About Commissions

I can create a custom painting in almost any subject:  landscape, floral, still life, figure, and of course, portrait. Because I use only permanent pigments and  archival techniques, your commissioned painting can be enjoyed by future generations.

There are many reasons to commission a custom painting. Because the size of an oil painting is virtually unlimited, I can create a custom painting in a size to fill an unusual space in your home or office. The color scheme can be customized to give your room a coordinated look. By using subjects or objects that are meaningful to you, I can make sure that the painting reflects your personality and taste.

Portrait Commissions

Before you sign a portrait contract, we discuss general information, e.g., why the portrait is being commissioned, the subject, where the portrait will hang, completion deadlines, size and price, formal/informal treatment, sittings, photo reference, clothing and backgrounds, to name a few.

After we have agreed on a general treatment for the subject, including approximate size and medium, we sign a contract, and you give me a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the contract price. Then I arrange an initial photography session, to be followed by a portrait sitting.

Before the photography session, I develop ideas for the design of the painting. But during the actual session other ideas present themselves. I am always looking for gestures and expressions that seem unique to the portrait subject and do not usually decide on my final composition until I have studied the photos from the session. I then do compositional sketches of the final portrait.  If the subject is willing and able, I prefer to do most of the portrait from sittings. However, I do many portraits from photographs. I find it very helpful, at a minimum, to have at least one sitting for a color sketch before I start the portrait.  I also like to have a final sitting for the portrait.

After approval of the finished portrait and after receipt of the remaining 50% due, I varnish the oil portrait with two coats of conservation varnish. Then I arrange delivery of the painting. I also assist with framing of the portrait, if desired.

Every portrait is unique, so a definite price would be determined by a number of factors, including how much of the figure will be in the portrait and the complexity of the background.  Portraits are usually 7/8 life-size. So, a portrait including 3/4 of one figure would range from about 32" to 36" by 40" to 48". A head and shoulders portrait ranges from about 18" to 19" by 24" to 26".

Non-Portrait Commissions

Let me describe a recent commissioned painting. The client, who was familiar with my work, wanted a painting to hang in her living room.  She really liked one of my floral paintings.  But the flowers in the painting weren't meaningful to her. Since she enjoys bicycle riding, she wanted me to paint a floral including some of the summer wildflowers that are found along the roadside. She also had a photograph she especially liked of two of her grandchildren that she was hoping I could include in the composition. So I painted a large floral based loosely on the design of an existing painting, but included things that were meaningful to her.

After an initial consultation, I arrange, if practical, to meet with the client. I like to see the space where the painting will hang, discuss the subject, and decide the best way to proceed. Once we have agreed on subject, size, medium, due date and price, you will sign a simple contract for the custom painting and give me a 50% non-refundable deposit. The balance due, including any applicable sales tax, framing, or other charges, is paid when the painting is delivered. Prices on a commissioned non-portrait painting are usually about 25% higher than a non-commissioned painting of the same size.

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