Fine Art and Portraiture

Portraits Procedure

Marc Chatov Portrait Procedure

Commissioning a fine portrait is a centuries old tradition that should be an enjoyable and enriching cultural experience.

When inquiring about a portrait initially, you will likely hear from Marc and the Chatov Studio office via email and/or phone. Depending on your location, you might even consider preliminary meetings at his studio. During this phase, Marc likes to get an idea of what kind of portrait you envision, if there are multiple subjects, and basically learn your wants and needs for the portrait. You and Marc will also decide on a schedule and location for the portrait preparation and sittings.

After the initial conversation, you and Marc will work together to determine all the details of the portrait commission—formal or informal, portion of figure, canvas size, where the portrait will hang, what to wear. An outdoor portrait typically tends to be informal, but regardless of the setting, you should avoid clothing that will date the portrait to a particular era. You will most likely be happy with a portrait years from now if it is a timeless classic.

If there are multiple subjects in the portrait, some figures may be standing in full while others may be half or three quarter if seated. Remember, this painting is a lifetime heirloom, and the feeling of the painting is affected by the setting, clothing, facial expression and medium. Generally, charcoal and graphite drawings are less expensive and less formal, and they must be framed behind glass. Oil paintings are considered more formal and require no glass.

The first sitting may take place at either the artist’s studio or at the client’s home. Marc prefers to paint his subjects using a combination of life sittings and photographs when possible. In preparing to paint the subject, he prefers three days of initial sittings for color sketches, compositional studies and photography. Within this framework, Marc has time to observe the subject in a natural environment and get insight into the subject’s character and anatomical gestures. Marc likes to work within natural lighting situations, but he also comes equipped with additional lighting that he may need.

Using the photographs and sketches from the sitting, Marc and the client will then decide on the basic color themes and the structure of the composition so the client is assured he or she will get the painting envisioned. Once these decisions are made, Marc returns to his studio to complete the portrait. A subsequent sitting may be necessary and can occur at the portrait’s delivery—this usually takes no more than an hour.

Portraits in oil start at $7,600 for a bust, and Portraits in charcoal start at $4,800.

A signed contract with 50% deposit will be due in advance of the first sitting, and the balance is due at the completion of the commission and acceptance by the client.

Marc’s current delivery time is 6-8 months.

Not Included in the Price: Framing, shipping/crating, out of town travel/living expenses and sales tax.

Marc is happy to give framing style recommendations but does not handle framing. Depending on your choice of frame, costs can run from several hundred to several thousand dollars.