Commission a Portrait

A commissioned portrait is a timeless heirloom. It can catch the fleeting innocence of youth, celebrate the depth of a special relationship, or honor one's lifework. The process is exciting and enjoyable for both the artist and the sitter. Anna's passion for capturing both life and likeness on canvas allows her to work closely with you in creating the perfect painting. The end result is a work of art which combines your original vision for the piece with the artist's unique style and execution.

QUESTIONS? The best way to reach me is by email:

Meanwhile, here are some FAQs

I’m interested in commissioning a painting, but have no idea where to start. Any advice? If you are new to buying or collecting original art, you are not alone! It can be intimidating, especially if you’re not sure exactly what you want, like, or dislike. If you are reading this right now, hopefully that means you have seen my work and know you want something similar to my style and aesthetic. I am happy to offer a free consultation, in person or over the phone, to discuss making your idea come to life. I recommend that you be prepared to answer these questions:
1) Who/what is the painting of?
2) What is the occasion of commissioning this painting?
3) How big would you like the piece to be, and do you know where it will hang? (This is important for determining size, pose, frame style, and color scheme)
4) What will the desired setting be?  (e.g. formal, casual, indoors, outdoors, spring, fall, etc.)
5) What is your budget? (Please check my pricing below)  
6) When do you need it finished?

Once you know the answer to the above questions, please keep reading.

I want to commission a painting as a surprise. How can I go about this? I recommend discussing the painting with the person you plan on giving it to so that they will absolutely love it when it’s finished! Perhaps you can “surprise” them beforehand with a greeting card representing my work (I have these in stock) or a gift certificate (I can make one for you) and describing the painting we will create specially for them. Usually the person receiving the art appreciates being involved in the creative process, especially if it is a painting of them! Of course, if it is a subject other than a portrait (e.g. a pet, a still life, floral, etc.), we can certainly make it a surprise and I will work closely with you to make sure it meets your expectations from start to finish.

I'm not local to Denver but love your work. Can I just send you a photo to work from, or are sittings required? My best and most original work is created when I get a chance to meet the portrait subject in person, do a color study, and take my own reference photos. If you are within a 50-mile radius of Denver, I can come to you free of charge; if you are out of state, I can travel to you if you are willing to cover my airfare/lodging. However, in this day and age, I understand that it can be very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to make these kinds of arrangements, so once in a while, I make exceptions. I only work from photos I believe will make a great painting.
These are my requirements when working from client photos:

- The subject should be photographed with a high quality camera and lens, preferably in soft natural lighting such as a north light window or overcast outdoors.
- Avoid flash or high contrast sunlight/dark shadows.
- There should be minimal or no distortion (examples of distortion would be things like the head looking very large compared to the arms and body, etc.).
- Avoid bold patterns/plaid/trendy clothing that could date the portrait, unless that is the specific look you are going for.
- Soft smiles or serene expression (big smiles are wonderful in photos, but look weird in paintings!)
- Multiple photo references are always encouraged so that I can get a general idea of the subject's mannerisms, expressions, posture, and likeness in various lighting situations.

What is your pricing? Please see the chart below for a general list of prices. Sizes listed are approximate and will be adjusted to fit your space (where the portrait will hang), number of subjects, and complexity of background. Fees are for the artwork only and do not include travel expenses, framing, state sales tax or shipping.

Can I pay by credit card, or make monthly installments? I accept cash, Visa or Mastercard, Paypal, Venmo, or personal check. I can also offer monthly payment plans to fit any budget.

Do you paint other subjects? Yes! I would love to turn your idea into a work of art, whether it involves a person, a beloved pet, a landscape, a still life, or a concept – so long as it fits my style and abilities.

Do you require a contract? Yes. At the sitting or photography session (see below), I have my clients sign a standard portrait commission contract and submit a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total agreed-upon fee. My contract may be viewed here.

What is your portrait commission process? Once we’ve had an in-depth consultation over email or phone and we both have a clear vision for the painting, we can move forward by scheduling a time and place to meet for the sitting.  Please allow 2-3 hours for me to paint a color study and to take my own reference photos. I prefer to have at least one life session with the sitter in order to get a feel for their personality and unique characteristics. Most often, I will do a small (8x10” or so) color study from life to take accurate notes of lighting, skin, and hair color, and will complete the final portrait using both photo references and the color study.  It is possible for me to do a painting only from photography, but live sittings are strongly encouraged, as they produce the best results and are then completely original, and a fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the sitter. After our initial sitting and photo shoot, I create a mock-up of the portrait composition for your approval and send it to you via email. Please note that the size originally agreed upon may be adjusted slightly for compositional purposes after the photo session.  Once the image references and pose have been decided on, I begin the painting, using the finest paints and materials to ensure that the portrait will be of heirloom quality. I stretch and prime my own canvases and panels (at least a 10-day process), working on Belgian portrait linen for a smoother working surface, and using only oil paints that have a proven lightfastness to stand the test of time.
If desired, I can email you pictures of my progress.  I will continue to work closely with you in order to create a piece that is beautiful, original and true to the subject's likeness and personality.

How long does it take to finish a painting?  Except for alla prima sketches, which are completed in one 3-4 hour sitting (and sometimes tweaked in the studio), commissioned portraits generally take 3-5 months to complete depending on their complexity. If you are local, you can come to my studio to see the finished painting in person. Otherwise, I usually email a digital photo to my clients to confirm the completion of the portrait. The remainder of the portrait fee is due upon delivery.  If desired, I can frame and ship at cost.




Prices between $500 and $1000
Sizes available: 5"x7", 6"x6", 6"x8", 6"x9"
One subject only
Portrait Sketch

Alla Prima Sketch

Prices start at $1100
Sizes start at 12"x9"
Painted in 1 sitting (plus additional studio time if necessary); One subject only
Head and Shoulders

Head and Shoulders

Prices start at $4500
Typical Adult Size: 22"x28"
Typical Child Size: 18"x24"
Head and Hands

Head and Hands

Prices start at $5000
Typical Adult Size: 40"x30"
Typical Child Size: 24"x20
Full Length

Full Length

Prices start at $9,000
Typical Adult Size: 60"x36"
Typical Child Size: 40"x30"
  • For all commissions, my pricing is a minimum rate/size of $500 for a 6x6" painting, plus $10 per additional square inch. For example, an 8x8" painting would be approximately $780, and a 16x20" painting would be approximately $3200. My minimum size for more than one subject is 12x16. Additional subjects require an additional fee, to be discussed on a per project basis.
  • Fees listed are for the artwork only and do not include travel expenses, framing, tax or shipping.
  • Framing options are available upon request for an additional fee.

  • Testimonials

    "Print or original? To those reading, I am an artist so I appreciate originals and the creation thereof. I am also the mother of four children, who will one day soon need braces, and cars, and college tuition. A couple years ago my daughters modeled for Anna in their ballet attire. It was a fun for them to have that experience. I work primarily outdoors en plein air, so a portrait studio was something entirely new! My girls had a million questions, which Anna answered patiently, and thus becoming an outstanding role model for my girls. The resulting paintings were so beautiful. I was delighted to buy giclee prints. The thought of the originals stayed in the back of my mind, but conflicted with the reality of the cost of raising my children! The prints were outstanding! They were... Perfect. How could the original be that much better? Now the proud owner of one of those originals, I will happily say, the original is somehow exponentially more beautiful. It is luminous and brilliant in a way the perfect print was not."

    - Juliana Crownover (Sunnyvale, TX)

    "Anna -- As I've spent the last few days gazing at the precious face of my son in your work of art, I think I've finally decided what makes portraits so wonderful. Photos capture an image or a moment but freeze them in the past. Looking back at them is wonderful but it always feels just like that - 'looking back'! Every time I look at D's face in the painting, I feel like you captured the essence of his personality and it jumps off the canvas back into my heart each time. It is, of course, not 'real,' but yet somehow I feel as though that little boy is who is growing up so fast now can't run away completely because a little bit of 'real' is captured forever and living in that portrait. Thank you for sharing your talent with us! Such a treasure."

    - Erica Stanton (Dallas, TX)

    "I want everyone out there to know Anna is the most talented artist - her portrait of my son and our dogs was wonderful. When you commission a painting you are never quite sure of the result - I cannot put in words the amazing work of Anna Rose Bain. I am so thankful I was fortunate enough to have her paint my son. Thank you so much, Anna."

    - Robin McGuire (Dallas, TX)

    "I commissioned Anna to do portraits of my 6 year old twins, Carlos and Olivia. The whole experience was such a delight from start to finish. Anna captured the likeness of each one of them beyond what I could have ever imagined. She kept me updated throughout the entire process with progress shots, which were such a joy to see the paintings coming along! Our family was so impressed with her work that my father has commissioned Anna to do a painting of my kids for my mother as a gift! These are heirlooms that will be cherished forever! Thank you so much Anna for such a wonderful gift!

    - Kim Fonts (Dallas, TX)