Portrait Commissions

Of all the painting subjects under the sun, I find portraits and figures the most challenging and rewarding.  In particular, I love painting children.  Capture their youthful beauty and innocence before they grow up!  I can also paint special moments from your wedding and vow renewal and other double portraits of young siblings, man and his dog, mother and child, grandparent and child, child and her pet, etc.  The possibilities are endless!  My beautiful portraits have brought tears of joy to my clients.  They also make perfect presents for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. 

Here are the answers to the frequently asked questions.

1. How much do you charge for portraits?:

It varies for the size and the number of subjects.  I don't charge extra for the landscape elements for the outdoor portrait or the interior/still life elements for the indoor one.
Please inquire after the prices for triple and other multiple portraits.

8" x 10": $250
9" x 12" or 10" x 10": $350
11" x 14" or 12" x 12: $450
12" x 16": $550
14" x 18": $650
16" x 20": $800
18" x 24": $1,000
22" x 28": $1,400
24" x 30": $1,600

8" x 10": $375
9" x 12": $525
11" x 14": $675
12" x 16": $825
14" x 18": $975
16" x 20": $1,200
18" x 24": $1,500
22" x 28": $2,100
24" x 30": $2,400

2. What materials do you use?:

All my portraits are painted with professional-quality oil paints.  The support I use  is a top-quality stretched linen.  The painting comes with a hanging wire already attached, ready to hang.  To frame or not to frame is your choice.

3. How long does it take you to finish a portrait?:

The current turnaround time is approximately 2-4 weeks to complete the painting.

4. Do you work from the client's photo?  What kind of pictures are best for portrait-making? 

I work from the client's photos, preferably taken in natural light without flash.  The larger the picture file is, the better it is, because of more details it contains.  Thumbnail photos are no, no; high resolutions are must!  Please send as many pictures as possible as attachments to kimstenbergart@gmail.com.  I don't, however, usually work from multiple pictures, especially for multiple portraits because all subjects have to be under the same lighting condition.  I will walk you through and make suggestions in regard to which picture will lead to the best painting.  I want to remind you that your portrait will be as good as the reference photo you provide me with!

5. Do you have any sample portraits and reference photos side by side?:  

I don't usually share my clients' photos to protect their privacy, but have a few recent portraits I can show you along with their reference photos.  I crop and Photoshop the chosen photo and edit out clutters for the clarity of the portrait.  After I decide on the composition, I get the approval from the client.

"Peter and Melissa" (20" x 16")
"Primavera" (18" x 24")
"Viola Solo" (14" x 18")

6. Do I get to see the portrait when it is finished?  If there are things I am not happy with, can I ask you to fix them?:

Of course!  Portrait painting is a tricky business: the painter has to represent not only the subject's likeness, but his expression has to be right as well.  I even aim at capturing the subject's personality or spirit.  If the commission is a double or multiple portrait, the challenge is multiplied.  Remember that I am doing all these things without having ever seen the subjects in person!  So I always show the client the picture of the "finished" portrait for approval.  The portrait is not declared completed until the client is 100% satisfied.  Sometimes, it may take several retakes; that goes with the territory. 

7. How long do I have to wait to receive my portrait?:

My oil paintings have to dry for the minimum of two weeks before varnishing.  The longer the better.  If you are not in a hurry, please let me know.  Your portrait will be gift-wrapped beautifully AND securely, and shipped in a well-padded box.

8. Do you charge for shipping?:

Yes, there is a shipping/handling charge that varies depending on the size of the portrait.  I ship via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 days) with tracking within the United States.   Expedited shipping is available for an extra charge.  I also ship worldwide via USPS International First Class (without tracking). 

9. Can I pick up the portrait in person if I live locally?: Yes.  Then there is no shipping/handling charge.

10. How do I commission a portrait from you? 

Please purchase a listing on Etsy: click here to go to my Etsy shop.  Why Etsy?  Because I cannot vary shipping charges on my website.  It is easy to set up an Etsy account if you don't have any; you can pay with a credit card or a PayPal account.  I ask the client to pay the entire amount up front. 

Send me an email to kimstenbergart@gmail.com if you have any questions or special requests.  Thank you and I look forward to working on your commission!

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