I like to communicate and meet with the sitter or the family, to get a better sense for what they desire in the portrait. I would encourage the client to bring some images of other portraits or works of art they admire. That gives me a sense of their particular taste and a direction in which to approach the commission. The setting, clothing and mood are also discussed with the client. Depending on the age, schedule and temperament of the sitter, they may or may not be able to sit for a suggested session time of 2-3 hours (and for a portrait from life I would ask for 3-7 sittings). I have completed a number of paintings where a child sat for the portrait successfully, so it can be done!
When consistent sittings are not possible, I would use photographic reference to complete the painting. At the start the project, I paint a small sketch from life. That gives me an opportunity to meet the subject, learn about their character, observe individual features and make necessary adjustments to the pose and composition.
In addition to the sketch, I take some photographs, sometimes to use as back up reference or to substitute sitting if the sitter lives far away or is not available. The sketch gives me a good idea of the flesh tones and the lighting for the project and the photographs capture possible compositions. After discussing the project with clients I will have a good sense for the kind of information I need to gather.
Lighting, gesture and expression - all must be available through the photos. That is one of the reasons why I would not usually recommend painting from an existing photograph. Once the sitter and I are comfortable with the sketch an we have communicated composition and all relevant elements like the choice of background, gesture, and accessories the work on the large painting begins with dimensions confirmed by client. This is when the 40% of the payment is due - it allows me to commit my time to the project and cover the investment of materials.
The whole process will take up to a month to complete and longer for complex projects or as per sitter’s schedule. The painting will be delivered unframed, varnished. Framing varies drastically in style and price and is selected and purchased by the client once the painting is completed - to suit the work. I am happily available to advise on framing choices and can refer to a reliable framer in town. I use quality canvas or panel and exceptional quality oil paints.
Most paintings seen on my website (and probably why you have liked my work) are done from life, in natural light. I do prefer to paint from life as this allows for most lively, accurate portrait and a deeper representation of the human being behind the surface.
I ask for a 40% non-refundable deposit once the client commits to the process. The remaining 60% is due immediately upon delivery of the final painting. Client pays for shipping if local delivery is not an option.
Head and shoulders
Head/shoulders (no hands, 16”X20 - ”18”x24”, 400x500 mm)
Three quarter length (includes hands and environment per request, 20x24"- 26"x36", 500x600mm - 650x950mm)
Full body, size as required per composition
There is an additional charge for each additional sitter of 50% of painting’s price (based on size)
Additional charge depending on the project, from $500 if added to a person's portrait and from $1000 for pet only.