Saturday, April 26, 2014

Reasons To Commission A Portrait Painting

By Essie Osborn

Portraits that capture the character and individuality of a person can help preserve precious memories and be passed down to future generations. If you commission a portrait painting, the decision as to which artist to choose becomes very important. Every credential of the artist such as training, skill and experience needs to be taken into consideration.

One of the ways to determine the skill of an artist is to examine a portfolio of work already completed. Artists doing portraiture work in different mediums such as pastels, oils, water colours, oils, charcoal or even a combination of mediums. The styles of artists all vary too and you may prefer one style over another.

Portraiture has always been popular and in the past this required many sittings, with the person remaining in a particular position for hours at a time. The process has changed now that photographs are used. However, portraiture that is simply a copy of a photograph loses its true essence and meaning.

The problem with the advent of photography, however, is that it has become easy to use a photograph as more than just a reference point. This means that the true meaning of portraiture can be lost. If a mere copy of a photograph is created, this does away with any real creativity and imagination. Many artists today still use life sketches together with photographs. Some use only photographs but these are ones they take themselves in a special session with the client. Others use both photographs and sketches.

Price is always a consideration. However, in the case of commissioning such a once in a lifetime work, other factors need to be taken into consideration besides just looking at the price tag. Skilled and experienced artists will always charge more but the work they produce is far superior to someone who just copies a photograph. Even the most skilled artists are prepared to negotiate when it comes to prices.

The price is also affected by such factors as the background chosen, the medium used and of course the size. Smaller portraits of a head only or head and shoulders are more popular than full sized ones today, mostly due to the smaller size of rooms today. All the details are noted in a contract signed by both parties and a part payment is usually required upfront.

A preliminary sketch is usually made so that the client can have some idea of what the end product will look like. At this stage it is still possible for the client to suggest minor changes. Once this has been settled, the artist proceeds with the painting itself. Some artists like to involve the client intimately at all stages of progress whilst others prefer no further involvement until the work is finished.

A true artist will use harmony of color and tonal values to express the character and individuality of the person without anything distracting from this. Such a skilled and experienced artist obviously charges more but most times this is worth the expense. You will have a piece of art that can be cherished for the memories it evokes.

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