Commission a Portrait by Eric Vanasse


When doing a portrait painting, every stroke of the brush that I apply is done with the intent to capture not only the likeness but also a mood specific to the sitter’s personality. It is by seeking qualities of presence, light and harmony in my works that I can best pay tribute to the person that I paint.

I usually start a portrait by doing a monochromatic (grisaille) under-painting to work out the composition, get the likeness, refine the drawing and get a strong tonal relationship. When this foundation is solid, I then apply my colors on the under painting in a wet on wet approach that allows the beauty of the paint to shine with all of its subtleties. This takes much longer but the end result is more poetic and allows for a better emotional connection to the painting.

Member of the Portrait Society of Canada.


The classical methods of drawing and painting are no longer taught in almost all Canadian superior art schools.
I gained my knowledge and skills by studying rigorously under American and European classically-trained artists who founded two schools dedicated to the classical traditions, l’Atelier de Brésoles and the Bohemiarte School. The rest of my education was mostly self-taught by studying the works of masters from the renaissance to today. This path allowed me to merge the rich traditions of the past, the scientific knowledge of the last decades and a contemporary spontaneity that gives a breath of life to paintings.

Who is this for?

Although a good part of my clientele comes from institutions, I always have the pleasure of painting the portrait of individuals and families who wish to offer a unique gift or leave an artwork as a souvenir to loved ones.

When you commission a portrait, you will work in collaboration with the artist to determine determine the pose, the general composition and treatment of the portrait in order to capture not only the likeness but also a mood specific to the subject’s personality.

Generally, portraits are done slightly smaller than life-size.

Photographic references

A finished portrait often takes over 40 working hours to complete. Since it is difficult to arrange that many live pose sessions, I generally work from pictures, but prefer to take the photographic references myself under controlled studio lighting whenever possible. Multiple photographs from different angles are required. The photo session at the Gallery is free of charge.

Clothing, accessories and decor

Ideally, these choices are done in collaboration with the artist and are integrated in the design of the painting. Jewelery and other personal objects can make interesting additions when they have a particular importance for the subject.

Posing for a photo vs. an oil portrait

A photograph reflects the reality of a particular moment. An accomplished portrait artist will seek to capture the essence of a person and turn it into a unique artwork that will be a deeper reflection of the person. Such paintings cross time and trends.

Poses with “say cheese” smiles are generally not used for portraiture. For the artist, a face at rest is like an open window and allows for a more personal portrait while continuing a centuries-old tradition.

Approval and contract

A sketch or photo montage of the general composition of the portrait commission will be presented to the subject and/or the client for approval along with the price of the portrait. A deposit of 25% is due at the signature of the contract.

Taking possession

Two weeks after its completion, the portrait will be unveiled and given to you at the gallery or delivered. Payment of the balance is due in full at this time.

The paint layer will be dry, but as it takes up to a year to fully cure, the painting should be handled with care (the framer should be notified). A final varnish is offered free of charge at the gallery a year after completion of the portrait.

The price is dependent on the complexity of the subject and to a lesser extent on the size of the painting. The price lists here are for paintings life-size or near life-size with a uniform background.

Head and Shoulders

Prices are for one person. Add $400 per additional person for groups.

  • 16 po x 12 in: 1450$
  • 18 po x 14 in: 1500$
  • 20 po x 16 in: 1600$

Half figure, seated or standing showing hands

Prices are for one person. Add $600 per additional person for groups.

  • 16 po x 12 in: 1550$
  • 18 po x 14 in: 1600$
  • 20 po x 16 in: 1700$

Full figure

From 1850$. Minimum size: 48 in x 30 in.


  • Abstract or unified background: included
  • Detailed exterior background: add 600$
  • Detailed interior background: add 700$

Taxes additional. Framing and shipping are optional extras at cost.

I invite you to contact me  for any other information.  I also wrote an in-depth article on portrait pricing that may interest y

Time must be allowed for proper drying of each layer before the next one is applied. Since the complexity of the subject and the dimensions of the artwork vary, the delays proposed are for guidance only.

It takes some time to complete this kind of portrait commission but the quality is worth the wait. We encourage you to call or drop by the gallery to see the examples and discuss the process.

The final varnish will be applied in the gallery free of charge one full year after the painting is finished.

Head and shoulders
1 month for a single person.
Add an additional 2 weeks for each person for a group.

Half figure, seated or standing showing hand.
6 weeks.

Full figure
2 to 3 months.

What better way to show your appreciation than to immortalize a loved one so that you can keep this person close to you and keep memories alive through generations? 

A quality painted portrait is a precious work of art that enriches the heritage of families and societies.

Pick up your gift certificate at the gallery or order it by phone or email. An ideal Christmas or birthday present!

Modes of payment
-Major credit cards
-Personal checks