There are several options for having a portrait painted. A common shortcut is sending a photo to a portrait artist who then reproduces the photo as a painting.
You don’t want a painting that looks like it is done from a photograph because the colors are often times generic and plane while the figures looks flat. I focus on making the portraits as realistic as possible by working from real life in my downtown studio.
The process consists of an initial meeting ideally in my studio to decide upon the subject matter. If that is not possible, we can speak over the phone or wherever is most convenient. We will go over examples of beautifully painted portraits from famous painters to get an idea of what your tastes might be as far as the setup and look of the work. We will then do a session where I sketch a preliminary pencil drawing or drawings to further establish an understanding of the desired portrait composition. Once the composition is established, we may begin the sittings at the sitter’s convenience.
Ideally, a session last 3 hours with 5 minute breaks every 25 minutes. It normally takes me between 10 and 15 sittings to complete a portrait. During the sessions, I love to talk to the sitter and listen to music the sitter desires because I understand that for some, the idea of sitting for a portrait isn’t fun. It is also okay to take breaks outside of the break period and to stretch whenever needed. I want the sitter to be comfortable.