commission portrait artist strapline

Group Portraits

Family Groups: We have seen a dramatic increase in commissions of Group Portraits. More specifically, family groups in oil. When the economy wobbles people who have saved in the boom years and are wary of investing in money markets, often invest in art. In our case where clients traditionally commissioned portraits of their children, individual portraits are being replaced with paintings of the entire family including the dog.

Museum curators report that visitors are fascinated by family portraits. They are the ultimate illustrative record of a family at a certain stage in their lives.

For adults, painted when younger, family groups are an invaluable record of the family dynamic and how a room, piece of furniture etc, looked in their childhood home.

For artists, a group portrait can be the most rewarding genre as they reveal the challenge of composition.

When commissioning a group look at past examples, but don't be swayed by the composition, just look at how they were painted. Often artists are overlooked because the colours are too bright etc, but colours, composition, objects are personal to the sitters, which makes a family/corporate group all the more magical and unique.


  • What medium's right for you?
  • Firstly, what look are you trying to achieve?
  • Is this picture to hang with predecessors, ancestors, or the like?
  • Do you have a budget in mind?
  • Where is this picture going to hang?
  • How much space do you have?
  • Sometimes an artist whose style you admire may not be suited to painting under life size.

All these questions and more can be answered when you visit our commissioning gallery.


Avoiding common commissioning pitfalls

Is this painting for a particular date? A surprise?

Don't be tempted to choose an artist just because he/she can get the project completed in time. Always trust your instinct, if you don't find an artist whose style you really like don't embark on the project.

Have you seen enough of their recent work? Most important rule of all: don't choose an artist because you have heard of them. Many portraits linger in attics because people commission friends of friends to paint a child when they are really only confident at painting older people etc etc. The rules apply to all types of commissioning.