Hi there! If you are interested in a unique, original, and not-so-perfectly-based-in-realism portrait—and you like my style—then you’re in the right place.
While I have had formal training in a variety of artistic disciplines, my favorite thing to look at and represent on canvas is anything organic in nature, especially living, breathing creatures with expressions. Therefore, I take pleasure in working with customers to paint a portrait that both captures the likeness of the subject, while at the same time has exaggerated colors and a lively, almost whimsical quality. I can do something more traditional (see “Ozzy”), but my favorite way to work is in a fast, passionate, colorful, “painterly” way, showing palette knife marks and scratches, brushstrokes, and first and second and final passes over a subject (see “Vince” or even “Me”).
The Quality, Care, and Commitment to Local and Regional Businesses and Recycling
I work in both oil and acrylic, using the highest quality and highest pigment paints I can get my hands on. Many of my paints are quite old: they were passed down from a seasoned, professional portrait artist, Dottie French, who used high quality paints and some seriously awesome brushes! Thanks to her I now have practically a library of oil pigments, a variety of colors I never dreamed I’d be able to afford to add to my repertoire, a collection of fabulous, time-worn and well-cared-for brushes, and all kinds of other goodies that took years to collect and might otherwise have continued to stagnate with disuse.
The oil paints I purchase are usually a new, high quality, hand-blended paint called Occhuzzie, out of Charlotte, NC. I really enjoy mixing colors with the texture of this hand-blended paint.
I usually stretch and prime my canvas myself, using 100% duck cotton, because I enjoy the process, believe this yields a higher quality product, and find that for me, personally, it is an important, almost meditative part of beginning a painting. I also use panels when I can get my hands on them.
The bulk of my purchased supplies come from Boone, NC, (an hour and 20 minutes away), either from the family-owned art supply warehouse founded by watercolorist Joe Miller, or the smaller Art Mart on King St.
The Final Product
The paintings are gallery-wrapped, meaning they’re painted around the sides, for a professional, clean, gallery-quality look. They come wired and ready to hang, signed by me on the front, and dated and titled on the back. (I also write a small reference number for internal record-keeping on the back.) Unless you specify a preference, I will choose whether to do the piece in oil or acrylic based on how I think the subject will be best represented and the time allotted. (As oils take longer to dry, if you have a rush order, I will be using acrylic.)
What I Need From You
If this all sounds good to you, and you would like to commission me for a portrait feel free to email me at Blankenship.firstname.lastname@example.org with “Commission Inquiry” in the subject. We can chat about any questions you may have via email or over the phone. Before I begin your painting, I will need: 1) A high-quality photo that remains clear when blown up to an 8” x 10” 2) a completely filled out, signed, and dated version of both pages of this release form–Page 1 and Page 2–and 3) half of the payment, either by check, cash, or PayPal. For pricing, see below. If you have any other questions before contacting me, check out my Commission FAQ section here.
Sign up for Laura’s newsletter featuring upcoming exhibits, discounts, new work, & events!