The basis of a beautiful portrait and a satisfied client, is excellent communications between the artist, the client, and possibly the subject.
At the initial request, I try to determine my client's expectations. I want to make sure they have seen examples of my style, either at The Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville IN - or on my website - to determine which portraits they are most drawn to. This gives me a better idea of the type of portrait my client is expecting. Then we discuss size, pricing, poses, and backgrounds. At this point, the contract is discussed, completed. and the deposit is paid.
I usually like to have the client provide as many photos of the subject as possible, unless I will be involving the subject in photo sittings. Then, I can get the subjects' personal preferences and expectations as well. I also ask for photos - or actual pieces - of any clothing, jewelry, furniture, or background items that the client would like included.
As the portrait develops, we discuss various facial features and mood. I'll then e-mail an initial pose composite for approval, prior to starting the portrait. I provide my client with progress photos, and will possibly make suggestions that will enhance the portrait. If the client would like any changes, they need to be discussed early in the process. I want to make sure that my client feels very involved with the portrait.
After I send a photo of the completed portrait, we can discuss framing options. If I am ordering the frame, I ask for photos of my client's current frame decor, or their favorite styles. I send photos to my client of several framing choices that will compliment the portrait. If the client doesn't wish to get the framing done elsewhere, I can place the frame order through my dealer. After its arrival, I frame the portrait - ready-to-hang - and set a meeting with my client for their inspection and approval. At this time, final payment is made. After plenty of involvement throughout the process, my client should be very happy with the finished portrait!
In my experience, a portrait commission for a satisfied client, is a creation born from the melding of desire, ability, and LOTS of communication!