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FAQ | Marina Kim Portraiture


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How long does a portrait commission take?

That depends on whether you are commissioning a portrait from life or portrait from photograph.

If you prefer a portrait from life, the quickest option is a sketching session. It takes 2 hours, at the end of which I will have made 7-15 drawings. Some will be better than others! What my clients love about this type of commission is the essence of the subject captured in a quick line drawing. All of the drawings made during the session belong to you. Please visit the gallery of sketches.

If our meeting in person is not possible, then we can work from photographs. In this case it won’t take much of your time, and the time it takes me to complete the work will depend on the medium, style and size of the portrait you choose, starting from two months for a small portrait and up to 12 months for a large and complex project.

In the case of a large detailed painting, the minimum time from start to completion is six months.

Do you paint or draw portraits from life?

Yes, I do. The number of sittings required is between 1 and 12 depending on the size and style of the portrait. The sessions last around 2 hours.

Can you paint a portrait from photographs?

Yes. In the cases when the portrait is of a child, or the meeting in person is not practical, the use of photographs and Internet is the best option to go forward. To see the portrait commissions done with the use of photographs and read about the process, visit …

Do I have to sit absolutely still while having my portrait painted?

Not really. All you have to do is make yourself comfortable and relax. Imagine you are having a chat with a friend. Occasionally, I will ask you to move slightly, or to look in a certain direction.

How much does it cost to commission a portrait?

The cost depends on the medium, style and size, as well as the number of people on the portrait. Taking these variables into consideration, the price is discussed on our first meeting. To form an idea of approximate price for your portrait, please visit the Pricing page.


What if I can’t travel to your studio?

One way around that is to work entirely from photographs. Alternatively, we can discuss my travelling to your location.

What art media do you work in?

I work in painting media like oils, acrylic, tempera, watercolour, as well as in graphic media: pencil, ink, engraving, charcoal.

Do you paint posthumous portraits?

Yes, I had painted several posthumous portrait commissions using photographs. In some cases the photographs were quite old and faded, yet I set out to capture the essence of the person and my clients were very happy with the results. A few of the commissions in colour were painted with the use of black and white photographs, which was a challenge!

Ask your question about the process of commissioning a portrait in the comment box below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Portraits provide a permanent visual reminder of the ties between the generations of your family, expressing the emotional connection between you, your ancestors and your descendants. Long after photographs have faded, portraits remain.