Having a portrait painted is a special event in one's life. Few
people ever have more than one in a lifetime. Plan to take your
time in the selection process as this is an important event. If
you're attracted to an artist's work, but don't see an example
of the type of portrait you'd like, check with them because they
may have what you're seeking, but just didn't happen to put it
in their portfolio.
After reviewing the artists carefully and narrowing your search,
contact the artist. Ask questions and request more information
or samples if you feel this is necessary.
Travel & Artist
Each artist has their own policies and procedures. However, in
many cases, the artist travels to your location and may stay anywhere
from one to several days. Some prefer to stay in a hotel, but
other times a client's guest room or house is used. Most artists
travel nationally and even internationally for a client, but some
prefer to operate only locally. Travel and accomodation fees are
normally extra, but a few artists include them in their portrait
Price & Budget
Most of our artists show at least a starting price, others have
a full price schedule and a few have chosen to omit prices from
their pages altogether. For those who show price information,
you can get a quick overview by referring to our Locale
& Fees Index or Interactive
When agreeing to a commission, it's a good idea to have a contract
with the price, a description of the portrait and the terms in
writing. A deposit from one-third to fifty-percent is normal and
this is usually collected at the intial preparation or sitting.
Some artists who are very booked will charge a retainer (perhaps
10%) to put you on their schedule, with the balance of the deposit
due at the preparation appointment.
& the Setting
There are no hard and fast rules, however, avoid garish colors
and loud prints. Neutral tones such as black, brown, white, cream,
navy, burgundy and beige will not be tiring to the eye. However,
that does not mean you can't wear yellow, pink or other colors
colors convey moods, so think about the mood you'd like.
Also, choosing clothes with a classic style will insure that your
portrait will not later look dated.
Consider your lifestyle and where the portrait will hang in making
the choice of a formal or informal look. Though outdoor portraits
are normally considered less formal, there are some that are actually
quite formal. Conversely, an indoor portrait could be quite casual.
It's a combination of factors, including the clothing, setting
and character of the subject.
Strasburg clothes have long been very popular for children's portraits.
You can check out some of their selections with a web search.
Some other online places to look for children's clothing are
Dapper Lads, Rags
Land and Assunta
Anichini. However, there are many other online children's
clothing sites on the web.
Delivery of your portrait is an exciting moment. Some artists
deliver personally and others ship the painting after you've approved
it from a photo, transparency or digital image. Most artists will
make requested changes before delivery, a few do not, so it's
a good idea to ask before you sign a contract. It is usually at
this point that the final payment is due.