The Portrait Procedure

Working from life as much as the sitter’s schedule permits, Charles believes time with the subject of the portrait is essential to delivering the best painting possible. Utilizing a combination of photography and life sittings, he works with the client to create a portrait imbued with personality and life.

Everything from the size of the canvas to the composition and the pose all work to convey the essence of the sitter that only time and understanding can produce. “I seek more than a likeness,” Charles explains. “In gesture and attitude, I seek to convey the spirit which makes the sitter unique.”

The Classic Portrait Experience

While not for everyone, having a portrait painted from life is a time honored, though unique, experience. Those who desire more than just a session with a photographer will find a better way - the satisfaction of seeing the development of a fine art portrait of depth and character. It should be no surprise that to achieve that depth of concept, it takes time between the sitter and the artist. Time to chat, time to paint from life, and time to go beyond the superficial likeness into a painting that captures the intangible and illuminates the qualities that define the individual.

What to Expect

Upon arrival, Charles will paint a head study from life in two sittings (roughly 2-3 hrs each). He may photograph some the first day, but mostly he wants to spend some time with the subject to gain some perspective toward the direction of the portrait. Later, based on the discussions with the sitter and client while painting the study, Charles will begin working out the pose for the painting that best conveys the sitter. The following day, he photographs the subject.

Back at the studio, he will then paint a color compositional study and send it via email for approval.

Later, Charles returns to the sitter to begin the portrait. Depending on the sitter’s preferences, he can work from life as much as the sitter’s schedule allows. For a complete portrait from life, the classic portrait experience, Charles needs six to eight sittings of roughly two to three hours each, scheduled for the sitter’s convenience.

For those who cannot commit the time to be painted from life throughout the process, Charles offers a blending of the old and the new.

For those who choose the blended approach, after the approval of the color study, Charles returns with the portrait already underway and between scheduled sittings he utilizes the photographs to move the painting forward. The blended approach needs two to four sittings. If you need a more streamlined process, a single two-hour sitting from life to complete the portrait is one of the few requirements the artist insists on. From the first head study to the final sitting the portrait should be complete within six months.