The process of completing a commissioned work is a collaborative one. The first step is to obtain a quality reference photo. The client identifies a few photos of the subject that she likes and I discuss them with her to determine the best one for the purpose of a portrait. The dialogue about reference photos is free.

Below are some photos showing the relationship between a reference photo and the completed pastel painting.

Click on painting and reference will appear

Second, the client gives a 30 percent deposit. Generally, the full price includes a completed color piece and a preliminary, black and white drawing.

Third, I work on the painting or drawing! At several points in the development of the piece, I will check in with the client for comments on the work. With portraits, the comments focus on likeness and expression. I can’t always address every comment, but I do my best. 

Fourth, I send the painting to the client. If the client lives in the DC area, I will hand deliver it. If the client lives further away, I will ship it by USPS, Priority (2 day shipping). Shipping is not included in the price for the painting.

Generally I can produce a pastel painting within three weeks, sometimes sooner, after agreeing to a reference photo. My clients are always satisfied! I can provide client reviews on request.

If you are interested in a portrait please contact me at Please note again that there is no charge for discussing reference photos.