Following on from my recent post about commissioning a portrait, I thought I’d add a quick post about less conventional portraits. Over the years, I would say that the majority of enquiries I receive about commissioning a painting are for commissioning a nude portrait.
The two nude paintings in the photo above make an interesting case study. Both clients already had a good idea of how they wanted to be portrayed. Subject 1 (female sitter on left), was able to pose in their own home, and had few restrictions on their time. The first sitting was spent making sketches of various poses. In the second sitting I produced a more detailed pencil drawing, from which I was able to start the painting. There followed a few painting sessions, each lasting about three hours. In between I was able to work from a reference photo to bring the painting forward.
Subject 2 (male model in centre, behind me) chose to pose in the studio. Because there was already agreement on what the pose would be, we were able to compress the whole preparatory process into one sitting. We started with preliminary drawings, constantly adjusting the lights, and then spent the rest of the sitting taking photos. At that stage I was happy that I had all the material I needed, and was able to complete the painting without further sittings.
I hope that sheds some light onto the process involved in commissioning an artwork. Exactly the same applies to a conventional portrait painting. I should add that if it’s not possible to arrange an in person sitting, I am able to work from photos supplied by the customer. In that situation I can give direction on the pose, background and lighting. If I am asked to work from old photos, I like to see a number of photos of the subject, to give me a better idea of what they look like, which gives me the option of swapping elements from different photos.
If you have any questions about a possible commission, please get in touch via the email on the Contact page.