Monday, June 29, 2009

The Process: How All of This Works

So you've checked out the site and you've decided you want me to do a portrait for you.
Track No. 1: The easy way out...
Just email me (my email address is in the upper right side of the blog) 3-5 photos of the person you would like me to do, and include your home address. That's all you really have to do! I can use my discretion on picking the best photo, best medium (paint, charcoal, or pencil) for the photo, and an appropriate size and just notify you about the price. You then decide whether or not my decision is to your liking, and we make modifications for your situation. Then you send me a security deposit of 50% of the final cost, I complete the portrait, email a picture of the piece to you, you send the rest of the payment, and then I ship it to your home.

Track No. 2: For those who want more involvement...
So you have a price range, you have something specific in mind, and you want to make sure your results are to your personal liking. This track is for you. In this case check out the information below to help you make some preliminary decisions. If you want to work personally with me on this, email me and I'd be more than happy to work with you. If you want to do it on your own, check out the info below. It'll help you understand the pros and cons of different decisions.
Deciding on Your Medium: Descriptions, Pros, and Cons.
Sepia Charcoal Colors: These are just one color. Often gives a softer, calmer feel. Earthy tones most commonly used. Board bases (instead of paper) are optional, and encouraged. These last much longer than drawings on paper.
Black and White Charcoal: Very traditional. More contrast and intensity than a sepia charcoal.
Black and White Pencil: More detailed and exact than the rest, also more time consuming, a little less expressive technique, pencil gives less contrast than charcoal but small tip allows for more control.
Painting: Endures longer. Paint discolors much slower with time aand board base is more durable compared to paper. Paintings are done in full color. Color adds life and more distinguishing character of subject.
*** Photographs must be in color if a color painting is desired. ***
Paint is more expressive, but painting materials are more expensive. Paintings take longer than drawings to dry. If you like the textural and expressive qualities of paint but like the tradition of black and white or monochromatic, I can also do paintings within these styles.
Choosing the Photograph
Choose pictures that illuminate the face well. Make sure eyes aren’t in the shadows, the face looks defined, three dimensional and not flat.
Choose pictures that give plenty of visual information. Not too dark, and not overexposed (too light), face and hair aren’t hidden behind other people, hats, sunglasses, landscape, etc. Make sure the pictures aren’t pixilated. Choose good quality photos with lots of detail.
Choose pictures that define the person in the way you would like them portrayed. Don’t choose a moody, unhappy picture if you want to see them happy. Don’t choose a profile (side view) if you want the portrait drawn strait on. Find a picture that has expressions/characteristics that define that person to you and to others.
**I realize you can’t always find the perfect picture, but any effort to provide me with plenty of information will be rewarded with a more accurate, expressive rendering of the subject(s).
Creating a Desired Composition
Often the artist will create the composition, but if you would like to be a part of this process that is just fine. If you just want a single portrait, often the composition is not complex. But for a group portrait or special project (maybe a collage of faces in a specific order) I will need instruction unless you would like me to use my judgment. This is not uncommon to leave it to the artist. But I want the piece to have meaning to you, so if you would like it a certain way, feel free to add that information.
Projects containing multiple subjects are more difficult and take longer. Single portraits are much easier and can be placed together to create a unity between them. I still am happy to do group portrait projects though.
Now Just Let Me Know
After you've looked over everything and decided what you want, email me your decision (the size, the medium, and the number of people along with the photographs needed) and a home address, and then we can decide a price according to the pricing chart in the blog post below this one, and according to our negotiations.
After the price is decided, mail the security payment of 50% of the final price and I will begin your piece. A two to three week completion period is needed to finish the piece.
When I finish I will email you a picture of your piece. Make sure you check it out and decide if it is what you wanted, and then you will need to mail the rest of the payment to the address provided in my contact information (upper right area of the blog). I will then ship the completed portrait to the home address you provide.
***This track will almost always provide better results than track one!***
Track No. 3: Special Projects and unique requests...
For those who know exactly what they want and it doesn't fit into any category identifiable in the pricing chart or the information provided in track 2 (directly above this track), email me (upper right hand area of the blog) and we will discuss your specific needs. I do not mind special projects and am happy to cater to your individual needs.

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