Commissioned Classical Portrait By Susannah Carson

An oil portrait in a classical style, in the unique frame of your choosing.


1. Decide whether you would like a portrait with a modern composition (another listing) or a portrait with a traditional composition (this listing; stay here).

2. Find the perfect photo of the subject, or do a photo shoot and take a new one. The quality of the painting will depend on the quality of the photograph! I prefer to do portraits with the subject looking straight at the viewer, so full-face symmetry is important. Lighting is essential, so make sure the lighting is precisely the way you want it, ideally a little up (not from above) and a little to the side (not directly from the side); straight on is possible for a certain look. Natural diffused light from inside is best; direct sunlight is too harsh.

3. Attach the photo (above right).

4. Decide roughly what size of frame you'd like. Medium (longest side 8"-12"; $1000), large (longest side 12"-16"; $1500, or extra large (longest side 16"-20"; $2000). Even larger frames are available upon request. Some very nice frames will come with a surcharge, but these are the usual prices. Let me know which range you'd like in the "Customize" box.

5. Decide if you would like to consider rectangular frames, oval frames, or both; add this info.

6. Decide if there is a particular color, style, and age of frame you would prefer; add this info.

7. Click "Send Custom Request".

8. I'll get back to you with photos of available frames, and you'll select the one you like best. Most frames will be included in the above prices; some will have surcharges and I'll let you know here. Since each frame is unique, I can't guarantee stock, but I try my best to have a decent selection at all times.

9. We'll discuss lay-out, color schemes, etc., until we both feel like I understand your expectations.

10. I'll paint. Give me 4-6 weeks to make sure I have enough time to work the portrait into my schedule and devote enough time to it. I'll try to do it as soon as I can, and I'll send ETAs when available. Feel free to check in. If this is a rush order, please let me know in the "Customize" box so I can let you know immediately if I can accommodate.

11. After the painting is finished, I'll send a photo for your feedback. Since you know the subject best and I'll only have a photo or two, you'll be the best judge of whether or not the portrait has captured the right likeness. Please keep in mind, though, that this is a painting in a classical style, not a photo-realistic style, and that it certainly isn't a photo. At this time, we can also, for instance, deepen the background or make other minor changes. I'll work with you until you're happy with the result, but let's both try to keep it to a couple of rounds of revisions.

12. I'll wait until the paint is dry (4 days to a week, depending on the weather), and then wrap it carefully and send it off!


The painting is yours, but the rights of the image remain with me. I'd love it if you'd authorize me to share the painting on my social channels and in listings such as this, but I'll respect your wishes if you'd prefer I didn't.

View Shipping & Maker Policies

Made in St Helena, CA

By Susannah Carson Fine Art


All of our products are handmade
by expert makers.

No reviews yet

Each week, expert artisans from across the country become makers on CustomMade.

Every maker has a story. Be a part of Susannah Carson Fine Art's story by placing an order, leaving a review, and seeing your review appear here.

More Projects by Susannah Carson

Other projects you might like

Also Appears In