The Portrait Process

Commissioning a portrait is an enjoyable and creative experience resulting in an heirloom treasure that lasts for generations - years after the family photos have faded.  Regardless of the degree of complexity of the painting you commission, I always strive to create a timeless masterpiece of the highest standards worthy of many generations of enjoyment, incorporating both your vision and your budget. 

I will employ live sittings, if possible, photography, (unless the entire painting will be done from life) or a combination of the two for reference during the studio phase of my work.  Sittings can take place either in my studio or at your location.  I am happy to travel throughout the U.S. and internationally.

First Meeting/Sittings

We start with a meeting for an hour in my studio or at your location to discuss what you wish you convey in the portrait including:

Portion of the figure
Number of figures
Background & setting
Informality vs. formality
Where the portrait will hang

A fee is then determined based on our first meeting.

During the first meeting or at a second one hour session, I develop references for the studio phase of my work.  Ideally, I would prefer to complete the majority of the portrait from life, however I understand many would find this inconvenient.  In that event I will take references through a combination of sittings, if possible, and photographs.  Sittings are preferred, though not absolutely necessary for the completion of the portrait, as they afford me the opportunity to accurately record the subject’s coloring and personality through sketches and/or oil studies.

Studio Painting

During this stage I complete the majority of the painting from the sketches, oil studies, photographic references and as many additional sittings as you prefer.

Final Sitting

This last meeting is the final step in completing your commissioned work of art and to receive your critique.  We will discuss drying times, framing, shipping and unveiling.  In the event a personal meeting is not possible, I will send a photograph of the finished painting to you for approval.  It is important that the painting is properly framed as the right frame both enhances and protects the portrait.  I will assist you in selecting the best possible frame.  The completed painting can then be delivered framed, in a sturdy container, ready to be unveiled and displayed for years of pleasurable viewing!


Portrait pricing is based on the following criteria: number of people or pets in the painting, how much of each subject is to be depicted, size of painting itself, intricacy of clothing/jewelry/props and complexity of background setting.

Travel expenses, framing costs, shipping fees and any applicable state or city sales tax, are additional.  A 50% deposit is required when you sign the commission agreement and establishes a place on my waiting list/calendar. The balance is due upon your approval of the completed portrait.

The below pricing estimates are based on single figure, oil portraits painted against tonal backgrounds.

Portrait Vignette 11 x 14”
Bust 14 x 18” to 22 x 28”
Half Figure 22 x 30” to 28 x 34”
Three-quarter Figure 30 x 36” to 38 x 48”
Full Figure 38 x 48” to 42 x 70”
Portrait in the Grand Manner 38 x 48” to 42 x 70”
Pet 11 x 14”

*Portrait Vignettes: A less formal option then a fully resolved painting in which the face is fully developed while the majority of the painting varies in its degree of detail. A vignette is completed with a spontaneous style and works very well in children’s portraits.

**Additional figures and pets:  Additional fees apply for each additional figure or pet included.

Images and text copyright ©2021 Juliane Porter