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.

8" x 10": $300
9" x 12" or 10" x 10": $400
11" x 14" or 12" x 12: $600
12" x 16": $700
14" x 18": $800
16" x 20": $1,000
18" x 24": $1,250
24" x 30": $2,000

8" x 10": $450
9" x 12": $600
11" x 14": $900
12" x 16": $1,050
14" x 18": $1,200
16" x 20": $1,500
18" x 24": $1,900
24" x 30": $3,000

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.

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. Please send as many pictures as possible as attachments to kimstenbergart [at] aol.com. I will walk you through and make suggestions in regard to which picture will lead to the best painting.
5. Do you have any sample portraits and reference photos side by side?:  

I 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 comes 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?:

I ship free via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 days) with tracking within the United States. I also ship worldwide via USPS International First Class for charge.

9. How do I commission a portrait from you?

Please purchase a listing of the size you want on Etsy. I ask the client to pay the entire amount up front.

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

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