A portrait is more than just capturing a likeness of a person's
physical features. A portrait is a unique blend of ones physical
appearance and inward personality captured by the artist's response to the
After the initial deposit a preliminary contract is completed. This
defines the basic commission and responsibility of expenses incurred prior
to completing the final contract.
An initial meeting is then scheduled. This will generally be at the
client's location. During this meeting several items will be accomplished:
- Meeting the client/subject
- Seeing where the portrait will hang
- Complete final contract
- First photo session
- Initial contract payment
Meeting and getting to know the subject prior to the photo session
allows the artist to become familiar with the gestures and mannerisms of
the subject. This allows the artist to capture not only the outward
features of the subject but to also capture their inner personality.
If possible it is best if the location that the portrait will hang can
be seen and photographed. This can affect background, color, and key of
the painting. This is not required in order to do the portrait but is
The final contract defining the commission and price are completed
prior to scheduling the first photo session, generally later the same
The photo session generally takes two to three hours. Many photos are
taken reflecting different poses and lighting conditions. Photos are used
by the artist as reference material during the painting of the portrait.
No single photo is used to compose the final portrait. Photos remain the
property of the artist. Initial 1/3 payment is made at the completion of
the photo session.
After the artist has reviewed the photos and after discussion with the
client a final pose and general design of portrait are agreed to and the
preliminary sketch is started. After the preliminary sketch is completed
the client reviews it. After the drawing has been approved and the second
1/3 payment is made the final painting is started. All sketches and
preliminary drawings and paintings remain the property of the artist.
The final painting is usually completed within three months after it is
started. Upon completion it is reviewed by the client and delivered to
them upon approval. Final payment is made at this time.