There are five easy steps to follow in creating a good portrait. With the help of the artist, the client will be able to make an informed choice at each step of the process.
1. Defining the Project
To begin, the artist will help you determine what kind of portrait is best for you, whether it is a head and shoulders, half figure, three quarter figure or full figure. Together you will discuss the budget for the painting, the time frame for completion of the work, and to establish the best procedure for creating the portrait. Generally the artist prefers to work from live sittings but will often begin the work from reference photographs.
2. Selecting a Composition
Choosing the right composition is an important decision. You and the artist will work together to determine what kind of portrait you want. Deciding if the pose will be seated or standing, what clothes will be worn, and if there will be a plain background or if other elements or objects will be included in the background will have an important effect on the result. This is also generally the time to discuss a mutually agreeable time frame to discuss how many sittings and a general time frame when a sketch or photo will be approved.
A sitting generally lasts two hours. The sitter sits for twenty minutes, rests for five or ten minutes then sits again. Often during posing music or books on tape are listened to.
4. Presenting the Portrait and determining final details
Before the portrait is completed the artist and client will sit down and view the portrait together. This is the time that the client has to present any comments or concerns he or she may have before the painting is varnished and installed in the frame. Once all the adjustments are made the artist will assist the sitter with decisions of framing, lighting and whether or not a plaque will be installed in displaying the portrait. If needed, the artist can also assist with shipping of your artwork.
5. Installation and Care of your Portrait
The artist makes it easy for you to care for your portrait. Once installed, the artist will stay in touch with you so if cleaning, varnishing or even restoration is needed (should the painting ever get damaged), you’ll be able to discuss the best way to proceed.