This is a fun process and a unique opportunity to watch your work of art evolve over the course of a single session. Depending on the type of portrait, background and setting this can take place at either my studio or location of your choice. Although it does involve a commitment on the part of the sitter, people often find this to be much easier than they initially thought, commenting in the end how much they've enjoyed themselves. Having a portrait done from life is an interesting experience the sitter will remember for the rest of their lives.

The first twenty minutes or so of a sitting is used to explore ideas for the portrait. After settling on a pose I work to complete the portrait in one session. A session is broken down into 20 minute segments where the sitter poses for 20 minutes then takes a break for 4 or 5 minutes. A pencil sketch is approx. 20 - 30 minutes. A Charcoal is approx. 2.5 - 3 hours. An oil sketch is approx.6 hours.

When photography is used I usually recommend having me take the photos. This is because I work to photograph the subject with an eye toward creating a work of art. There is a distinct difference between most snapshots taken with an on camera flash and a photograph where the lighting is intentionally taken into consideration when composing the picture. Depending on the type of portrait a photo session is completed in as little as 10 - 20 minutes for a pencil drawing to several hours for an oil painting.

These classic intimate life portraits are rendered either on location or during one sitting in my studio. They are drawn in charcoal, pencil and/or sepia and the occasional touch of color. The typical portrait is accomplished in approximately three hours. Together we prepare 10 to 15 simple initial sketches, which are then reviewed by myself and the model in an effort to select a pose that is suitable for the final drawing.

Both options have their pros and cons. Ultimately, it depends on the type of portrait you'd like to own. The instantaneous nature of photography allows for options that are simply not possible any other way. However, the temptation can be to believe that the photo holds the "truth" which can be limiting the artistic creation.

We don't view the world like a camera does, indiscriminately treating all details the same. A work of art done from life is the result of decisions made moment by moment by an artist. The result is an artistic interpretation of the subject. In many artistic circles this is considered to be the more honest form of expression because the final vision is one not obscured by technology. It reveals clearly the level of skill achieved by an artist and is often a yard stick for measuring who commited they have been to their craft.

I don't believe there is only one way of doing things. It's hard enough to express ourselves under the best of circumstances. I like to be flexible and choose what I feel are the best tools for the task at hand.

If you're unsure which to choose please contact me and we can discuss which option is best for you.