Portraits take approximately 40 hours to paint. From the time the composition is confirmed until the completion, allow one month.
Portraits are individual commissions. Prices are set based on the painting size. Please contact me for a price quote. A 50% deposit is due before painting begins, the balance is due upon delivery of the painting.
I paint both from life and also utilize reference photographs to produce my commissioned paintings, depending on the subject and location of the subject. For example, it is not possible to make an animal sit for a portrait for 40 hours! These days it is also not possible to get a person to sit that long, so sometimes I will start from life and take a reference photo to continue the process, then call the subject in at the end to finish the piece.
I prefer to take the photographs myself unless geography or timing present an issue. In this way, I can ensure the correct variety and type of photographs. This also enables me to familiarize myself with the personality of the subject.
In some instances, particularly when proximity is a factor, paintings can be done from photographs provided by the client which is a good option for memorial paintings. The cost of the photography session is included in your estimate. There is no discount in the portrait price if you provide the photographs since there is often more work involved to piece together images for a painting. If you are providing reference photographs, please see photo tips below for some helpful suggestions.
Once I have all the photos, I crop and alter them to create a choice of compositions. Then I establish a page on my website where you can see the compositions and you make the final choice for your portrait.
Take photos in natural light. Don’t use a flash! Flash takes away dimension by flattening shadows and highlights. The best situation is to photograph the subject near a window or outside.
At least some of the photographs should be close up – the subject’s face should fill the frame of your camera.
Take more photos than you think you need and send them all to me. If you are shooting film – shoot an entire roll of 24 or even 36 exposures. If you are shooting digital images shoot many pictures. You can email me samples or mail me a disc. Please provide at least 10 images. The more detailed photographs I have, the better the portrait will be.
Try to get as much sharp detail as you can, the photographs must be in focus.
Don’t worry about getting the background you want behind your pet in the photograph you take. The background is typically altered to enhance the painting and elements can be integrated from different photos.
Try to get the animal to look up into the light so their eyes are highlighted. You can do this by having someone else play with them or feed them treats while you take the photo.
Take some photos that focus on your pet’s personality and some that focus more on the color and texture of their fur.
It is helpful for me to have a written description of a paragraph or two of your pet’s personality. Alternatively, you could provide me with a video or DVD.