Though she mainly works from photographic references, Muhly
will also paint from life if she deems it necessary and if
the sitter is willing to pose for a session or two. Objectivity
is her goal, as she strives to eschew fashion and prevailing
tastes to get to the root of her subject’s true character
and temperament. Besides oil portraits, she also works in
pencil, charcoal, pastels and other dry materials. Oil portraits
begin at $2,500 for a small head-and-shoulders piece; works
on paper start at $500.
17 E. 96th St., at Madison Ave.
Catherine Stock’s portraits are more expressionist than
formal. She’s painted kids at different life stages
for parents who want an artist’s rendition of their
children as toddlers, youths, and adolescents. Trained in
Africa, she paints soft, impressionistic watercolors that
capture kids in a relaxed mode. She’ll gladly sketch
in your home, so the kids can turn on the tube and forget
she’s even there. Portraits run $1,800 for a fourteen-by-seventeen.
Jean de Montebello
Specializing in charcoal, graphite, conté,
and red-chalk pencils, de Montebello works from a castle in
France for part of the year, where he sketches family portraits
based on photographs you provide (taken by a professional,
please). He’s related to the director of the Met, which
might explain how he’s gotten to sketch so many of the
rich and royal. When in New York, he always prefers to meet
clients personally (right now, he’s here until March
2005). Prices start at $500 per person.
John Howard Sanden
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave., at 57th St.
Painting likenesses for more than 30 years, John Howard Sanden
has the best reputation in the business. He has created hundreds
of commissioned portraits, and relies on a mixture of sittings
and photographic references to perfect a family’s masterpiece.
Three or four 90-minute sittings are required. Prices start
at $25,000 per person—and that’s just for head
Jonathan M. Linton
|Jonathon Linton works on a masterpiece
portrait. (Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen)
Linton certainly takes his time. Expect eight to fifteen three-hour
sittings, either in his Chatham, New Jersey, studio or in
your own home. He’s willing to work from photographs,
but then prefers at least one sitting to capture the right
colors and personalities. Head-to-toe portraits start at $15,000
per person, with each additional subject discounted at 25
1435 Lexington Ave., near 93rd St.
During your initial meeting with Raymond Olivere, choose your
preferred portrait size as well as the degree of formality,
background, pose, and attire. The second session is a two-hour
photo shoot; he’ll create the painting using the resulting
photos as a reference. Oil portrait prices range from $5,000
for head and shoulders to $18,000. Charcoal, graphite and
conté sketches begin at $1,800.
Shying away from the stiff and stuffy, Shelley Stansfield
uses lively colors and strong brush strokes to create informal
portraits. Consider “The Portrait Series,” several
canvases of your kid painted from different angles. Prices
start at $1,500.