Frequently Asked Questions

Where did you study art?

I received my Bachelors Degree in Studio Art from the University of California, San Diego in 1996. And I have completed advanced courses of study at the Watts Atelier of the Arts in Encinitas, California. In 2003 I began teaching courses there in drawing, painting and illustration.

How often do you teach? Do you offer private workshops?

I usually teach at the Watts Atelier a couple of times a year and may have news soon about private workshops. Check the “News” section of the website periodically for information. I also am available to travel and teach short workshops around the country and internationally as I have done for various art groups in the U.S., Japan, Korea and India. Please feel free to send me an email inquiry about teaching a workshop for your group or even individual tutorial sessions.

How long does it take to complete a portrait commission?

From the point at which the details of the commission are agreed upon and I have the photo reference in hand, it will take from two to three months generally to complete an average portrait commission. If the portrait will be done from live sittings, it may be completed more quickly.

How do you determine your fees for portrait commissions?

My fee structure is based partly on the size and nature of the compositions. But more importantly, it is determined by the years of experience and education I have undergone to achieve my current style and level of skill.

Do you apply a varnish to your finished paintings?

It depends on how soon the client would like to have the finished work delivered.When my paintings are dry to the touch, within three to four weeks, I always apply a temporary retouch varnish to even out the sheen and to give a small amount of protection. If the client can wait six months, or wants to return it to me after six months have passed, I can apply a final archival varnish.

Do you accept live portrait sittings at your studio?

Currently I do not meet clients in my studio for photo or painting sessions. I will travel to where you are. Portraits are usually best when the subjects are comfortable and depicted in their own home or business environment.

Are there any original works on your website for sale?

Yes. Many of the landscape and still life paintings are available for purchase. Their availability will be listed below each image. Contact me about individual prices.

What are the steps to commissioning an original portrait painting?

First, we would set up an appointment to discuss the portrait in person or over the phone. I will ask things such as what the purpose of the portrait will be (gift for a loved one, for a public space or private business, for the sake of art itself, etc.), how you would like the subject to be perceived, what mood or emotions you would like it to convey, where it will hang and other logistical concerns like size and number of people to be included. Then I will draw up a contract and we will meet at a location of your choosing for the photo shoot with the portrait subject. I bring all the equipment I need, including lights. But I prefer natural daylight from a window, for indoor portraits. And if it will be an outdoor setting it is best to have a cloudy day or to use the open shade. Direct sunlight can be dramatic, but is not always the most flattering light. If possible, we may immediately review the digital photos, or I may send the best choices to you over email at a later date. Once the photos are agreed upon, and the contract is signed with the deposit paid, I can begin work on the final painting. Usually I do not show preliminary sketches or studies to clients, unless I paint a live quick oil study at the first meeting. The entire finished portrait may also be painted directly from life. Modeling for a fully rendered portrait is a fascinating and rewarding experience and is definitely always an option. It is, of course, how all portraits used to be done. But it can be very time consuming and physically challenging if you are not used to holding poses for long periods of time. I have many years of experience painting people from live sittings and have learned what it takes to create the spontaneous look of a live sitting when working from photos. So there is generally no difference in the finished painting, whether it was painted from photos or from life.

Can you work from an existing photo of the subject?

In order to create the best possible portrait for you in my personal style it is best if I take my own photos of the subject. However, it may sometimes be necessary for you to supply the photographic reference, as in the case of a posthumous portrait. But it is very important the photos are of good clear quality with natural or professional lighting. Photos taken with a simple flash do not translate well into portrait painting. If there will be more than one subject in the composition, the lighting must be consistent on everybody and ideally they should appear in the same photo together to ensure consistency in lighting and color saturation.