The portrait painting process begins with a discussion between me and the client to determine the mood, setting, size, and price of the portrait.
I prefer to hold a brief photographic session to get good reference material. Taking my own photos is the ideal process. This allows me to set up the lighting, mood and to get a feel for the personality of the subject. My relationship with the client and portrait subject helps me understand and depict who the subject is. Subsequent to the photo session, I will then select several photographs to be used as references and discuss them with the client. In many cases I will ask the client, if possible to have a sitting session at the beginning and end of the portrait process.
Upon the client's approval of the proposed composition along with payment of a deposit, I will then proceed with the portrait at my studio. Eight weeks is usually sufficient to complete a typical work, but there are a lot of variables to consider so gifts should be planned well in advance.
Prior to delivery, a “rough” or “in process” image of the work will be sent for any comments or adjustments the client may have. The balance due would be paid at time of delivery.
If the client cannot sit for my photo reference session or they desire a posthumous portrait, I will discuss a selection of the client's images to see which would work best for a painting.