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Things to Consider Before Hiring a Professional Portrait Artist

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There are several things you should know when you hire a portrait artist, from the artist’s rate, experience, and style to details about the artwork’s size, medium, and process. It’s good to do your research and think about these things before you pay a freelance portrait artist for hire. That way, you can ensure that your vision will be translated into high-quality work.

A portrait artist is a professional artist who paints, sculpts, sketches, or interprets the likeness, mood, or essence of a subject using pencils, pastels, ink, or other materials. To find the right one to work with you, here are some things to consider:


The rates of portrait artists vary drastically. Amateurs can charge as little as $50, while the price of experienced masters can shoot upwards of $20,000. Decide on an amount that you’re comfortable spending, and narrow down your choices based on that range.


You’ll want to hire a portrait artist who has at least a small portfolio. That way, you can see if their work suits your preferences, and you can be sure that they can be trusted with your project.


You can find portrait artists that specialize in one or several types of portrait art—surreal, conceptual, candid, lifestyle, or traditional. If you’re leaning toward a specific type, look for artists that have been professionally trained in that style to ensure that you get the result you’re looking for.


Each artist has his or her own style that gets injected into every piece of art they make. Ask to see the portfolio of any artist you’re considering so you can see if you like their style.


The more prominent the artist, the more valuable—and expensive—their work will be. Consider this when searching through names and ask yourself if it’s important to you to have a reputation connected with your portrait.

Things to Consider About the Art

The price, look, and value of a portrait depend primarily on three things: the size, the medium, and the process behind making it.


Portrait art can be made in different sizes. Whichever size you choose will often correlate to the price of the piece, as well as the amount of time it will take to complete it. If you’re working with a limited budget or need the artwork promptly, consider opting for a smaller piece.


Artists create portrait art using a vast array of media. Pencil, pastel, oil, digital, and clay are commonly used, but the list of possibilities is long, including non-conventional materials such as office supplies or food. Consider which medium you’ll prefer for your portrait before you approach an artist about working together.


Portrait art can take several hours or a couple of weeks to complete, and finishing it requires resources both from the client and the artist. Ask your artist about their process to better understand what working with them will be like.

Hiring a Professional Portrait Artist

Once you’ve thought about the aforementioned considerations, you’re ready to hire a professional portrait artist. Here’s what to expect during that process:

Searching for a Portrait Artist

Hire the right portrait artist for you online via Guru, or through referrals or art directories.

Discussing Details

After finding a portrait artist, talk about the details of the project. Settle on a rate and a timeline and finalize the specifications of the piece. Establish if the subject will sit for them or if you’ll provide them with a photograph.

Collaborating on the Artwork

Once everything’s ironed out, the portrait artist will begin working on the piece. Keep tabs on the progress and, if the artist agrees, give feedback as you go. That way, you’re able to steer the product into becoming the piece that you envision. After final edits, all that’s left to do is to wait for the artwork to be delivered or be ready for pick-up.

The Best Professional Portrait Artist

You don’t have to look far to find the best professional portrait artist for you. With Guru, one of the largest online freelance markets, you can easily and conveniently find both amateur and established artists who can deliver high-quality results at cost-effective rates—all it takes is a few clicks!

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