The portrait process

Although each client’s goals and desires for their portrait are unique, the process usually follows the steps below. At every stage my goal is to make sure my clients and comfortable and satisfied.

Consultation — an initial client meeting to discuss goals, expectations and desires for the painting, including what clothing, background and personal items will best convey the spirit of the sitter. Fees and timeline will also be agreed on in this meeting. A one-third deposit, non-refundable, is due upon agreement of details.

First sitting — drawings and color analysis, as well as reference photos for further development of the composition back in my studio. Sometimes a possible change in size or cropping comes about from these initial images, and will be discussed with the client before painting starts.

Presentation of composition — small scale sketches are presented to the client. Once a direction is approved a full-size sketch is done in the studio, and approved by the client prior to proceeding with the actual painting.

Grisaille review — composition is painted en grisaille, a monochrome underpainting, and shown to the client for approval prior to starting the color process.

Portrait review — when the painting is approximately 80% done. Once approved the finishing touches are applied.

Frame selection — If you desire, I will work with you to select a custom frame that suits both the painting and the display location.

Final portrait unveiling — Takes place when painting and framing are finished.

Dry-time and varnish — Oil paint is usually touch dry within a week after final application, but paint needs around six months to cure properly. Varnishing before curing can lead to problems later on. Arrangements will be made to varnish once it is safe to do so.

Because a portrait is an intimate partnership between my client and myself, clear and open communication is critical. Working directly with the client is the surest way to guarantee that , therefore the best results will come from me working directly with you, my client, to insure that your goals and desires are met and exceeded. If you are ready to start exploring the commission process please contact me now.