Commissioning a Painting

Portraits by Lynn hang in homes around the country.  Although most are of horses, others are of people or dogs or sometimes a combination of figures.

Some portraits arise from that one lucky photograph that caught the subject perfectly.  An actual visit with the subject is always a welcome opportunity.  But typically a portrait happens long distance by pulling together elements from multiple photos combined with descriptions by the client.

Lynn loves the collaborative journey as the first ideas appear in rough pencil sketches, then move to small studies in oil.  Both she and the client get to try out all their ideas in these first, easy stages: turn the head more? try a different background? full body or head and chest?

The exact look of the painting will be finalized before the canvas is even stretched.  The client will hold the small oil studies in their hands so they’re seeing actual paint and can comment on the color to help Lynn get everything right.  Often the size isn’t determined until after the selection of the right idea.  Lynn often makes several copies of the final drawing at different sizes including the price for each one.  She sends these to the client so they can critique the drawing in person and make a final choice for the size that looks best in their home.

Only after all the above preliminary work is complete is the canvas stretched and the painting begun.  Then the client receives regular email updates.  Short of visiting the studio, it’s as close as possible to looking over Lynn’s shoulder as she paints.  If you’re looking for speed, you may need a different artist.  The methodical approach Lynn uses can stretch over several months but she finds it ensures that both artist and client can proceed confidently with no surprises.

Most of Lynn’s portraits are in oil but she has done some in pastel and pencil.  Prices can begin as low as several hundred dollars for a smaller pencil to about a thousand for a small oil head and Lynn has worked on paintings as large as 4 x 5 feet.  Size, number of figures and overall complexity determine the final cost.

Look at A Portrait in the Making to follow the progress of one particular commission from first verbal discussion to completed oil painting.