How To Commission Your Own Portrait
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters offers a wide range of artists who are available for commissions. Here, the society’s top hints for would-be portrait sitters.
Get the brief right
Think about how big you want the portrait to be and allow space on the canvas for framing. Think about budget, how much time can you dedicate to sittings and how you want to be portrayed. Do you need props, make-up, pets? Think hard about how you want to be immortalised.
Choose the right artist
The society suggests browsing their artist database for work that inspires you. Once you have created a shortlist, get more information about how each artist works, their prices, location (although most travel to the sitter) and what the portraiture process could involve.
Meet the artist first
Face-to-face meetings are a great idea because they give both sides the opportunity to discuss the portrait in detail and clarify, if necessary, exactly what the fee does or does not include (such as framing).
Make an agreement
A simple written agreement covering fees, the size and type of portrait, as well as any time commitments makes life easier for everyone. Usually a deposit is taken at the time of booking, with between a third and half of the fee paid upfront at the first sitting. The society also stresses that copyright of the image belongs to the artist unless it is assigned to another person.
By Andy Round