Monday, April 8, 2013

Child Portraits

      Having had a higher demand for children's portraits, I thought I'd devote a post to this area of my portrait work and describe some of the processes I have used on past commissions. Also, I'll include what I would price for a similar commissioned piece matching its approximate size and media (media meaning what materials I used such as oil paint or charcoal, etc). 

charcoal on white paper, 14"x18"  
project quote: $250

          Charcoal on white is classic for a reason. As this is an area where I have a lot of experience and control, I often excel in these commissions. High contrast photos work beautifully and create a timeless piece. Because my projects vary so much in completion time, the most fair way to calculate a price is usually by the size, materials, and complexity of the project. Additional figures and landscape add complexity and would increase the price. For more information on my pricing, check out my pricing formula. Students, make sure you ask about my student discount.

 black and white charcoal on a toned paper, 11"x14"
project quote: $150

          Working on a toned surface with black and white charcoal adds dimension to the piece. The paper creates a monochromatic feel, adding warmth to the sterile black and white. White charcoal brings out the highlights and creates a nice three-dimensional look to the flat black. I often recommend and highly enjoy this process as it stays within the drawing format, but gives me a little room to play with tone and highlights.  

 black and white charcoal on a toned paper, 11"x17"
project quote: $190

          An important detail to note with the drawing mediums is their decreased price and return time. Drawings takes less time and cost less to produce. Usually you can expect a drawing to be done two weeks after I have obtained a photo. If you're restricted in funds, commissioning a drawing is a great option.  

 colored pencil on toned paper, 8"x10"
project quote: $100

          Colored pencil is a good in-between for charcoal and oils. Materials are much cheaper, but you get the added bonus of color. Though time-consuming, this is a fun option for me because it allows me to get to use color without the hassle of paint thinners and cleaning brushes. These projects take a bit longer than the charcoal. Clients can expect about a three week delay after I've obtained a reference photo. 

 colored pencil on toned paper, 8"x10"
project quote: $100

 oil paint on board 16"x20"
project quote: $400

          Oil paint is probably the most popular medium. Color and texture bring the figure to life and add those extra elements to really capture a personality. Although paint for me can be a little less detail friendly, I feel confident I can create a quality portrait with oils.  Oil paint is a more time-consuming and pricey medium, so expect delay and a higher cost. Clients should expect about a month delay after I have obtained a photo, and additional time if their piece is larger than 11"x14". Some projects can be rushed if there is an important time restriction. I paint mostly on a board with oils because it gives me complete control with the surface texture (canvas can be a little bumpy) and it is thin enough to frame in cheaper, pre-made photo frames. Boards are between 3/16"- 3/8" thick.  

 dry oil paint on textured board, 11"x14"
project quote: $150

          Sometimes to add a little character to the piece I play with the background textures of a painting on a board. Notice the backgrounds in these two pieces. The actual paint gets a little thinner to highlight these textures. Also notice the horizontal orientation. It is a little bit different than the classic "portrait" orientation. 

  dry oil paint on textured board, 11"x14"
project quote: $150

 oil on stretched linen, 11"x14"
project quote: $155

          Stretched linen is a beautiful, smooth surface that looks almost identical to the more familiar look of a canvas stretched over stretcher bars. This orientation adds thickness to the painting, making it protrude from the wall anywhere between 1/3" to 2".  Most are about 1/2".  Some hang these pieces without a frame, but others decide to frame. This format is the only format that can be presented well without a frame.

To calculate your own project, visit my pricing page for a general quote or email me at for an exact project quote.

Also, view my professional artist page and blog to see more information on my background and a gallery of my recent projects.