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Portrait Commission Pricing

Commissioning a portrait painting is a significant undertaking. A portrait will last for generations, years after the family photos have long since faded. Regardless of the degree of complexity of the painting you commission, I always strive to create an heirloom quality portrait of the highest standards. 

Since a portrait painting is a collaboration between patron and artist, the first step is to establish a dialogue and determine the scope of the painting you desire. I will do my very best to accommodate both your vision and your budget.

Portrait fees start at $1500. The price is based on the following criteria: the number of people or pets in the painting; how much of each subject is to be depicted; the size of the actual painting itself; the intricacy of clothing, jewelry and props; and the complexity of the background setting. 


Travel expenses, framing costs, shipping fees and any state or city sales tax, where applicable, are additional. A one third non-refundable deposit is required when you sign the contract. A second payment of one third is due when you approve the color study. When the completed portrait is delivered and it meets with your approval, the balance is due.

The following cost estimates are based on approximately life sized, single figure, oil portraits, painted against simple tonal backgrounds. For more examples please visit my website at www.joetburns.com

Thank you for your interest.

Portraits

Cameo / a 4 hour color study         11 x 14"         $500

 

Head & Shoulders                             14 x 18"        $1,500

                                                              22 x 28"        $3,700

 

Half length                                          22 x 30"       $3,900

                                                              28 x 34"        $5,700

 

Three-quarter length                        30 x 36"        $6,500

                                                               35 x 48"        $10,000

 

Full length                                           38 x 48"        $10,900

                                                               42 x 70"        $17,600

Commissioning an Oil Portrait Painting

My goal is to create the most beautiful oil portrait commissions possible. I follow a set procedure to best ensure that each of my oil portraits measure up to the highest standards.

Our first step is to meet and discuss the specifics of your portrait. This initial meeting is an opportunity for us to get better acquainted and, if the painting will be painted mostly or all from life, since a commissioned portrait is a collaboration, to select which clothing, props, and background setting will work the best. If possible, I like to see where the finished painting will be displayed in order to determine the best pictorial design and to judge which style of framing would be most appropriate.

Unless the entire painting will be done from life the next step is for me to take reference photographs. Photos that have already been taken may work as well. 


If possible following the photo session, or perhaps the next day, I will paint a quick head study from life which I will refer to during the course of painting your portrait. This study allows me to record the subtle color tones of the complexion and hair.

After a photo is chosen I will paint a small compositional color study, to convey to you a sense of what the finished portrait will look like. After the study is approved, I begin the full sized portrait. At that point, I will be able to estimate the date of completion. During the painting process, additional sittings from life are very helpful. Ideally, I would prefer to do the bulk of each portrait from life, but I understand that many would find this inconvenient.

Once the painting is completed, it is important that the painting is properly framed. The right frame both enhances and protects the portrait. Although you are responsible for the cost of the frame, I will assist you in selecting the best possible frame. The completed commissioned portrait can then be delivered framed, and ready to be displayed for years of pleasurable viewing.