Portrait Commisssion Process

Here is what happens when a client wants to commission a hand-painted portrait from Sandra. 

First portrait painting requires time, a painting of this caliber has to be well thought and planned. The following things have to be taking into account:


  •  Oils are a slow drying medium, the previous coat has to be dry before applying the next one. Unless you want a la prima effect for an impressionistic-looking portrait.


  •  Drawing a face is not like drawing a plant or a tree where you can left branches and leaves out  and add them someplace else. Every feature on the face has its right placement and design that the artist has to try to replicate.


  •   Aso is important to get away from a painting and come back to it later to see it with fresh eyes.                           When you look up a subject for too long it tends to disappear.   

 For those reasons an oil portrait needs weeks or even months to complete depending on the size of  the canvas, number of people being painted, intricacy of clothing, background, and detail. Needless to say a

a professional artist has to use the best pigments, brushes, and materials found in the market that she/he can afford.


It has been argued why the need to paint a portrait from scratch when there are digital cameras, smart phones, and printers to represent a moment in time. First of all painting a portrait is not as quick and capturing a likeness can be tedious, daunting work. The oil painting comes from the heart and only the skill and inspiration of the painter

     can provide a special uniqueness and elegance that a regular picture cannot project.


The best portrait painters capture the heart and soul of their client and the single fact that is a

creation of  human hands is something to be amazed at.



                              What happens when you agree to commission a  portrait :










Initial Visit:


             Sandra begins the commissioned portrait process by traveling to the client's location to get to know her subject, discuss the details of the portrait and develop the pose, clothing, and setting. Both the client and the artist decide upon the scope, size, and location where the portrait will be hung and all the other variables that will help the artist to present the subject in a creative manner.


Creating Reference Materials:

              During the initial visit, the artist will take digital photos of the subject, then along with the client, she will review them as they will serve as a reference while creating the portrait at her studio. It is common to have the subject pose and have a complete sketch of the person's head, shoulders, and sometimes hands. This can take three to five hours with rest in between. Sketches are invaluable to planning and developing the final portrait.





Painting the Portrait: 


                Sandra will begin the work back at the studio using the sketch, reference photos, and the impressions she got while visiting her subject. She might contact the client soon after to discuss composition or other elements in more detail and may send the client simplified images that present an overall impression of how the painting is developing.


When the painting is between half and two-thirds completed, Sandra will be presented to the client for comments. Before of after this point, she may request and additional sitting either on her studio or at the client's location. 


Other Concerns: 

                The artist will keep all photos, sketches, layouts and artwork that she creates as references to aid in creating the final painting. These are not for sale. Additionally, she retains the right to reproduce smaller images of the final painting on her website and in promotional materials.





Skiler and Brantley Smith

Time Frame: 


           Sandra routinely finish a comissioned portrait between 2-5 months maximum after the initial sitting and the photo shoot. All depends of the size, clothing, accessories or backgraound requested. Sitting begins shortly after contract signing.







 Payment Schedule: 


            First Payment:  Sandra requires 40% of the portrait upfront. This is non



           Second Payment: When Sandra presents the painting to the client at about half to two-thirds completed second payment of 30% is required. If the client is not satisfied with the painting's progress, he or she can decline payment and terminate the project, in which case the artist keeps the painting for herself.


           Third Payment:   The artist requires the last  30% payment plus all sales tax, upon delivery of the finished painting.



                    "I required payment within 30 days of my submission to the client for travel,                                          lodging, framing, and/or shipping expenses. These payments are non-refundable and due                         even if the client opts to terminate the project before completion."















12” x 16”



Head and Shoulders

16” x 20”




Half length

20” x 24” to 24" x 30"




Three Quarter Length

24” x36” and above




Full Length

38” x 48” and above

$15,000.00 To $20,000


Portrait Vignettes: Where the face is fully rendered

buy the rest of the painting is in various degrees

of development.



16 x 20”



Please note the above size are an aproximation, all portraits are done life size and the above prices include a single figure painting against a simple tonal back ground. For two people or more there is a 50%  price increase.


The artist doesn't do miniature portraits.  For sizes bigger than life size is a 25% extra charge.  Portraits from old pictures or deceased relatives is a 40% extra also as the image that is provided usually  is very limited or poor and it represents quite a challenge for any professional portrait artist.