Painting Commissions FAQ 

Do I need to come in and sit for a portrait?

Because of time constraints, I usually prefer to paint and draw from photos as a reference source. Changes, adjustments, picture combinations are normally not a problem and by utilizing these techniques I can create a portrait of either person or animal that is special and unique.

What types of photos are best for you to work from?

Any clear, in focus, favorite photo can be used as a reference. Pet or child photos are best if the camera is at eye level with the subject. For example if you are photographing a small dog or toddler, it is best to either have them up to your eye level or you get down on the floor to theirs.

Keep in mind that “up close and personal” is often the best reference photo for me. The details are larger and thus, more clear to see. Natural lighting is the best light, direct flash lighting is the worst. If you need to use flash, try to have it bounce off a wall or use it only as a fill flash in a shadow situation.

Old family photos of parents and grandparents can be wonderful subject matter for portrait gifts. Copies of the painted or drawn portraits can be easily made for other family members too.

How do you price a portrait commission?

As in any skilled art commission prices vary depending on the work and size of the finished piece. Other variables can be the medium, (oil painting or pencil drawing) how much detail can be pulled from the reference material, and the looseness or tight details of the finished piece.

How much would a pencil drawing cost?

A 7 x 5 inch head portrait of a dog may be as little as 40 dollars. A 14 x 11 pencil drawing of a person’s portrait starts at $150.

What would I expect to pay for an oil painting of my dog, cat or other pet?

14 x 11 single pet portrait oil painting starts at $200.

How much might it cost for portrait of myself, or a relative?

A 20 x 16 inch adult or child portrait, with photo realistic detail, usually starts at about $1100.

Exact detail is not that important to me, could you possibly paint a likeness that is looser or less detailed for a smaller budget?

Depending on the reference source, I can often paint a more painterly portrait, with a bit fewer of the finer details, for about half the cost of the more classic portraiture.

How long will my portrait take to complete?

This depends on many variables. Pencil drawings usually take much less time than oil paintings. I normally complete work on a first come, first served basis. As soon as I have spoken to you, received the reference photo and deposit and the work is agreed upon, I can usually give you a time frame from two weeks to two months, depending on what work that still needs to be completed for other clients whom have contracted ahead of you.

I really try my best, to complete things in time for special events, birthdays, Christmas and such, if at all possible.

Will I be satisfied, and if I am not, am I obligated to pay for something I don’t like?

I only accept portrait commissions, where I feel that I can produce a portrait that will make you happy. Other than a small percentage deposit, you are under no obligation to pay for a work you are unsatisfied with. And happily, this has not happened in the past 20 years.

In fact my past clients are my best advertisement. I am happy to offer a discount on future work, and will offer you a small credit percentage to any referral that leads to another commission. Contact me to let me know of a referral or have them let me know that you referred them.