Jane Portrait by Simon Taylor

Commissioning an Original Portrait

Why commission a portrait?

An artist has the freedom to capture individuality, personality and something much deeper than merely a likeness.

A commissioned portrait becomes a treasured and timeless possession of personal value which will last for generations.

Historically, grand portraits were painted to denote status, power and wealth. This is certainly still true for institutional works, where tradition, history and heritage are also important factors. Privately commissioned portraits are usually commissioned to make a personal record of someone at a particular point in their life; child-hood, a significant age, an achievement or academic qualification, or perhaps an event such as marriage. Commissions may often be commemorative works of loved ones who have passed away.

How it Works

If you are considering commissioning a portrait, you may already have a good idea of the type of picture you want. But if not, a good start is to think about who the portrait is for, the style most suitable, where it will hang and how much wall space is available. I have written a brief guide about the choice of media below.

We would have an initial chat to discuss your requirements in terms of style, media and size. I would then submit a price for approval. Once agreed, we would arrange a single sitting where I take reference photos. Where this is not possible, I can work from existing photos where suitable.

Pricing Guide

From a simple pencil drawing to a large formal painting, each original work has specific requirements, and therefore prices vary accordingly.

As a rough guide, prices typically start at around £250 for an A4 portrait drawing, £450 for a portrait in watercolour with simple background (A3 approx) and £3000 for a portrait on canvas size 30 x 20 inches. Prices will be less for smaller scale works and higher for detailed and larger works. Travel charges will be chargeable at my discretion.

Once the commission is agreed, I require a 30% payment prior to starting the work, the remainder due on completion.

If you would like to discuss any aspects of my work, please contact me for an informal chat on 01691 839097, or message me. I am based on the Welsh borders near Oswestry, Shropshire but can travel.

Here's a quick guide to choosing the right style and medium for a portrait.

Portraits on Canvas (typically £3000 for a 20 x 30" canvas)

To have an original work with the most impact, depth and complexity and as a great legacy, a portrait on canvas is very suitable. They are also suitable for larger wall spaces and where a colour image is preferable. This is also the best choice for grand formal works.

Portraits in Watercolour (from £450 for an A3 size work)

Portraits painted in watercolour are preferred where a looser colour image of smaller scale is required. They combine the subtleness of a drawing with some of the depth of a work on canvas, and are more suitable for a less formal portrait.

Portrait Drawings in Pencil or Chalk (from £250)

Many of my clients choose pencil or chalk drawings for their portrait, as aside from the advantage of lower price, drawings can be very evocative and timeless. Suitable for portraits of children and adults alike.