First There are lots of different creative options to consider when having a portrait painted, and the first meeting gives us a chance to discuss these. What size will it be? What medium do you prefer? Would you like a formal portrait, or would you like it to have a casual feel? What setting and what clothes would work best to capture the personality and character of the subject. Each of these choices helps to make your portrait individual, unique, and timeless.
Next The next step is taking the reference photos. Because my subjects are often children and animals, I usually take the photos in the home where they feel most comfortable and relaxed, although at times when the portrait has been a surprise, we have met at a favorite place like a park or the beach. If the portrait will have an outdoor setting, the weather plays a part in the planning, and I usually schedule several back up dates just in case. Also, sometimes children (and pets) just arent in the mood. So an ability to go with the flow is important.
Third Using the photos, I create one to several graphite sketches of the pose and composition for you to view and choose from that I feel best capture what you have expressed you are looking for, and the personality of the subject. I dont have you choose from the actual photos for a number of reasons. I have never painted a portrait from a photo exactly as it appeared, the camera never captures the colors as I will paint them, I often make changes in the composition, and the likeness is captured from referencing a number of photos not just one. I do however give you some of the photos to keep at the finish of the painting, as well as any sketches that Ive created.
Forth If youd like, I email progress photos for a period of time. This allows you to see the painting in stages, and lets you watch it come to life in a way. I do stop sending them about mid-way through the process though, so that there will be some surprise when you view the finished portrait. This stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Finally Ill unveil the portrait at the gallery where we can discuss corrections, if any, you feel need to be made. Although small corrections arent uncommon, Ive never had a portrait rejected, and my work is guaranteed. If youd like, while were at the gallery Ill help you choose a frame.