Schedule of Portrait Fees.

 COMMISSIONING A PORTRAIT

All of us want to be
seen at our best, and it
is part of the painter's
job to find out what
that looks like.
Lucy, With Friend.
(Mr. Charles M. Guthridge)
(1996) 32 x 48
private collection

'L'ouis Briel, working in his preferred medium - acrylic polymer on canvas, creates portraits that combine the vibrant luminosity of watercolor with the richness and permanence of oils. More than many artists, his style varies from traditional to contemporary, depending on the commission. He invites potential patrons to become participants with him in the joy of making fine art - to become equal partners in designing an appropriate statement about the subject. To accomplish this, Briel's method of working is flexible.

After an initial consultation with the client, either by phone or in person, a first meeting is scheduled to talk in depth about the specifics of the portrait commission, type of portrait, pose, size, placement, time-frame, reason for the commission, and any other specific or general requirements which may apply. The artist also uses this time to get to know his subject, to form initial visual impressions, or in the case of posthumous work, to learn more about the resources available to construct the painting. A deposit is required at this time to secure the commission.

While he prefers to work from sittings, this is not always possible. He can work from photographs alone, from video tape, or from a combination of sittings and other sources, as he and the client deem best. He does whatever is necessary in each commission to achieve a distinctive result. Assuming sittings will be used, the second session is to gather more visual impressions, sometimes by sketching usually from taking photographs of the subject in the agreed clothing and setting.

Following this session Briel works up a full size schematic drawing on canvas for the final portrait, and after approval of the client, begins painting, using photographs, and sittings scheduled at the convenience of the client. Sittings are generally no more than two hours. The final sitting is for approval by the client and any adjustments to the finished painting.

Because he works carefully, fashioning something enduring and precious, Louis Briel can accept only a limited number of commissions each year. Generally, requests are added to the waiting list as they are received, and commissions usually can be completed within eight weeks after beginning. Briel's paintings, while not inexpensive, are moderately priced by contemporary standards.