lundi 21 avril 2014

Reasons To Commission A Portrait Painting

By Essie Osborn

When searching for a potential artist, two questions are usually uppermost in the mind - which artist to select and how much he or she will charge? If you have decided to commission a portrait painting, it is important to choose a skilled artist as you will probably only do this once in a lifetime. This means you will possess a true work of art that can preserve memories for generations to come.

Examining a portfolio of work done by the artist is one way to determine skill and experience. This also reveals the particular style of the artist. You will soon be able to see whether the style is one you admire or not. You may also prefer an artist who works in a particular medium. Many mediums like pastels, charcoal, oils and water colors are used in portraiture and artists often choose to combine mediums.

Through the ages, portraiture was popular and required lengthy sittings. With the advent of photography, this has changed and the long sittings are no longer necessary. Some artists still make detailed life sketches before beginning portraits. Others will arrange a single photographic sitting, styling the photographs in a particular way. Many artists use a combination of sketches and photographs.

Looking at the training and experience of the artist is important. All of the great masters studied their art and classical academic training was considered essential. An ability to draw from life is often a good indicator of experience and talent. Some artists create real life sketches at sittings. Others prefer working from their own photographs, taken in a detailed photographic session. Often a combination of both real life sketches and photographs are used.

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.

Other details influencing the price of portraits are factors such as the size, the medium and the background chosen. Sizes vary from small head only or head and shoulders, to full length portraits. The smaller sizes tend to be more popular today as the full length portraits are overwhelming in the smaller rooms of today. Backgrounds chosen may be simple abstracts or more elaborate settings. These details are discussed with the artist and once the choices have been made, a contract can be signed. Most artists require a deposit before work commences.

The artist often starts by making a preliminary sketch to give the client an idea of what to expect. Minor changes can still be made at this point. The client is usually allowed to keep this sketch. Some artists prefer the client not to interfere once any minor changes have been made. The next time the client sees the painting is when it is completed. Other artists prefer to work very closely together with the client during the process.

Commissioning an experienced and skilled artist will obviously cost more than just hiring someone to copy a photograph. The extra expense is usually worthwhile as such an artist is able to use tonal values and harmonies of color to bring out individuality and character. You will own a painting that you will be proud to pass down to future generations.

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