The Exciting Portrait Journey...

The first meeting takes place between client and artist at either subject's home or artist's studio to determine basic portrait design, canvas size, pose, type of clothing, setting and lighting. THE CLIENT'S INPUT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THIS PROCESS. Johanna prides herself on excellent communication with clients  after over 20 years working on portrait commissions.   She believes a portrait commission is a team work of  sitter and artist, especially important at the portrait's  beginning - all the way through to its' happy delivery.

At the next meeting a life sitting 'oil portrait' sketch takes place of the sitter which is essential to Johanna's process. This is fun!  See video below for what you can expect in the life sketch. This is followed by a photo session by Johanna of up to 150 pictures for one sitter,  this entire process lasting about three hours.













About three portrait options will then be presented to the client from the photo reference . A final composition is agreed upon. For out of state clients, this process can easily be condensed into one day. The artist uses the photos as reference material only working from MANY different images to produce the final painting. She strives for a painterly likeness as opposed to a slavish photographic reproduction. In the case of posthumous portraits, Johanna will work with the client with whatever photo references are available to produce the same painterly quality.

The exciting painting process building layer upon layer of rich glazes to achieve that old master style takes about six week for one sitter. The client is invited to view the painting towards the end and minor changes will happily be made. Photo images can be sent to out of state clients before final delivery. The artist's sole goal is for you to absolutely adore the painting on your wall. A non-refundable 40 per cent deposit is requested at the time of initial photo shoot along with a small signed contract in the interest of both parties.

The final payment is due before portrait leaves the studio. 

Artist will be happy to advise on framing, shipping, and hanging. 

Artist's portrait fee does not include tax, framing, shipping, packing, insurance or travel lodging/flight costs.


Once the portrait painting leaves Johanna's studio it becomes the sole property of the client so shipping insurance is highly recommended through UPS or Fed EX, an easy and affordable process.  Your painting will be professionaly packed by a trusted shipper Johanna has worked with countless times.


Fees available on request: determined by size of canvas, number of sitters, background details, and complexity of portrait commission. Johanna will always offer options to suit your budget.














How it all began. Johanna, aged 16, A story in a local English newspaper about her drawing, right. Johanna painting Mr. Paul Almond, Order of Canada, lleft.  Photo:Joan Almond.

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​​​Studio: Malibu, California.

Email: johanna@johannaspinks.com


All images and material on this website copyrighted by Johanna Spinks. 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes the unauthorized use of copyright material (my artwork) including but not limited to internet material, a felony. Link