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Photo guidelines
Sample contract
Artist's Statement

If You Would Like a Portrait Painted From an Existing Photo...

Any photo can be copied in oil, but only the best photos will translate into quality portraits when painted.

I prefer to meet the subjects myself, but if that is not possible, I will need clear, detailed photographs of the subjects, preferably taken in natural light. Please choose photos where details of the face are clear, with plenty of gradation in the highlights, lights and shadows (not too bright or too dark).

Making Changes
If you are wondering about whether I can change features from a photograph, keep in mind that when it comes to facial expressions, I am limited to what I see in the photographs. I don't have much leeway to adjust his or her pose. I can't add a smile, turn a head to the side, change someone's weight, or add a different expression.

However, I can easily smooth out a troubled complexion if you request it. It is also possible to add or remove jewelry, but not eyeglasses.

Sometimes to improve a composition, I will want to change some features, such as the color of clothing or the relative positioning of two people, and often I like to take artistic license with the background. Please let me know if this is a problem.

Old Photos
I welcome old or historical photos.

Combining Photos: Background, Composition
A figure can usually be painted on a different background; they do not need to be in the same photo.

However, combining subjects from different photos is not recommended. The composition will tend to be boring. Also, if the light on the subjects' faces is not coming from the same direction with the same intensity, it is difficult for me to establish compositional unity and connection between the subjects. If this is a memorial portrait and one of the subjects has passed away, it is a special circumstance and I will try very hard to accommodate this.

Reference Photos
Additional photos of a subject in different poses & situations are extremely helpful to me in painting a portrait. Please send me as many photos as you possibly can!

All photos will be returned to you with the painting.