Having your Portrait Painted.

What you should know.






To some, the idea of commissioning a portrait may at first seem a rather daunting undertaking. People often think of portraits as stiff, formal affairs for boardrooms or museums, or only for the 'rich and famous'.

However, there are all kinds of portraits, and I feel the most important aspect of a portrait is producing something (be it the grandest full-size oil or a more intimate head-and-shoulders) that represents the sitter in a fitting manner. The main purpose of a portrait is to bring pleasure to those who commissioned it.

Before any sittings begin, I like to meet my sitter for about an hour for preliminary discussions. This first meeting is informal and is usually held in the subjects home or office. During this time, I try to get a good idea of what is required, including the function or purpose of the portrait, the spirit or mood of the work, where it will hang, and its size.

These decisions will help us choose the costume to be worn to the first sitting and will influence the background or setting of the portrait. They will also determine the price of the work. This is a mutual process, with the sitter having input and approval all the way along.

Portraits often take between six months and a year to complete, depending upon the sitter's availability. Ideally, before the work is finished, we can discuss framing, which I am very happy to advise on, or can arrange.

In most circumstances, all of the studies and preliminary drawings will be the sitter's to keep.

What is often perceived as a difficult and complicated process almost always turns out to be an enjoyable experience for sitter and artist alike.

To discuss commissioning a portrait by Natalya Davey please contact the artist directly using the 'contact' page on this website.