CherylSmith | CherylSmith

What Do I Need to Know Before Selecting a Portrait Artist For Hire?

Feb 9th 2015 at 12:43 PM

Having your portrait painted is a rarity in this age of smartphone cameras and Instagram, but perhaps that’s exactly what makes it so special. It’s something grand, something personal, something that takes actual time from an actual artist.

But before you start looking for a portrait artist to hire, there are some decisions you need to make. When you talk to the artist, he or she will ask you questions and you’ll want to have your answers prepared.

It may seem obvious, but you start with the subject. If it’s you, then it’s easy to answer all the rest of the questions, but if it is your spouse, child, parent, pet or friend, you may need to do some research.

The outfit you wear in your portrait will tell viewers a lot about who you are. Will you be painted in a wedding dress or a bathing suit? If mountain climbing is your passion, you may choose mountain gear, or if gardening is your main interest, you may choose a floral dress. The subject of the portrait needs to give this some thought and make a decision.

Along with clothing, the background can also give hints as to the personality of the subject. You may want a far horizon behind you, the ocean or your favorite tree. You may want your favorite bookshelf.

It is recommended that you choose in advance where you plan to hang the painting when it is finished. This will help the artist select colors, so it will enhance the décor, or be a showcase piece.

When you talk to portrait artists for hire, you can discuss style. You may prefer a very realistic rendition, or you may want something with more flair. Give it some good thought. A portrait in the style of abstract expressionism may not suit your Edwardian library.

The artist you select to create this wonder may be able to work in many different mediums. Oil, acrylic, collage, pen and ink, watercolor or a combination of any are a few possibilities. Be sure to communicate well with your painter and understand before the work begins what the creation will look like.

If you have an opinion as to the type of painting you want, you can tell the artist, but you can also ask the artist for his or her opinion. Depending on your personality, as well as other aspects of the painting, the artist should be able to tell you what medium will be the most effective. Artists tend to work in their own specific medium, so be sure you know what medium your artist uses before asking them to use a different one!

Finally, once you have decided all the aspects of the ideal portrait for your subject, you need to be very clear about the budget. This will have an effect on the size of the painting and the medium used.

Happy hunting, portrait commissioners!

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