Commission an Item

The process for commissioned work depends on the type of work you desire. Elements which influence the amount of time required to create the item include the composition and complexity of the item, the artistic media desired, and the size of the painting. The process for creating portraiture is more detailed than the process for the other artwork I create.


Portraiture is the most exacting work I perform, and involves me developing what I can only describe as an emotional understanding of the individual(s) involved. Each portrait is a reflection of the emotion I encounter while working with the subject of the painting, as I pour that emotion back out and onto the canvas.

The first step in commissioning a portrait is meeting with you to discuss the overall concept for the item.* We discuss important design elements such as whether the portrait will be formal, semi-formal, or informal, whether the setting will be indoors or outdoors, the number of people and or animals to be included in the piece, etcetera. We discuss colors and clothing selection, and I often suggest colors that will be the most flattering to the skin tones of my subject(s) or even colors that set the tone for the whole painting. I pick up on important minute details about my subject(s) during the meeting that I express later as I produce the painting. I provide an estimate of the cost at this meeting and we come to agreement on the details at this time. I collect 50% of the costs of the portrait up-front, with the balance due upon delivery.

In the second meeting I typically take between 200 and 400 photographs of the subject(s)**. The photos provide a reference point for me as I produce the final product. I recognize that many individuals would just as well prefer to skip this step however, it is essential for me to get to know the subject(s) through this session. I take great efforts to make this process as painless for the individual(s) involved as I can, doing my best to disappear into the background while I work. These sessions usually last between one and a half to three hours. I use this session to develop a relationship with the individuals involved, and to build an emotional connection that I will draw from as I create the piece. I may do a drawing or sketch at this point.

The third contact is often made through email as I provide a sketch of how I envision the composition of the portrait. On your approval, I begin the actual painting.

I photograph my progress as I work and provide updates via email along the way. You provide feedback as I go so that I can fine-tune the work according to your desires. The amount of time required to produce the artwork is determined by a number of factors, including the amount of feedback I get from you as the painting progresses. Once the painting is completed, you come to view it in-person and take delivery of the painting.

Once the painting has thoroughly cured, the painting needs to be returned for varnishing. For oil paintings, this is typically done between six to twelve months after the painting is completed. Where distance makes it difficult to return the painting at this point, I can instead provide specifications so you can have the varnishing performed elsewhere by another party.

Other Types of Artwork

Prices of other types of work are fluid, depending upon the artistic media, the size, the complexity and composition of the piece. You can get a general idea of the prices I charge by the prices of the paintings for sale on my website. Please send me and e-mail message describing what you have in mind, and we can determine the costs to produce the painting. I am usually able to work well from your photographs to produce these types of paintings. Payment terms are 50% down and 50% upon delivery.

*Please note that our meetings will primarily be conducted in Mt. Horeb, near Madison, Wisconsin, as I am unable to travel extensively due to a severe medical condition.

**As a rule, I am rarely able to work from other people’s photographs, unless the subject has passed away. This is because the photographs I take capture emotions that I later utilize as reference points, and it is very difficult for me to draw from another photographer’s work to obtain them. In the case of producing work for an individual that has passed away, I will request as many photographs as are available of the individual, including some photographs which you may not consider flattering. There are always minute details in such photographs which reveal an aspect of personality or emotion that help me produce a final work that reflects the true nature of the individual. Stories and memories also provide important details that I draw from as I work.



Price Chart

  Oil Paintings Pastels
Head and Shoulders $ 3,500 $ 1,500
Torso $ 5,000 $ 1,800
3/4 $ 6,000 $ 2,000
Full Body $ 9,500 $ 3,500
ANIMALS, ETC. Starting at $ 900


Additional charges for background detail and complicated garments.

Please call for information on procedures for a photographic sitting.