Representing Some of Today's Leading Masters of Portrait Painting


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 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 and institutions.

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 Form
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 the Artist
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.