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The Gift

We have been showing the portrait oil paintings of artist Cynthia Feustel for the past two months. Cynthia has agreed to be our “go to” portrait artist which is very exciting since we have not had a portrait artist of her caliber and reputation to refer our clients until now. If you haven’t been to the Gallery to see her exquisite work, be sure to do so. With that in mind, we have asked Cynthia to write a little about what to expect when commissioning a portrait, so read on!

Portrait Commissions
Commissioning a portrait begins with a meeting to discuss the mood, setting and size of the painting. An important aspect of this meeting is to get to know you and establish a genuine sense of what you wish to capture in the portrait.

Attire, pose and facial expression have always played a central role in portraiture and it is attention to these details that make a portrait believable and vibrant with life.

Clothing selection for the most part is of personal taste. It really can be anything from draped fabric, as in my figurative works, to full costuming that represents someone’s heritage, interests or lifestyle. It is usually best to choose something without too much pattern so as not to distract from the main focus of the portrait, which is the face. I prefer to work from photos that I take myself so I can adjust the composition and lighting to meet my needs for the painting.  Several outfits can be chosen for the photo shoot in order to explore different options.

A portrait should be authentic and true to the individuality of the person, based on what they love and how they see themselves. Every person has some gesture or demeanor that defines them in some way. It is capturing that defining moment that makes a portrait alive and believable. The choice of a formal or informal setting often depends on personality, age or even where the painting is going to hang. Once the photos are taken I will chose several exceptional ones and together we will make the final selection. In the event of a posthumous portrait or one depicting a past event, I will do my best work with your photos.

Due to the many variables of each client’s vision for their portrait, the painting is priced on an individual basis. We will discuss the various price ranges and options at our first meeting. Once we finalize all those details, a down payment will be required to begin the portrait process. The price does not include framing, shipping, taxes or travel expenses.

My goal is to bring a fresh, innovative approach to portraiture, capturing the personality and energy that makes each of my subjects unique. Although people often say that my work looks like a photograph, I feel that is far from the truth. By using a simplified composition, with a sense of light, atmosphere and texture, I add my own interpretation and vision to create something that is hopefully far more real than the limitations of photography.

I use traditional oil painting techniques on museum quality Belgium linen and archival oil paints to create a treasured heirloom to last for generations. Above all, your satisfaction is of utmost importance to me and I look forward to working with you.