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Frequently Asked Portrait Painting Questions

How is my portrait painted?

How long will my portrait last?

What painting style is used for my portrait?

How long does it take to complete a portrait?

How much input will I have during my portrait's completion?

What does the craftsmanship guarantee cover?

Can a custom background be added to my portrait?

Do you offer custom framing for my portrait?

Do you offer ‘ready to hang’ options?

What photographs make the best portrait?

How does an on-site photo session work?

What is an on-site private sitting?

How am I billed for my portrait?

How is my portrait shipped?

How do I get started?


How is my portrait painted?
Portrait Artist James Charles works exclusively with oil medium and is a renowned classically trained painter. Your portrait will be 100% hand painted by him in his Marlborough, Massachusetts studio. To achieve the best reference photographs for your portrait, artist J. Charles can arrange a private sitting or schedule a photography session at your location or you may submit your favorite photographs. J. Charles uses the broadest color pallet and largest custom brush collection available to achieve unprecedented color fidelity and an astonishing level of detail. Email proofs will be sent to you throughout this masterful and interactive painting process, and your feedback is encouraged. Artist J. Charles will work with you to mutually create a truly magnificent masterpiece that you will treasure forever.

How long will my portrait last?
Due to the use of only the finest materials your painting will remain in pristine condition for future generations. The premium pigments chosen by Artist James Charles will not crack or fade over the centuries, like traditional oil medium. Your completed portrait is sealed with a transparent finish to prevent accidental scratching and to protect the work from UV rays and excess humidity.

What painting style is used for my portrait?
Artist James Charles can produce your portrait in any style of your choice. From the broadest to the finest of brush strokes, every brush stroke is masterfully applied to achieve your desired results.

How long does it take to complete a portrait?
The painting process typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. If you prefer to have your portrait completed in less time a rush charge may apply. Please submit your portrait preferences to ensure Artist James Charles can accommodate your completion date.

How much input will I have during my portrait's completion?
Artist James Charles will arrange a personal consultation with you before the actual painting begins. During this time, you may choose to discuss any specific desires, including; composition, mood of the portrait, lighting preferences, clothing and feature modifications, background changes, and even the color scheme of the setting where the portrait painting will be displayed.

During the initial color study and throughout the painting process, you will receive email proofs of your portrait painting. Artist James Charles welcomes and encourages your recommendations and insights as you review these ongoing proofs. His painting process can be as interactive as you desire.

What does the craftsmanship guarantee cover?
The craftsmanship guarantee ensures your painting will remain as bright and vibrant as the day of completion. If not, Artist J. Charles will restore your portrait to its original state at no charge.

Can a custom background be added to my portrait?
Yes, there are a number of custom background options. A subdued custom background can be added to your portrait. This includes a muted or textured background in the color scheme of your choice. A detailed custom background also can be requested. This may include any common indoor or outdoor geographical location. If you cannot provide a reference photo, Artist J. Charles will research your request and reproduce the desired background location.

Do you offer custom framing for my portrait?
Yes, your portrait can be custom framed in the style, material and finish of your choice. You may choose from over 250 different frame styles. Artist J. Charles will email proofs of your framed portrait for your approval prior to shipping. Click here to view these frame styles.

Do you offer ready to hang options?
Yes, Artist J. Charles will insure your framed masterpiece includes a pre-strung hanging wire and weight appropriate wall hook with brad. This will insure your painting is ready to safely hang upon delivery. You will find the whole process simple and easy, saving you time and money.

What photographs make the best portrait?
Professional or personal photographs are acceptable in either print or digital format. Artist J. Charles prefers to work from multiple photographs to create a truly unique portrait. When submitting non-professional photographs, here are three tips to follow:

1. The photographs must be in focus.
2. Choose a relaxed and natural pose.
3. Good lighting makes a better portrait.

How does an on site photo session work, if I do not have any suitable photos for you to work with?
If you can not supply suitable photographs a photo session can be scheduled with a local portrait photographer. J Charles can coordinate the logistics of the photo session and obtain all legal rights to work from the photographic images.

What is an on site private sitting?
If you request a private sitting, Artist James Charles will travel to your location for a photography and sketch session, typically completed in one hour. You also will have the opportunity to personally view samples and discuss all options that will truly make your portrait a unique work of art.

How am I billed for my portrait?
You will receive an emailed invoice. A 50% deposit is required to begin your portrait, and the remaining balance is due prior to shipping your completed portrait painting. You may choose to pay by check or submit a secured online credit card payment. Payment types include: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover and PayPal

How is my portrait shipped?
Your portrait is carefully custom packaged, fully insured and shipped using the courier and delivery timing of your choice. Once shipped, a confirmation email will be sent containing your portrait painting's tracking number.

How do I get started?
The automated process for commissioning an original J. Charles portrait painting is shown in the diagram below.

First, complete and submit the completed portrait painting quote form. All personal information will remain strictly confidential.

Second, view your instant custom portrait painting quote. Make any necessary modifications and click the "View Your Commission Agreement" link.

Third, review your personalized portrait painting commission agreement. To approve the agreement click the "Commission My Portrait" button at the bottom of the commission agreement.

You will receive a conformation email insuring your portrait can be completed within your time frame. Artist James Charles will contact you within 24 hours to review your portrait painting requirements.


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