Why Commission A Portrait?

A sample of Portraits over the Years.

Why Commission A Portrait?

An artist will capture their interpretation of you and create something that is unique, whether it’s ink & wash on paper or acrylics on canvas, the final product will be both artful and timeless.

The power of photography is that it captures every detail of reality. A photo will capture all the conventions of the day, from haircuts to colours. It is these conventions that fix a photo to a particular time and place. As a result, within a few years, the image will start to look dated and old.

This ageing process rarely happens with a painting.

The Artist, on the other hand, cannot match the camera’s ability for details. Instead, the Artist will edit or reinterpret the details like colours or shapes. Like a Chef, an Artist is making a general statement about the person before him or cited in a photo. By generalizing the individual, the Artist is freeing the portrait from the world ruled by time.

The Artist also will take hours or weeks studying the individual and then creating the portrait. The portrait is not made in a split second of a camera shutter but over weeks of drawing and painting. Even if the picture is sourced from a photo, the artwork will be considered and crafted over time. This process of creations adds depth to the work that is beyond what you will find in a photograph.

Finally, most portrait photographs are small and only viewable from a close distance. Furthermore, most people will feel uncomfortable about a large photograph hanging in their home or office. Paintings, on the other hand, are art and can be viewed as such. Rembrandt’s Night Watch is a group portrait, but it is considered to be art.

So, how good will your portrait painting be? The best answer to that is to look at past work by the Artist. Don’t expect a Rembrandt if you are going to David Hockney or vice versa. If you like what you see, then the odds are that you will get something very similar.

A few years ago, I commissioned Artist Christina Sealey to do two portraits of my children. I love her work and respect her as an artist. For me, it was a great way of owning two unique pieces by a great artist that I had followed for years. Today, these works hang in our home with great pride, and I am confident that my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will be viewing them as well. Can you say that about a photograph?

Whether you commission me or go to another Artist, a portrait painting of you, your family, or your company’s key people will be one of the best investments you will ever make.

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