How It Works

Thanks for your interest in a custom portrait!

You are investing in an original, one-of-a-kind work of art that will become part of your home for many years to come.  It’s a pleasure for me to offer this to you and your family and I look forward to working with you to create a stunning portrait that will capture your loved one as no photograph can.

Please read the sections below to get an idea of what our process will be.

These are the simple steps that will take place as we create your portrait.




I work entirely from photos, so we will start with some good quality photos of your subject.

If you have some special photos in mind that you would like to use as a starting point for the portrait, we will start there.

Many times, I find it’s best to take photos specifically for your portrait.  If you currently live in the Los Angles area, I can come to you to take photos of your subject.

This will be an informal, fun photo shoot where we try to capture the best pose and expression of your child or pet.

If you live outside of the Los Angeles area, we can discuss what you have in mind and you can send me your photos via email.  If you will be using physical photos, you can send them regular mail.

NOTE: All print photographs will be returned to you safely in their original condition upon completion of your portrait.

Feel free to let me know which photo is your favorite as the pose and expression of the subject plays a large role in the look of the painting.

In some cases, I may request addition photos from you in order to have the best reference at hand before I start the portrait.

I like to use as many alternative photos as I can for additional reference.  You can never send me too many photos!  As long as they are taken at roughly the same time (with children, this is critical as they grow up so fast!).  The more reference I have, the more accurately I can paint your subject.




As you can tell from the portraits on my site, I paint with a keen eye to capturing the true character of the subject.

When we begin discussing your portrait, let me know some of your child’s or pet’s personality traits.  What are they like?  What makes them happy?  What part of their unique character would you like to really see in your portrait?

This is an original piece of art custom made for you and your family.  It will capture your loved one and will be a part of your life for many years, so it’s vital that you let me know exactly how you would like your child or pet to be portrayed!


Rough Comp


To give you a clear idea of what your portrait will look like, I will create a Rough Composition or “Rough Comp” that will show you what the painting will look like.

Think of it as a sketch before we go to the final stage.  This is where the client gets to give input about composition, sizing, choice of reference photos, background (if applicable), color choices…everything!

These notes are what I use to create exactly the portrait you desire.

NOTE: In the case of portraits created from specific photographs (ie. a posthumous subject), the rough comp stage may be skipped.


First Payment


Upon your approval of the “rough comp”, a 50% deposit is required.

Because it’s faster and more convenient, I prefer Paypal (especially for clients out of state) but will accept personal check or money order by mail also.  Cash in person payment is also happily accepted.

Once the final payment is cleared into my account, I start your painting!




My preferred media for painting portraits is unique and I haven’t seen any other artist producing this type of art.

I start with 100% acid free archival matboard.  This offers an elegant, nicely textured “canvas” with a wide palette of colors ranging from vibrant to subtle.

Next I paint with Gouache, which is an opaque watercolor paint renowned for its rich, high-saturation pigments.  I exclusively use the finest Winsor & Newton ™Designer grade Gouache paints for my portraits.

Finally, and this is what makes my work unique, is the final pass with oil based color pencil.  I exclusively use premium Prismacolor® colored pencils for their brilliant, light-resistant pigments and superior detailing.

This final pass adds a level of depth and detail that makes the portrait come to life.  I love hearing clients tell me how lifelike their portrait is!

NOTE: For clients that prefer a more “painterly” look, I also work with acrylic paint on canvas.  These will be priced higher.  Please contact me to discuss pricing.




I will periodically send you the photo updates of your “work in progress” portrait so you can see it coming to life!  Some clients like to wait and see the final portrait when it’s delivered.  Let me know what you prefer!


Final Payment


Upon completion of your portrait, I will email you a digital copy of your portrait for your final approval.  Once approved, I will send an Paypal invoice as I require the remaining balance before shipment.  As with the first payment, I also accept personal check or money order by mail.

Once the final payment is cleared into my account, I deliver your painting!  Your finished portrait is sprayed with fixative and covered with acid-free glassine paper for protection against smudging.

For local clients, I am happy to hand deliver the painting.

For out of state clients, your portrait will then be carefully packaged and shipped to you.

Although I find that insured USPS priority shipment is a good basic option, I am happy to ship to you in your preferred shipping method.

NOTE: All costs for shipping and handling within the continental US are included in the quoted price!




I deliver a finished portrait without any frame.

Due to the nature of the Gouache paint and pencil work, I highly recommend a custom, professional framing using archival ultraviolet or UV blocking glass (to protect your work of art from the sun’s harmful rays).  This will help prevent the vibrant colors in your portrait from fading over time!


Time Frame


It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for completion, but I can make accommodations on the time frame for those on a tighter schedule for gifts, etc.

NOTE: For Holiday orders, please order as early as possible since I get very busy around that time of year!!  Ideally for Christmas deadlines, I like to start early November.


As with any inquiries, please feel free to contact me directly.

Click here for current prices.