First things first - what will your portrait say and where will it hang?

Portraits are commissioned out of love, admiration, or respect for a job well done.

They can celebrate the joy of family life, the love of a child or partner, or the admiration of children for their parents or grandparents. They can also be about achievement – the gratitude of a company for a lifetime’s work, the thanks of an institution for leadership or philanthropy, the respect of a people for outstanding service in public office.

Whether they are deeply personal, or to been seen by a wider audience, whether to celebrate a moment in your child’s life, or a great career, portraits are pieces of history. They are heirlooms that will keep memories alive forever.

Time spent thinking about what you want your portrait to say, about the person portrayed (its subject), what to include in the picture to help tell that story, how big the picture will need to be and where it will hang, is time well spent.

Talk to your artist about your hopes and goals for the picture. Making the painting is a collaborative process, your artist will bring ideas and experience to the table, but they will want to hear everything you have to say. A commission is a contract to make the picture you hope for – your artist should value your input, just as you will value their experience and professionalism.