What is a portrait commission?

What is a portrait commission?

Handmade portraits on request

We have had the pleasure of drawing or painting the photos of many of our clients, being part of the illusion with which you order your commissioned portraits.  Couples, parents, children, nephews and nieces, brothers and sisters, friends and also pets are the most common portraits, commissioned from photos that you normally take with your cell phones.

Some portraits are composed from several photos and always before starting the portrait we send you a previous montage made in Photoshop so you can see how the composition is going to be. We like you to be involved in every step and that everything is to your liking.

The commissioned portraits can be done in charcoal on black and white paper and color oil on canvas, and are the gifts that leave the best impression, touching the heartstrings. Gifts that hang and are always present, never fall into oblivion.

Portrait of people

Within the hierarchy of genres, the portrait has an ambiguous and intermediate position; on the one hand, it depicts a person made in the likeness of God, but on the other hand, it is ultimately about glorifying a person’s vanity.[1] Among other variations, the portrait may be clothed or nude; indoors or outdoors; standing, seated, reclining; even mounted on horseback (equestrian portraiture).

Among other variations, the subject may be clothed or nude; indoors or outdoors; standing, seated, reclining; even mounted on horseback (equestrian portraiture). Portrait paintings can be of individuals, couples, parents and children, families, or groups of colleagues (“group portraiture”). They can be created in a variety of media including oil, watercolor, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel and mixed media. Artists can employ a wide palette of colors, such as Renoir’s On the Terrace (1881) or limit themselves to near black and white, as in Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington in 1796.

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Dealing with the expectations and mood of the model is a serious concern for the portraitist. In terms of the portrait’s fidelity to the model’s appearance, artists usually have a consistent approach. Clients seeking Joshua Reynolds knew exactly that the result would be flattering, while Thomas Eakins’ models would expect a realistic portrait. Some portrait sitters have strong preferences, others let the artist decide entirely. Oliver Cromwell famously demanded that his portrait show “all these roughnesses, pimples and warts and all that you see in me, otherwise I will never pay a penny for it.”[14] The artist’s portrait of the artist’s portrait was a very good example.

Thomas lawrence

In Portrait Gallery we make color oil portraits in the most used pictorial technique since the 15th century. It is the technique that allows more types of finishes for its versatility, and with which we feel more comfortable to offer realistic portraits, with many shades of color and more finished areas in contrast to other less finished.

Although at a slightly higher cost than charcoal drawings, oil portraits are made in full color, making the artwork you get when you order your portrait even more powerful. The color, the brushstrokes, the shades, the glazes, the impasto; a whole set of sensations that you will enjoy when you have your oil portrait in your hands and you can hang it on your wall, or give it as a gift to that special person.

The oil portraits are made on canvas mounted on a 3D frame, which is a frame with more thickness than normal, with an edge of 3cm. In this way the painting has enough presence and packaging to not need a frame. In addition, the painting acquires a modern aesthetic.

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Francisco de goya

Painting oil portraits can take a considerable time, depending on the dimensions, the difficulty of the face, the background of the portrait, or the dress. It can also vary a lot depending on the painter, on his system of work, that is to say, there are many factors that influence the time.

However, for Charles Dickens there were only two kinds of pictorial portraits: “the serious one and the smiling one”.    More seriously, Aristotle’s opinion about portraits was different: “The aim of art is not to present the external appearance of things, but their internal meaning”. For him, reality was the inside of people, not their external appearance.

Painters can choose between a photographic realism or an impressionistic likeness to paint portraits or replicas. Between these margins the painter can choose to try to represent the person both internally and in their external appearance.    The painter to capture both the interior of the person, as well as different emotions should make subtle variations in the lips, eyebrows, eyes … There are people who expect a flattering portrait, others expect a realistic portrait. I suppose there will be others who expect all the rough edges of life to be depicted, including pimples, warts, deep wrinkles…, but I have not found anyone to date. This can happen to anyone, it even happened to Gaugin in the portrait he painted of his hostess “La Belle Angela”.

What is a portrait commission?
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