to photographs, for a variety of practical reasons.

The page on pricing will give you some idea of how the size and medium of a portrait commission influence the price.

Hope this is helpful!

To commission a portrait or if you have further questions, please contact me.