Commissioning a Portrait- What’s the Process?

Portraits are a wonderful way to honor those you love. They capture a person at a beautiful moment in time and allow you to cherish that moment for years on end. 

So what is the process of commissioning a portrait with me like? Besides being super exciting, here are a few basic details to know:

  1. My primary medium is oil on canvas.

  2. I work from a photo.   If you have a source photo you love, as long as it is clear and well-lit, I can use that. Or, I can shoot photos of your loved one and we can choose from there.

    In my opinion, candid, informal source photos make for the best portraits because they capture the subject’s personality more than a posed image.

  3. After you have chosen your source photo and we have agreed to start the project, I generally ask for 2-4 months to complete the painting.

  4. I ask for a 50% deposit to begin the project. The balance is due upon your approval of the finished painting.
  1. The final painting will be delivered to you unframed. If you would like to hang it unframed, I am glad to wire it for hanging. Otherwise, your framer will wire the piece for you. 

Now that you know the basics, what’s next?

I would recommend you take a look take a look at my previous work. Do you like my style and approach to the painting? Every portrait artist has a unique voice. Does my voice resonate with you?

If so, the next step is an initial consultation.

We will have a chat and talk about the loved one you would like to honor with a portrait. What aspects of your loved one’s personality are you hoping come across in the image? What’s the overall feeling you want the painting to convey? Do you have any specific colors you want to use? Etc.

After talking, if we both think it’s a project I would be a good fit for, we can discuss what size of painting you would like and I can send you a quote. If you approve the price, we will then agree on a source photo and map out a timeline for delivery. I will then send you a contract that details what we have agreed upon.

Once the contract has been executed and the deposit paid, the fun begins!

I will start painting the portrait of your loved one.

Throughout the process, I will keep you updated on how the painting is progressing.

Once I get the painting to a point of completion, it’s time for you to take a look.

If you are local to Charlotte, NC, I’d love for you to come by my studio and look at the painting in person. If you are not local, I will send you photos.

At this point, it’s time to chat again. How do you feel about the painting? Do you agree with the likeness? Is there anything you would like me to enhance or change?

If you require any enhancements, I will make those and then send you images again for final approval. Once you have approved the painting, I will allow it adequate time to dry, and then apply a final varnish. This seals the painting, protecting it dust and dirt.

Once the varnish has dried, we will arrange a time for pickup or delivery.

The painting is then yours to enjoy and cherish! It is my hope that the portrait will bring your family joy for years to come, as it is passed down through generations.

I hope this gives you an understanding of the portrait commissioning process. Of course if you have further questions, please email me at Claire(at)clairejacobsart(dot)com. I’m glad to help.

Or if you are ready to start the process of commissioning a portrait, email me at Claire(at)clairejacobsart(dot)com.

I’m so excited to take this journey with you!

Thanks for reading.

~ Claire

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