How to Commission a Nude Portrait

artist drawing nude model in studio

Have you ever thought about commissioning a nude portrait painting?

I am often asked if I paint nude portraits. Yes, I do. It’s really not much different from a regular portrait.
I can work from photos you provide if you prefer. Not everyone is comfortable posing nude, but I do everything I can to make models feel comfortable in my studio. If you want to provide your own photos, I can give advice about lighting and poses.
The best results would be from an in-person sitting. I do some drawings first, trying out different poses and looking for the most complementary light. Then we can choose one pose and I will take some photos of you for reference. I will use the photos and the drawings to make a painting.

I have a studio where we can do the sitting, or I can travel to you. Sometimes that’s better, because you will probably feel more comfortable posing at home.

lifemodel in front of drawings
life model posing in studio

Sometimes the best poses are not planned, but can happen by accident. The body might look a certain way in a particular light; a quick look might show more of you than a pose you prepared. If we have a three hour session, we have a better chance of finding that one perfect position that expresses what you want.

nude female model sitting on bed
An example of an unplanned pose that worked well – the model was just taking a break between poses

Have a look at my page How to Commission a Nude Portrait which will answer the most frequent questions. If you want more information or would like to discuss a commission then please contact me via the email address on my contact page.

Commission a Nude Portrait

Me posing in front of two commissions and a self portrait. Leegate Open Studios 2018.

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.

commissioned portrait of woman after breast mastectomy
woman sat on bed

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.

For more information look at Commission a Nude Portrait

If you have any questions about a possible commission, please get in touch via the email on the Contact page.