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a Family Heirloom in the Making

One of my students recently performed Classical Kathak dances, a great achievement in Hindu dance, and I have begun working on a formal portrait of her. The detail above from the larger composition shows the progress I have made after about eight hours of work. Keep in mind, there is a lot more work to be done to get it to the refined realism I strive for.

I'd like to demystify the idea of commissioning a work of art. It doesn't have to be intimidating, and it's not only for billionaires! A good portrait reveals the soul of the individual. It is a precious object to be handed down through the generations.

I talk with patron and discuss what they would like achieved in the portrait. The patron receives a proposal for the work with pricing and estimated delivery date. I take reference photos and also do some live studies for skin tone and other details. The patron receives a sketch for the composition and approves it, or recommends changes. Then, the work on canvas begins. Typically, I show progress at the development stage (the detail above is good example), and the refinement stage. If the patron has no further adjustments, I deliver the artwork. The patron is definitely included in the process! Payment can be made in installments : deposit, development, refinement and delivery of final art. Other payment options can be negotiated.

Subjects can be people, animals, even favorite objects, such as a piece of lace from a wedding gown, or a favorite toy. If you would like to discuss your idea for a commissioned work, please contact me at

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