Commissioning a fine portrait should be an enjoyable and creative collaboration with
the artist. Toward
that goal, we provide this overview of the usual steps in the process.
1. Select the Artist
MastersofPortraitArt.com is pleased to bring you some of America's
foremost portrait painters all renowned artists who
have painted kings, presidents and prime ministers, as well
as leaders of the world's leading corporations, universities
Each artist works in a distinctive and highly personal style.
As you browse through the examples of the artists' work included
in this site, you will find yourself responding to one or
two of the artists more than the others. This response is
the first essential step in deciding which artist will be
best for your particular project
2. Fill out our Request Information
Please fill this out fully, checking off the artist(s) that
most interests you.
We will contact you to further determine your needs
and thoughts regarding a portrait. Once the artist selection
is narrowed down and we've spoken with the artist to determine
their interest and availability for the project, we will put
you in touch with them so you can speak with them personally.
From this point on, you will be working directly with the
artist although we are always available for questions.
3. Initial Communication with
Initially there will most likely be phone and/or email communications
with the artist. Depending on location considerations, you
might even have preliminary meetings at the artist's studio.
During this phase, you and the artist will work together to
determine details of the commission. Is the portrait to be
formal or informal? What will the subject wear? What will
appear in the background? Precisely what size will the canvas
be? What might make a desirable color scheme? Where will it
hang? The artist will lead you through these essential questions.
The successful outcome of the portrait begins to take shape.
You and the artist will also decide on a schedule and location
for the portrait preparation and sittings.
4. The Commissioning Agreement
Most artists will have some type of commission agreement which
sets forth the details and conditions of the project and the
amount of deposit. The percent of deposit can vary depending
on the artist.
5. The Sittings and Preparation
Here, each artist will employ differing methodology. One artist
might conduct a thorough photographic sitting, to which the
subject is invited to bring a variety of clothing ensembles,
while another might work more from life. A variety of poses
is attempted, and various experimentations are made to find
the most advantageous and flattering lighting.
At a subsequent sitting, this exploratory step may be refined.
Now the artist, upon reflection, has decided on one (or, at
the most, two) desirable compositions. These final approaches
are now refined. The lighting is enhanced and fine-tuned.
The final decisions are made as to apparel and props. The
final conception and form of the painting begins now to emerge.
The artist will make color sketches and drawings as needed.
At the conclusion of these preliminary sittings, the artist
will have amassed a considerable body of reference material
for later development back in the studio.
6. The Studio Work
Again, each artist approaches the task differently. Some will
begin the final canvas at the subject's location, only to
refine the work later in the privacy of the studio. Another
artist will wait until he returns to the studio to begin making
the final design decisions. In every case, however, there
will now follow a period of intense studio work during which
the painting begins to assume its final qualities.
7. The Completion
Each artist has their own method regarding completion and
approval of the portrait. This can take place at the subject's
location, or in the artist's studio.
After all the finishing touches are complete, the painting
is now ready for delivery and final hanging.