Important factors to bear in mind

There is a variety of styles and compositions to consider. When commissioning a portrait, look at past examples but do not be swayed by the composition.

We recommend looking at how they were painted. Often artists are overlooked because the colours are too bright, but colours, composition and objects are personal to the sitters, which is what makes portraits all the more magical and unique.

How long does it take to paint a portrait?

A head and shoulders portrait can take approximately three months to complete from booking to framing. However, it entirely depends on the artist in question's schedule. We have been known to turn round a painting in two weeks for a surprise birthday.

Generally it is mutually beneficial to both sitter and artist to paint from life, although if you have a busy schedule, a selection of our artists are happy to work from photographs. However, unless the commission involves a posthumous portrait, the artist would have to take his/her own photographs.

If you are looking to commission a portrait that needs to be unveiled by a particular date, please do let us know.

How much does a portrait cost?

Portraits are traditionally just under life-size. Expect to pay upwards of £1,500 for a head and shoulders in charcoal and from £2,500 for a head and shoulders in oil on canvas. Half and three quarter length portraits are generally between £5,000 - £20,000, with full lengths costing anything between £10,000 - £30,000 (on average).

If you are interested in commissioning a group portrait, please do contact the gallery as prices are dependent on a number of factors such as the number of figures or the size of canvas.

To get a better idea of pricing, specific to your own enquiry, please call the gallery: 020 7839 2792 or email info@fineartcommissions.com

Can I commission a portrait from a photograph?

Yes. Not all artists will paint from photograph but we have some artists that specialize particularly in this. We like to see the photograph first, to share this with the appropriate artist(s) before committing to the project and it can be useful to have further photographic material to give the artist more of an understanding of the subject’s character. The joy about turning a photograph into a portrait is that it can be done for someone as a surprise, but also if the subject is no longer with us, a portrait breathes wonderful life into a beloved photograph.

If I'm being painted from life, how long will it take?

This will depend on the size of the portrait, i.e. a head and shoulders portrait will take the artist less time than a full length portrait. The artists like to have between two and six sittings (again this is artist and size dependent). They will either do this from their studio, or they can travel to you. Subject to an artist’s availability, we can turn a portrait around in a matter of weeks, whereas more often an oil painting will require 2-3 months of work.

Is there a particular rule for child portraits?

In short, no! We encourage people to consider several factors, i.e. the age of the child and whether they suit a certain media. Commissions range from double portraits of mother and child, to delicate pastels, or strong charcoal head and shoulders portraits. Interestingly, drawings are now framed to sit comfortably amongst the best modern and traditional paintings.

  • The only downside of using Fine Art Commissions to find a portrait painter is that they have so many talented artists on their books.

    Simon Berry, Berry Bros. & Rudd

  • Every time I go to bed and pass those portraits, I never regret the money I spent.

    T. Wright

  • Fine Art Commissions are a wonderful sort of extended family to me. I’m sure I’d be heading in the wrong direction without them.

    Jamie Coreth

  • Fine Art Commissions’ expertise and unbiased judgement was extremely valuable and we would have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    RICHARD MORRIS, The Society of Merchant Venturers

  • It was a privilege and a glorified ego massage!

    Boris Johnson

  • We love the portrait…The whole process has been so enjoyable and easy and we have you all to thank for that.