Commissions

Thank you for your interest in a commissioned portrait. I paint portraits of either people and pets (or both together!) in watercolor, gouache, ink and wash, or mixed media. To commission a portrait, reach out to me with your requirements and we’ll get the details sorted from there.

Please note that I do not accept rush requests nor work on commissions during December, so order gift portraits well in advance of the date you plan to gift them. My queue can be a few months long.

Standard Sizes and Base Prices

  • 8 x 10 ink and watercolor sketch – $175
  • 8 x 10 watercolor/gouache/mixed media – $250
  • 11 x 14 watercolor/gouache/mixed media portrait – $550
  • 16 x 20 watercolor/gouache/mixed media portrait – $850
  • 22 x 30 watercolor/gouache/mixed media portrait – $1,500

Base prices are for a single subject, either full body or head and shoulders composition. For group portraits, add 75% of the base price for the second subject and 50% for the third or additional subjects. Framing is not included. Previous clients get a non-transferable 10% discount (not applicable to framing or shipping).

Considerations

Some things to consider:

  • Smaller sizes are less suitable for full body compositions – you will hardly be able to see enough facial detail to identify the subject in such compositions.
  • Multiple subjects typically require a larger size painting to allow for good composition and effective presentation.

Whatever your needs, just ask; we can discuss and settle on details that will ensure your satisfaction.

The Process

This is the standard process for commissioning a portrait from me:

  1. When you decide to commission a portrait, we’ll discuss and settle on the details.
  2. I will send you an email with the details and request your portrait deposit.
  3. Once I receive your deposit, I will assign your project to the next available spot in my portrait queue.
  4. When I begin work on your portrait, I will email you with progress updates and incorporate your feedback as the work progresses.
  5. When the portrait is completed, I’ll send you a final image and request approval.
  6. Upon receiving your approval, I’ll send an invoice for the balance due (including shipping and other agreed-to additional charges).
  7. Once the balance is paid, I will prepare your portrait for studio pickup, delivery, or shipping as appropriate. Shipped portraits are tracked and insured in accordance with agreed-to terms.

If you have any questions about the process, let me know!

Advice for Reference Photos

I can work with either high quality prints or digital images. My preference is digital images; if all you have is a print, I suggest that you scan (or have it scanned) so that you can provide me with a digital file of the image. I cannot do a good job with poor quality photos, so please make sure your reference photos meet the following criteria:

  • In reasonably sharp focus, with the subject in the same pose you want to see in the portrait. Candid photos often offer much more interesting portrait opportunities than stiffly posed format photos. They tend to allow personality to shine through more expressively.
  • Taken in bright light, preferably outside or next to a well-lit window. Photos taken indoors with a flash are generally flat and lack interesting shadows so please avoid those.
  • Printed images must be at least 5 x 7 and relatively free of scratches or other damage. Digital images should be the best quality and largest size possible for your camera. If your reference photo was taken with a mobile phone, send the highest possible quality/size of image.
  • In accordance with copyright ethics and law, I will not work from photos taken by someone other than you unless you have obtained a written release from the photographer or their representative which specifically permits me to use their images as references.

For pet portraits, it helps to have several supplemental photos besides the main reference to cross-check markings, coat color, and personality/expression. The supplemental photos do not have to conform as closely to the guidelines.

Need a photo session? Providing quality reference photos can be a challenge. Sometimes having me take the reference photos is the best solution. I offer this service free if your location is within 30 miles of my studio (beyond that, a fee applies to cover driving time and fuel). I will provide you with the digital files of photos from our session that I recommend as portrait references.

Quality Materials

All paintings are done on heavyweight 100% cotton watercolor paper using professional quality pigments.

Payment Policy and Guarantee

A deposit of 50% is required to reserve your spot in the portrait queue. No work will begin without a deposit. Deposits and portrait fees are payable with cash, check, or credit card (via PayPal). Should you decide to cancel a portrait commission before work has begun, your deposit will be refunded less a $25 administration fee. Once I begin work, deposits are non-refundable even if you cancel. I may choose to complete canceled projects for my own purposes but you will be under no further obligation in that case.

I guarantee your satisfaction with my work. If for any reason you are not satisfied, we will discuss how best to resolve the matter and I will do everything within my power to make it right.

Portrait Delivery

You may pick your completed portrait up at my studio at a mutually convenient time. Depending on my availability and your distance from me, I may be able to deliver for an additional charge based on mileage. If shipping is required, you pay the actual cost that I incur for postage and insurance or other fees plus packaging and handling.

Getting Started

The first step is to get in touch with me to chat about what you want and we’ll go from there!