How To Commission a Portrait

Curious about how to commission a portrait? Here’s how we’d work together.

With every portrait I have two goals: 1. to create a timeless and priceless heirloom and 2. to make the process enjoyable and rewarding for you as my client. Your unique painting can portray the precious innocence of youth, celebrate a special relationship or event, or honor a life. I paint from live sittings and/or photographs.

First Meeting

In the first meeting (in person, phone, or skype) I will get a clear understanding of what you want for the portrait. We’ll discuss size, number of subjects, clothing, and setting choices. If the painting is a posthumous painting, we’ll talk about the subject so I can better know who s/he is. You will sign a commission contract, and I’ll take about 50 reference photos. If we are working long distance, I’ll ask you to send 3-4 photos of your subject (Even if you have a particular photo you want painted, seeing other photos of your subject will help me get a fuller visual understanding of them.)


Painting the Portrait

I’ll choose the 3-4 best reference photos which I will email to you for your final selection, and begin the portrait. I invite you to view the painting towards the end, and minor changes will be happily made. I work closely with you to create a painting that is beautiful, original, and stunningly true to the subject’s likeness and personality—my goal is for you to absolutely adore the painting. Portraits take 2-3 months to complete, depending upon their complexity and size. I may be able to take your rush order-please ask!


The price of your portrait will depend upon size and number of subjects in the portrait. Sizes go from 8x8 inches to 24x30 inches, and range in price from $400 to $2,500.

Fees


If you have any questions, or would like to explore possibilities, please don't hesitate to call me at 206.427.1325, or email me at Melissa@MelissaWestArt.com. I look forward to hearing from you!