Portrait Progress Updates

Michelle Snead Portrait Artist of Raleigh, North Carolina

The timeframe within which a portrait is completed depends on the number of commissions already waiting. Michelle normally paints them in the order that they are received; however, there may be some cases where the painting must be completed for a special occasion, and she will take this into account. Michelle schedules an approximate delivery time when the contract is signed.

Prior to beginning a portrait in oil which is a three quarters figure or larger, Michelle paints a smaller portrait study which is usually about 8” x 10” or slightly larger. This study is done to determine composition and colors, particularly when she is combining several photographs. Though the study will look like the subject, the likeness will not be exact in this small size. She allows the client to see and approve this study. If it must be mailed, she asks that it is returned promptly since she continues to refer to her original concept while working on the final painting.

Once the painting is underway, Michelle frequently calls the clients with specific questions. There will be instances where she asks to see the subject again if the photographs do not give her enough information. In other cases, she will photograph the painting in progress and send it by email when she needs to ask questions of the client. This two way conversation helps in fine tuning the portrait during the process.

When the painting is finished, Michelle will notify the client. If the commission is from another area, she will send an image of the painting for approval. The client comes to the studio for approval if he/she is close by. In either situation, this is the point at which any likeness adjustment will be made should it be requested.