DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
commissioned portrait, especially the traditional kind - hand painted in oil on
canvas - is a timeless treasure. This time-tested technique captures the subtleties
of a personality in ways photographs cannot match. Sitting for a portrait is a
unique and exciting experience. It leaves fond memories for the subject and wonderful
stories for future generations. Here's a typical sequence of events showing the
succession of steps to completion:
Consultation - First, we'll discuss your expectations. We'll talk about preferences,
composition, attire, background, angles of view, size of painting, time frame,
fees, where the portrait will hang, etc. A 25% non-refundable deposit is due after
the initial consultation (see payments below for complete
Sitting - The first sitting is a key part of the custom portrait process.
It allows me to get to know the subject in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
subject will come to my studio or I can travel to his or her place (depending
on the distance, an extra charge may be required). If an in-person sitting is
not possible, I can also work from photographs that you provide.
this first session, I will ask the subject to pose and we'll try various positions
and lighting combinations. I will take pictures and possibly do a color study
to analyze skin, hair tones, etc. This normally takes a couple of hours or so.
Some of the topics of the initial consultation (attire, background, etc.) may
be refined at this point. Please note that the size originally agreed upon may
be adjusted for compositional purposes after the pose session.
Agreement - Once we agree on the scope of the project, I'll ask you to sign
an agreement describing the specifics of the commission. A second 25% non-refundable
payment will be due with this agreement.
the Portrait - After the first sitting and with your agreement as to the format
and design of the project, I'll continue working on the portrait in my studio
from the photos and my notes. You will be updated regularly during this phase.
Sitting - When the portrait is nearly finished, I'll ask the subject for a
final sitting to make any needed adjustments. Depending on the situation, additional
sittings may be needed. Final payment will be due upon completion of the painting.
Artistic Style - When painting a portrait, my goal is to create a fine piece
of representational art that reveals the mood, character and personality of the
subject. My style can best be described as a combination of traditional and expressive/impressionistic.
In other words, I try to make the painting look real (although not like a mere
photograph), as if one could reach out and touch the person. I can also paint
in the classical style - think Leonardo da Vinci or Vermeer, among others.
see samples of my work, click on the "Gallery" button above or on the
following link: Portrait Gallery. To find
out more about me and my artistic background, click on the "About" button
above or on this link: About the Artist.
Long? - Painting a portrait in oil can't be rushed. So, it may take several
weeks or even months to complete one. The timeframe can vary for two main reasons:
1) It depends on the number of pieces I'm working on at the time and 2) Oil (unlike
watercolor or acrylic) dries very slowly, and I have to wait for the painting
to be completely dry before I apply the final coat of varnish.
you can't wait that long (a special occasion, for example), see "Gift
from Photographs - Let's say you want a portrait of your grandmother who has
passed on. Send me as many photos of her as you can gather and we'll discuss the
possibilities. I can usually paint from photographs only (although a live sitter
and Insurance (not included in the price) - I can ship via Federal Express,
UPS or USPS. All paintings are insured for their full purchase price.
- To display their art, most people prefer a decorative frame that suits their
own personal tastes and interior decorating schemes. I am an artist, not an interior
decorator, so I provide my portraits without a frame. [top]
- I hand paint every portrait myself, using quality oils on stretched canvas -
see "Canvas and Stretcher Bars" two paragraphs down. If you prefer a
portrait drawn in pencil, instead of oil paint, there is another possibility -
see "Another Option" below.
- To give a uniform look to your portrait and protect it from dust (and possible
other soiling agents), I will varnish it for you. But, as I mentioned above, I
have to wait for the paint to dry first. Depending on the painting technique used
(thick layers of paint known as impasto, for example), drying time may take several
weeks or even months.
and Stretcher Bars - Stretcher bars are the wooden structure to which the
canvas is attached, usually with staples. For a standard canvas, these bars are
usually 5/8" thick. A painting done on this type of support requires a decorative
frame to be displayed on a wall.
you prefer a more minimalist/modern look, I can use what's referred to as a gallery-wrapped
canvas. With this system, the stretcher bars are 1 ½" thick. The canvas
wraps around the edges and is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame. Because
the staples are not visible from the front or the sides - and the edges are painted
- the painting does not necessarily have to have a decorative frame to be put
and Prices - The following are standard prices for common sizes:
x 20" or 20"
x 24" or 24"
10% for shipping/insurance plus 8% sales tax for California residents
are for one person, head and shoulders only, on a neutral background (usually
one color or a gradation of two or three). Prices may vary depending on the style/technique
used. Travel expenses, if needed, are not included. [top]
Orders - Other sizes are available on demand. I can also paint different backgrounds
behind the subject (such as a landscape), partial or full body poses and several
subjects in one painting (a family portrait, for example). The pricing for these
will vary depending on the size, the number of people and the complexity of the
project. If that's what you want to do, let's discuss the details.
Option: graphite on paper - I can also draw smaller, 9" x 12" or
10" x 10", black and white portraits, using lead pencils. Price: $190,
plus shipping, insurance and California sales tax, if applicable. Click on the
following links to see some of my drawings of people.
- I accept checks or cash. A 25% non-refundable deposit is due after the initial
consultation.. A second 25% non-refundable payment is due after the first sitting.
The balance is due upon completion of the painting, prior to shipping.
Certificates - A portrait makes an ideal present for a special occasion such
as a birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc. All you need to do is pay the deposit
and sign the agreement. I will then send you a personalized gift certificate to
give to the recipient. Later on, when the person to be painted is available for
a sitting, we can proceed with the process as described above.
- I retain the reproduction rights to my original artwork. Unless you tell me
otherwise in advance, I reserve the right to post the finished painting on my
website and/or to use it as advertising collateral for any promotional purposes
of my art business. The portraits I produce are intended for the personal use
of their owners. They are not to be used or reproduced for commercial purposes
of any kind by anyone - except me, as stated at the beginning of this paragraph.[top]
further details please email or call
me at 951-225-9624.