Mediums used for commissioned work:
Watercolor and Gouache in combination: Watercolor is a transparent medium and is generally used for the background, gouache (pronounced gwash) is an opaque, water-based medium and is used for the portrait. This type of painting is done on an acid-free watercolor paper and must be framed under glass to protect it.
Egg Tempera: This is another opaque, water-based medium. Egg tempera paintings are done on a hardwood panel and are generally varnished when completed. They do not have to be framed under glass and have the look of an oil painting when finished. The price of such work is generally more than the watercolor/gouache portraits because they take longer to complete.
Oil: I generally prefer not to work in this medium, but would consider it under certain circumstances, for instance, in order to do a companion painting for a portrait previously rendered in this medium. Again, the price of an oil portrait is more due to the increased time for the execution of such a work. Oil paintings do not need to be put under glass.
Charcoal: These drawings are done on an acid-free pastel paper. The paper comes in several tints of soft gray. Color samples could be sent to the client for making a paper selection. The price of a charcoal portrait is less than that of a color work.
Regardless of the medium used, all materials are of the highest quality. I use only lightfast colors, meaning that the colors will not fade or change over time. All papers and painting surfaces are acid-free and will not deteriorate with age. With reasonable care, the painting should last indefinitely.
Size: Usually between 16 x 20 and 20 x 24. I can make the portrait any size the client wants, however. Companion portraits can be made identical in size, but my preference is to make each portrait the dimensions that look best for that particular piece.
Procedure: I work from photographs, and I generally prefer to take my own pictures when possible. I can work from a client’s photo if it is of sufficient quality. I prefer not to do color portraits from a black and white photo, but can do so if no other option exists. Because of the difficulty of this, an additional charge will be added to such commissions. A non-refundable deposit is required before I begin a portrait, and full payment must be made before the portrait is delivered.
Pricing: Generally, portraits range in price from $1,000 - $10,000. The cost is determined by several factors. The base price is for a bust (head and shoulders) with a simple background. The cost goes up when a more complicated background, hands, or patterned clothing are included. A full-length portrait is at least triple the price of a bust. As mentioned earlier, the medium is another factor in pricing. All prices are for the painting only and do not include framing.
Timeline: The usual completion time after selecting a photograph from which to work is approximately 6 months. Under certain conditions this can be considerably less, although I generally do not accept portraits on a deadline. However, if the client is in an extreme rush, this can sometimes be accommodated. Ordinarily, a tight deadline would involve an additional charge.
General information: I do not accept group portraits. I prefer not to do double portraits (two faces in one picture), and the price when I do is at least as much as two individual portraits (there is no “two-for-one” discount) and may sometimes exceed that amount due to the degree of difficulty. A contract will be provided spelling out all details including size, price, medium, timeline, payment schedule, etc. If long-distance travel is involved, the client will be responsible for travel expenses.