Here are some guidelines for working with me to achieve a commissioned portrait that you will love.
1. Provide a photograph that is crisp,clear and has a strong light source. A good photo for painting is not a snapshot. Expert lighting will give the face dimension and add interest.
There are professional photographers available at places like Blink that take 100 photos for a nominal fee: $25 for 10 minutes + $10 a photo.
2. While some artists use a projector to transfer a photo to the canvas, I like to use a grid and hand draw the face. I find that a 2:1 ratio works well on my 20" x 20" canvases. The finished painting is classically inspired but has a contemporary look because the square canvas is unexpected. Negative space frames the face so it commands attention.
3. The third step in my process is a line drawing that maps the key elements of the face on the canvas as well as the position of the head. How the face is placed on the canvas will be discussed with you in advance.
Think of this as a cartoon. It should have the look of the subject, but it is not a fully realized drawing and will not convey the essence, or personality of the subject.
4. The grisaille is the where the rubber meets the road. This is a tonal painting that sets the values of the face for the addition of color. I like to use burnt sienna because it is a flesh tone. At this point the client should see the face of the subject in the painting.
I like to assess the results with the client at this stage by direct conversation. The number of changes will have been agreed in advance per the contract.
If after changes have been made, and the client is still not satisfied, the project will be terminated. The 30% fee is non -refundable.
5. Color is the final stage.
A commissioned work is going to be hung in a room in your home. Where the painting will be placed gives me information about the colors to use for the background and clothing. These will be discussed at this stage and agreed upon.