How to commission an oil portrait painting.
I offer a few options:
1. Painting from a live sitting at the sitters home or in my studio in Surrey.
2. Painting from Photographs or Video.
3. Some combination of sitting and photographic sources.
My portrayal service is about painting directly from the sitter. It’s what I do, and the results achieved are much more interesting and, in my opinion, of much more artistic value than a painting made from a photograph. Allow me to explain...
The relationship between painter and sitter is a key part of the creative process. By sitting for me, you are entering a long tradition of portraiture. As a portrait painter, I want to get to know you, and through that knowing, an expression of your being is rendered by me onto the canvas.
My portrayal service is much more than simply a painting of the person. Portraiture offers the sitter an engaging two-way interactive experience. It is a very personal inner journey for the sitter, with the artist as Sherpa. It is a time for the sitter to reflect on and sometimes even escape from the realities of their world for a short while. It’s actually not too dissimilar to a short holiday. After all, how often do you really give yourself time to just sit and be?
The portrait painting process itself is like an extended conversation, the manifestation of which being the painting. During the conversation, we explore the evolution of the painting together. For example, I might suggest a particular composition or element of the painting which you can chose to embrace or reject. This happens completely naturally as part of the development of the picture.
Now you may have some fears about sitting. That perhaps is the first thing you must overcome on your journey into portraiture. Firstly, let me reassure you that you are allowed to move! There may be times when I ask you to hold your head or hands in a particular (natural) way for a short time, but the way I choose to work is from repeated observation of all the nuances of your being. Moreover, I would positively encourage movement, particularly at the start of the process as I get to know you. I may also take a few photographs for reference though this is not absolutely necessary.
For longer sessions, it’s important to have breaks. Most sitters can only manage about 30 minutes without a break. You need to feel at ease and comfortable and it can take a few sittings to achieve this relaxed state of being. I work on charcoal sketches during this initial phase, and only when your relaxed state is achieved can my work on your painting start.
Painting portraits from photographs
There may be times (e.g. due to sitters availability) when it is necessary to work from photographs. It may be that you love a particular photograph, and wish to have that rendered exactly “as is” into a larger painting. This can be achieved and there are several technical options which may be worth considering.
Using modern software techniques it is possible to have a painting “effect” applied to the photo and have it printed onto canvas. A most accurate representation can be achieved at a very reasonable cost from £150 subject to size etc.
If you want a photograph hand painted in oils, then this can be achieved and I’d be happy to discuss costs which will be based on the size of work and how much modification to the original photograph is required.
Painting Children and Animals
I have painted children and pets. Pets and children can be difficult due to their inability to keep still for even a moment! But photographs can be used to augment sketch work done from observational live drawings. From these two sources a painting can be developed.
With over 20 years experience of drawing and painting the nude figure I can provide a discreet and objective personal life painting service.
Fees & Sitting
My service is £45 per hour, and a completed oil painting can be achieved from between 10 and 20 hours of sittings depending on the size and complexity of the work.
So an unframed original oil painting portrait at 50x40cm can cost from as little as £450.
Sittings can be arranged in 1-2 hour slots, or half days. I will work very hard to ensure that you are more than satisfied with the end result.
Please contact me to discuss commissions.