5Portrait & Other Commissions
I only take a certain number of clients per year. I accept a maximum of 12 portrait paintings, 10 smaller drawings and 5 further pieces for the Christmas/holiday deadline. Paintings usually take 4-6 months to complete, and drawings take 2-3 months. Timelines can be longer depending on the complexity of the painting and my current workload. If you have a firm deadline, the sooner you contact me the better, so I can ensure your piece will be completed in time.
I work with clients around the globe. If you’re local to Ottawa (where I’m currently based) and are commissioning a portrait, I prefer to take my own reference photos under most circumstances. If you are further afield, we can discuss travel arrangements, although this is currently limited due to COVID-19. Travel within Ontario and some of Quebec is possible, depending on the circumstances.
If you wish to provide your own reference photos, or if it is a posthumous portrait, I have very specific requirements for the photo materials. If your materials don’t meet these standards, there will be a surcharge as poor reference photos require many extra hours of work to create from.
There are no minimum size requirements, as every commission varies. For portrait paintings, I typically won’t go smaller than 9” x 12” and for portrait drawings, usually no smaller than 8” x 10”. Paintings can be as large as you desire (within reason), but drawings will be a maximum of 24” x 30”.
Prices vary depending on complexity, subject matter and medium. Portrait drawings start at $750 for an 8” x 10” cameo (head & shoulders) and go up from there, depending on the number of people, background and quality of reference material.
Portrait paintings start at $2500 for a cameo in the smaller sizes (usually 14” x 18” and under). Multiple figures, size, quality of reference material and elaborate backgrounds increase the price. Official portraits for institutions and corporations start at $25,000 and are typically around 40” x 50” in size.
I am also open to commissions of subjects other than portraits, such as pets and still life objects. Prices vary for these projects, but typically start in the $450 range and go up from there, again depending on size, complexity and medium.
Contract, Payment & Process: I provide a basic contract at the beginning of every commission for both parties to sign that states the scope and nature of the work along with timelines and payment schedule. Payment is usually a 50% non-refundable deposit (unless the contract is cancelled before work begins) or 25% for works over $20,000. I update the client throughout the process with photos of the work so that feedback and adjustments can be made. For larger works, sketches and colour studies will be provided to give you an idea of what the final product will look like. Major adjustments to the design after these sketches and colour studies have been approved will incur extra fees. The final payment is due upon completion, along with any extra costs such as shipping, framing or insurance that we have decided upon. Pieces will always be shipped freight in a very sturdy box or crate.
A Note on Reference Materials: ideal reference materials are taken with a DSLR or point & shoot camera and lit with natural light from the front or side. The image should be high resolution (300dpi or higher). The subject should have a reasonably neutral expression: big toothy grins or moody photos tend not to translate well into flattering portraits unless that is very specifically what you’re going for. Images that are lower resolution, taken with a camera phone, taken with flash, or poorly lit (weak indoor lighting or back lit) will incur an extra fee.
Let’s get started
Please fill in the contact form below with the project you’re envisioning including subject and preferred size, whether you’re providing your own reference materials or not, and your budget if that’s a deciding factor. I’ll respond within 2 business days and together we’ll create a plan, timeline and budget for your new piece of art. I look forward to working with you!