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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to know before starting?

Who will be the subject of your painting? If you are having your children painted, you need to decide if they will sit alone or as a group.  Individual portraits of children are charming and very reasonably priced.  Groups can be a more expensive way to go, but they fulfill a wonderful documentation of your children’s relationships with one another.  

Where will the painting be installed – an office, a lobby, a living room, a formal sitting room?  Does it fill a personal, official, formal, casual, classical, or whimsical need?  Answers to these questions will help you determine the medium, the composition, the clothing, and the setting.

What style do you prefer?  Are you more comfortable with an impressionistic, painterly style or a more realistic, photographic style? This is the first question you will be asked, so educate yourself by browsing my website, going through art books, or visiting a museum. If you have chosen me as your artist, I assume that you are comfortable with my style which tends to me more impressionistic rather than photo realist. I idealize my subjects showing them in their most flattering light, pose and compositions.

What should I expect to spend on my portrait?

It is important to understand that when a price is quoted, it is for the artwork only. There is no charge for travel inside Westchester for the initial photo shoot or for additional sittings and consultations conducted at the artist's Scarsdale Studio. Travel costs will be incurred when the photo shoot is conducted outside of Westchester or if sittings and consultations are held at your home. .

I can accommodate most any budget.  Please do not hesitate to call me to discuss your preferences. Prices on website are for watercolor portraits based on a photo shoot. Charcoal and pastel drawings from your photos are available at lower price points.

What is the medium you prefer?  

The medium can impact the purpose, style, and budget of your project.  Watercolor paintings are the most versatile medium affecting style and purpose. Watercolor for children is ideal as it imparts a luminosity to the skin tones that is impossible to achieve through oil as well as a lightness and spontaneity.  Pastels and drawings are often less expensive, but they are generally less formal, so they tend not to be used for corporate or institutional purposes.  Photographic portraits can be either formal or informal.

How does the process work?

I will travel to your desired location for a sitting.  This is an exciting experience involving photography and important artist/client communication.  When I return to my studio, I study the photographs, making adjustments. We schedule a meeting to review the photos in my studio nd choose the perfect photo or if necessary a combination of photos. When circumstances require, I can work from a photograph that you provide.  Next we meet for you to approve the initial contour drawing. Your finished portrait is either shipped or picked up from my Scarsdale studio.

How long does the portrait take?

House, pet and baby portraits may be completed within a 1 week time frame. For family portraits, a non-refundable deposit is required to schedule a photo shoot and secure spot on waiting list. Since I work on several portraits at the same time, I can photograph the subjects at your earliest convenience. Then it takes about a week before photographs are reviewed and another 1-2 weeks for an initial drawing. Although the process can be expedited, the normal process takes 6-8 weeks.

What about a frame?

For paintings, photographs, and drawings, the frame is the next most significant expense you will have.  You should seek out professional advice for framing, and purchase the best you can afford.  A portrait is not framed like a landscape or modern art.  There are specific guidelines for framing portraiture and certain archival considerations only a professional knows.  I have developed relationships with many great frame shops and am happy to assist you with this decision.  

Will my artwork appear online or in brochures?

I maintain the the right to photograph the the artwork for publicity or reproduction purposes. However, out of respect for your privacy I do not use children or family names when titling or describing my artwork unless specific permission has been granted. I also maintain  the right to exhibit art commissioned either before sale is complete or in a retrospective of  my work for a maximum of 60 days within a five year period.

Can I have reproductions of my artwork?

Photographing fine art is an art in itself.  I  photograph all my artwork so that it may be reproduced. You may purchase prints from me for $36 each. These high quality matted prints on watercolor paper make wonderful gifts for grandparents and family members.  Many families like to show off their portraits on holiday cards. I can publish  the cards for you for $2 each or you may purchase the digital  image with reproduction rights for your own use.

What is a nameplate? Do I need one?

Nameplates or name plaques identify the subject and/or artist. I can guide you in selecting the appropriate wording and selecting an appropriate plaque.  Plaques could be a simple brass plate, or a custom-made, hand-painted gilt wood plaque.

Can you come to our unveiling ceremony? 

Once your portrait has been completed, I can help oversee all details of your unveiling and presentation ceremony. Expert advice is available for installing your work of art, from placement on a wall to correct lighting and even security options for works in public spaces.  Again, I can recommend a professional hanger to install your work and would be honored to attend your unveiling ceremony or special occasion.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any of your questions.  I am here to assist you!

To schedule an appointment please call 917-750-5664.
or email miriam@schulmanArt.com
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