Commission a Family Portrait Painting

 “Tybee Stroll” by Mary Pratt
 “Tybee Stroll” by Mary Pratt
 “Tybee Stroll” by Mary Pratt

When we hear references to a family portrait, we may think about hiring a photographer and loading up the van with the kids to head out to an obscure outdoor location for a staged photo session. However there are more options to consider when deciding how best to capture your family’s portrait. Once considered a luxury only accessible to the affluent, portrait painting offers a sophisticated opportunity to recreate our family members’ best features and characteristics. As we’ve outlined in a previous article, pursuing an art commission through a gallery is easier than you might think.

Why Choose a Painted Family Portrait?

An artist commissioned family portrait offers a special and unique way to display your love for your family as captured through a skilled artist’s creative eye.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of commissioning art, it is the process of working with an artist to create a unique artwork based on your ideas and the artist's specific style. The commission is typically facilitated by gallery experts who are adept at identifying and exploring your needs and matching them with the ideal artist. Family portraits are a wonderful application of the art commission process.

There are many benefits to a painted family portrait that make it a desirable option. The process offers an enjoyable experience for a family to share. A painted portrait is an original work of art that you can customize to complement your home decor. As it relates to gifting, you would be hard-pressed to find a more personal and thoughtful present to share with your family. As a surprise gift, the “great reveal” is one of the best elements of the overall experience.


We Offer a Breakdown of Some of the Main Reasons to Consider Commissioning a Family Portrait:

You Are Acquiring an Heirloom Work of Art

Many of us seek out a painted family portrait because they are different and lasting and will be a treasured keepsake for generations to come.

In terms of capturing memories for posterity, a painting endures. While photos can eventually end up at the bottom of a box in a basement, original art is more likely to be treasured for multiple generations. We record these memories not just for our own gratification, but because our children and grandchildren will also cherish them. A painted representation of our family through the lens of an artist is special and meaningful in a way that goes beyond the snapshot.

You Never Have to Load the Kids in the Car

Whether it is the city where you reside, a faraway place your family has visited, or an altogether new location, a commissioned painted portrait can transport your family to any desired location (without having to worry about the weather) as a backdrop for your portrait.Family Portrait Commission by Jesse Aldana

You Can Travel Back in Time

A commissioned portrait doesn’t have to reflect the here-and-now but can capture a family memory.

UGallery client Ali wanted to commission a painting of him with his sister based on a fond memory from their childhood. He selected artist Jonelle Summerfield for the piece which he was acquiring as a gift for his sister. According to Ali’s recollection, he and his sister were jet-lagged and awake in the early morning hours, looking out their window at the sunrise. Jonelle was able to recreate the moment as an oil painting.“Forever this Way” Commission by Jonelle Summerfield

Ali later shared his excitement upon experiencing her reaction to the big reveal:

"We just FaceTimed as my sister opened her gift. She was instantly in tears and largely speechless - recognized that this was the scene I had described in the photo book we made for her. She later texted me that 'this is the most thoughtful and beautiful gift ever given to me.’”

In this same vein, a painted portrait can be a beautiful memorial as a way to honor and remember a beloved family member who has passed. Artists have been honoring fallen military personnel this way for many years, but the concept makes a lovely tribute no matter the circumstances.


Your Portrait Can Be as Creative as You Are

Working with a gallery, you can choose abstract art or other styles which appeal to your sense of creativity. Our client Stephanie chose artist Ryan Pickart to paint a unique portrait of her daughter Sophie because she appreciated his style. Ryan is known to blur the lines between rigid and graceful qualities and present visually intriguing portrayals of his subjects.

Inspired by her love of Ryan's existing body of work, Stephanie wanted to capture Sophie's softness and her vibrant, sparkly personality and style. She also shared that she loved his floral backgrounds, which Ryan incorporated in the portrait based on Sophie's favorite flowers (pale orange roses, and water lilies). Ryan asked about her favorite outfits and requested that they take several photos of Sophie in natural light.“Sophie” Commission by Ryan Pickart

The final stunning result is a reflection of Ryan’s incredible talent and diligence in determining Stephanie’s preferences. Ryan sent quick "proofs” linking to different outfits, backgrounds, and various poses that inspired him, from which Stephanie was able to choose her favorite.

How Does the Process Work?

If the concept of a painted family portrait has piqued your curiosity, you may be wondering about next steps. The process by which you commission a family portrait is pretty easy to accomplish utilizing basic tools and your own creative instincts. Working with UGallery advisors, you can acquire a custom portrait in six simple steps:

  1. Share your ideas and preferences with us
  2. Collaborate with us to select the perfect artist for your project
  3. We then arrange a phone call with you, the artist, and our advisor Samantha to discuss the details
  4. Payment is sent in two parts -- half now, and half after the artwork is completed
  5. The artist creates your vision and we keep you updated with photos
  6. Finally, we securely ship your piece in a custom art box to hang in a prominent spot and enjoy every day

Looking to procure a family portrait utilizing UGallery’s simple six-step process? Contact us on our website to get started with your special commission.