How do I commission a portrait?

Carl Samson accepts a limited number of portrait commissions each year. Types of portraits vary from a charcoal or graphite portrait drawing, to an alla prima sketch to a traditional oil painting. To commission a portrait, please contact us here.

What happens next?

An initial consultation at your home or office, in the artist’s studio, or via phone is the starting point. Discussion will include questions such as where the portrait will hang, what size is appropriate and whether it will be formal or informal. Also to be determined is whether the subject can pose and whether the subject can pose in the artist’s studio (preferred). In circumstances which preclude a sitting, what sort of photo reference is available from which to paint the portrait?

How is the portrait created?

Generally, the subject’s accessibility and proximity determine how a portrait is created. This can be completely from life, a combination of life and photographs, or solely from photographs. Once these issues have been satisfactorily resolved, there will be an initial one hour session in the studio or on location, either photographic and/or drawing based, to decide on the exact pose to be used. The client and artist together will decide on the best pose and composition for the portrait. This is usually followed by a second session, a three hour head and shoulders color study painted in oil, when possible. Carl will then make a full-sized charcoal preparatory drawing in his studio to determine the final size and composition of the canvas. Once this drawing has been approved by the client, the actual canvas is stretched onto the wood supports, and work is begun on the painting.

The length of this process depends on several factors, including but not limited to the size and scope of the portrait, the amount of detail, and both the artist’s and subject’s schedules.

What is the cost?

Fees depend on what size and type of portrait you desire. Carl offers several types of portraits at various price points. These categories represent differences in a portrait size, medium, degree of finish and amount of detail, as well as the number of figures and hands that can show within the composition. Traditional oil portraits begin at $15,000. Please contact us here for details.

Are Carl’s other paintings for sale?

Like other notable painters past and present, Carl’s finished works are collected in several different categories, from landscape to figurative, and from drawings to prints. Contact us here to inquire about a painting, schedule a visit, or to be directed to what galleries may carry his work.

Would Carl consider exhibiting his figurative pieces in major exhibitions in the US and abroad?

Yes, Carl is a painter who revels in the expressive power of the human figure. His pieces of this genre strike a fine balance between a great respect for tradition while embracing all that is current and meaningful in the twenty-first century. Contact information is found here.

Is Carl available for teaching, demonstrations, workshops?

Carl Samson has excelled at teaching in a variety of venues. Known to be especially articulate in elucidating painterly principles, he has given lectures and presented portrait demonstrations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in various cities while Chairman of the American Society of Portrait Artists, and has led workshops of his own design and mentored artists privately in his own studio. A long term goal of Carl’s is to develop a more formal arrangement to teach regularly in the Cincinnati area. Meanwhile, he is available for lectures, demonstrations, seminars and workshops worldwide. Contact Carl here.


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Any other questions?

Please contact us here to request information or to ask additional questions.