Frequently Asked Questions

Who will be the subject of your portrait? If you are having your children painted, you need to decide if they will sit alone or as a group. Individual portraits of children are charming, yet groups can fulfill a wonderful documentation of your children’s relationships with one another.

Where will the portrait be installed – an office, lobby, living room, or formal sitting room? Does it fill a personal, official, formal, casual, or whimsical need? Answers to these questions will help you determine the medium, the composition, the clothing, and the setting.

What style do you prefer? Are you more comfortable with an impressionistic, painterly style or a more realistic, photographic style? This is the first question you will be asked, so spend some time thinking about your preferences by browsing our website, going through art books, or visiting museums.

What medium you prefer? The medium can impact the purpose, style, and budget of your project. Oil and sculpture are the most versatile mediums affecting style and purpose, though they can be the most expensive. Pastels and drawings are often less expensive, but they are generally less formal, so they tend not to be used for corporate or institutional purposes. Photographic portraits can be either formal or informal.

What is the budget for the project? Don’t forget the possibility of added costs such as artist’s travel, a frame, and shipping.

From initial consultation to delivery, the portrait painting process generally takes between three and nine months, but varies depending on the artist selected and the complexity of the project. Here is a brief outline of the typical process:

Initial Consultation and Artist Selection: One of our trained sales associates is available to meet with you to discuss your preferences and goals for the portrait. If you are unable to meet with an associate in person, customized presentations can be prepared and sent to you when necessary. Your sales associate can guide you to the most appropriate artist, taking into consideration your preferences, time frame, and budget.

First Sitting: After you select a portrait artist, he or she will travel to your desired location for a sitting. (Many artists will also work from a photograph that you provide when circumstances preclude a sitting.) Prior to the sitting, you will discuss the details of the project with the artist, including the overall tone of the portrait, the size, and eventual location where it will be hung. Then, the subject will be asked to pose for a certain length of time. This is an exciting experience involving photography, sketches, color studies, and important artist/client communication. Some artists require more time during the sitting than others. The client and artist together will decide on the best pose and composition for the portrait. The artist then returns to his/her studio to continue working on the portrait. Your sales associate and artist will communicate with you frequently throughout the process to keep you apprised of the progress.

Final Sitting: Once the portrait has reached its final stages, some artists require a final sitting to make color adjustments as well as any other requested changes.

Delivery: Once completed, your portrait is either shipped or personally delivered.

Learn more about the services we offer

With assistance from your personal sales associate, you will choose from our wide selection of outstanding portrait painters and portrait sculptors. Your associate will help you narrow your selection based on your personal tastes, budget, time frame, and preferences for a particular medium. All of our sales associates are educated in fine art portraiture and are trained to help you determine the style and artist that is right for you.

With a roster of more than 150 portrait artists from almost every part of the United States, as well as Europe, Canada, and Australia, we feel sure we can provide you with an excellent artist for your project. We encourage you not to sacrifice the quality of this once-in-a-lifetime project with restrictions on where the artist lives. We believe you should find and use the most appropriate artist for your unique commissioned project. Of course, the artist you select could live nearby!

Each portrait artist has his/her own fee schedule based on the figure size and medium. Figure sizes are: head and shoulders, half figure, three-quarter figure, and full figure. Oil portraits start at $3,500 and pastel portraits start at $2,000. Charcoal portraits start at $1,000.

It is important to understand that when a price is quoted, it is for the artwork only. Extra charges may be incurred for such items as additional figures, pets, and detailed backgrounds; artist’s travel; framing; crating, shipping, and insurance of the finished work.

We can accommodate most any budget. Please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your specific needs.

No, the price you pay for a commissioned portrait through Portraits, Inc. is the same as what you would pay working directly with a portrait artist. But by using our company, you gain an experienced partner in your quest for the portrait you desire.

For two-dimensional works, the frame is the second most significant expense you will have. A commissioned portrait is not framed like a landscape or still life painting. There are specific guidelines for framing portraiture and certain archival considerations only a professional knows. The staff at Portraits, Inc., has devoted years to learning the fine art of framing. We have developed relationships with many great frame shops around the country and we are happy to assist you with this decision.