16” x 20” … $1800
20” x 24” … $2200
24” x 36” … $3300
30” x 40” … $4400
36” x 48” … $5500
Special fees include consultation, photo shoot, hand painted oil portrait, and in home delivery. There is a 50% deposit with the balance due upon delivery and a 20% fee for each additional subject. Custom sizes are available upon request.
I have friends who have had an awkward experience while “shopping” for a portrait and more often who have no familiarity at all with having a portrait commissioned. Many of these felt that they really liked the idea of having a portrait done but figured it was too pricey, inconvenient, or afraid that they would be disappointed with the results. But after understanding my pricing and procedures they were much more comfortable with continuing with the commission.
Prospective customers have contacted me by telephone, email… even Facebook. For many people this is a big hurdle. It may be a fear of getting on a “prospect list” and subsequently being bombarded with “do it now” emails, monthly specials, or a host of other junk mail and telemarketing style sales techniques. I have never done it and never will.
I will often get a “quote for a portrait” request but I usually decline to fix a price to a project before having an opportunity to get a clear picture of what we (my client and I) hope to accomplish. Instead, I like to schedule a time- after work, Sunday afternoon, or anytime convenient to sit down at the kitchen table (yours or mine) for a half hour to explore the ins and outs of the proposed project. If the customer lives more than a car drive away I will complete the “kitchen table” meeting over the telephone.
Every portrait that leaves my studio is special — a unique customer, a unique subject, even a unique wall that it will hang on. During this meeting we will discuss the various aspects of the portrait: content, size, clothing, etc. to find what unique characteristics your portrait will have. If the portrait will be painted posthumously, I love to hear stories about the individual while we look through reference photos. I value this opportunity to get acquainted and find out who my subject is and what my customers are expecting. Before I leave, I make a specific quote for the portrait, work out a payment timetable, and schedule a time for a first sitting/ photo shoot. It might be nice if everyone that contacted me for a portrait had a blank check, but I must admit, I enjoy exceeding expectations while working with a specific budget.
I like to schedule a couple of hours for the first sitting. This sitting may include taking reference photographs, sketching, and developing the composition/ mood of the portrait. My clients will testify that I am extremely patient during this step, particularly with children. My philosophy is that an extra hour or two to get the pose just right really pays off in the painting that will hang on the wall for a lifetime- or more. I’m ultimately trying to acquire as much quality reference material as possible so when I get back to my studio I’ll be prepared to put together a compositional sketch to present to the client.
Before my brushes touch the canvas I execute sketches to obtain my client’s approval. I will provide at least two sketches: one to display the overall composition and another to demonstrate the size of the head. These sketches help in making sure that the customer and I are on the same page and work out potential issues before the painting process gets too far along. This step also helps me gain the confidence of the commissioner.
Painting the Portrait
Over the next six months or so I will execute the portrait. The bulk of the work is done from reference photos but I may ask my subject to come in and sit for a bit while I finish up. I have an open door policy in my studio for my customers so they can feel welcome to come by and see the portrait as it develops. When I am finished I will call to schedule a final approval meeting.
Final Approval / Delivery
When the portrait has been completed I invite the client in to my studio to give the final thumbs-up. Subsequently, the painting is varnished and framed (if applicable), delivered and hung on your wall.