Representing Some of Today's Leading Masters of Portrait Painting


“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.” –Michelangelo

Group or individual portraits?
Your portrait may involved portraying multiple subjects. Some clients prefer multiple subjects in one portrait and others prefer individual portraits for each subject. The advantage of a group portraits is that the possibility to show a relationship. Whereas individual portraits allow each subject to later own their own portrait.

Mood & purpose of the painting
The ultimate purpose of the painting is the first thing to consider regarding mood.

Generally, corporate and official portraits occupy a more narrow range of mood with the subject usually depicted in business attire or a uniform, though this is not always the case. A family portrait normally allows a wider range of possible clothing and settings and could be casual to very formal. Though an outdoor portrait often tends to be informal, this is really influenced by the choice of clothing. Regardless of whether the portrait is formal or informal, avoid loud prints and choose classic attire that does not distinctly place the portrait as painted in a particular era.

Mood is affected by clothing, setting, facial expression, body position and medium. Generally, pastel portraits are considered more informal. Lastly, after the portrait is completed, the choice of a frame will also contribute to the overall mood.

Style of painting
Each artist has their own unique style. As you browse through the artists, you will get a feeling of what styles most attract you.

Amount of figure in portrait and overall dimensions

Though these are things to consider in the early stages, the final dimensions are often determined once the artist arrives for the preparation. Or, you may initially decide on a 3/4 figure, then as a result of working with the artist, decide you prefer a full figure. If there are multiple subjects in the portrait, depending on their placement in relation to each other, one might be full figured or 3/4 and another might be 1/2 figure or bust, such as when standing behind a chair.

Sometimes a client already has a frame, such as a family heirloom or antique they've purchased and the portrait must fit this frame.

Budget for the project
Some projects have a very specific budget from the start and cannot vary. For others, a range is acceptable, giving the artist more creative freedom. Let us know your needs in this area. Be aware that expenses such as artist travel and accommodations while visiting the client, crating, shipping, insurance, framing, and any applicable sales tax are generally not included in the fees and are billed to the client.

Painting medium
Generally, pastels and charcoal or graphite drawings are less expensive and also less formal. Be aware that these portraits when framed are under glass. Oil paintings will have no glass when framed and are generally considered more formal.

Most artists will give recommendations for framing style. Some have a relationship with one or more framers and will be able to recommend and/or offer framing through them before the painting is delivered or you can handle the framing yourself. Depending on your choice of frame, it could ran from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars and some hand-carved, gilt frames or antiques might run many thousands of dollars.