This week's blog is brought to you by Visual Artist, Lea K. Tawd.
Have you ever considered buying a custom portrait but felt nervous about the price or the process? I would like to share my process with you so that you can see how fun it is, and worth the cost for a personal piece of art for your home or as a memorable gift.
The most important thing you can do before you get started is shop around and find an artist whose work really resonates with you. As a portrait artist, the first thing I want to do is make sure that you are in love with my artistic style so that you will be in love with your painting! I have lots of artistic skills and capabilities, but what is fulfilling for me about painting portraits is that I get to put YOU in one of MY paintings! My style is whimsical and feminine, and my people are very stylized. If you are looking for a realistic portrait, there's nothing wrong with that, but I am not the artist for you.
The next thing you'll want to look into is the price. My prices start by the square inch, so I can email a price list to you. This will help you choose a size that fits your home and your budget. We will both sign a very simple contract to agree on any special requests and a date that I will need to finish by, and I'll ask for 1/2 of the price up front.
Then we are ready to get started! I'll start with a simple composition in charcoal, which can be wiped away easily. I'll send you a picture whenever I get to a "point of no return"--a part of the painting that can't be changed once I move to the next step.
Then, working from photos that you have sent to me, I will fill in the details so that the subjects will resemble themselves. I am not trying for realism, but I do want to capture their basic features and a "feeling" of the person I am painting.
Next I'll start to add some color. I'll go back and reference your photos throughout the process, and each time I send you a photo I will wait for your approval before I continue painting. Waiting can be really hard when I am super excited about working on your piece!
I prefer to paint my subjects with their eyes closed. When it is just one person, it gives them a sense of introspection and a moment of quiet. When it is a group of people, it shows them really feeling the intimacy of the moment, enjoying each other's presence.
A few final details, and it's finished! I'll send you a final photo to approve, sign the back and add a wire so that you can hang it as soon as it arrives. My paintings are on a solid wood panel, with a 1.5" thick cradle on the back, so there is no need for a frame.
The time it takes from start to finish depends on several things--my schedule, the time of the year, whether or not you have a deadline, and the size and scope of the project. We'll talk about all of that when we get started and I will keep you updated if anything changes.
Many of these steps will be similar with any custom work that I do or another artist does for you. I hope that seeing them laid out this way helps you to feel more comfortable with the possibility of purchasing custom art for your home! I am always open to answering questions, and will gladly send a price list with no pressure to buy. Just email me at LeaK@LeaKArts.com.