Oil Portrait Size & Pricing Guidelines

Estimated costs for various sizes of oil portraiture

These images will give you a rough idea of what it will cost to have Marvin Mattelson paint a variety of portrait sizes. Please contact Marvin to get an accurate price quote based on the factors listed below. Each portrait is displayed centered upon a 48 inch square so you can get an approximate idea of the area which your portrait will occupy. A good starting point would be to measure the space where you are considering hanging your portrait. Be aware that a frame can add anywhere up to ten additional inches to both the height and width of your finished portrait.

Vignette Portrait by Marvin Mattelson
18 x 14" size

Vignette Oil Portrait

14 x 11 inches to 20 x 16 inches
Starting at $5000
Larger format pricing on request

A vignette portrait gives a more spontaneous feel to the portrait subject since only the face is fully resolved, with the remaining areas taken to less of a finished state, so that the painting feels as though it is in the process of being worked on. It is most often used for portraying children, but can also be applied to larger formats.

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Head and Shoulders Oil Portrait by Marvin Mattelson
20 x 16" size

Head and Shoulders

18 x 14 inches to 24 x 30 inches
Estimated Starting Price:

A fully resolved rendition of the sitters head and upper chest. Sometimes a hand may also be included. This format is appropriate for a smaller space or as part of a larger grouping. Generally, this portrait is painted with a tonal background since the inclusion of addition elements may compete with the subject.

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Half Figure Portrait by Marvin Mattelson
36 x 24" size

1/2 Length Figure

24 x 18 inches to 34 x 28 inches
Estimated Starting Price: $15,000

A half figure portrait offers greater compositional potential, since more of the sitter's figure is showing. The body language and positioning will better communicate the sitter's personality. The inclusion of one or both hands can convey more character, still. There is also the opportunity to add a meaningful prop or background element.

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3/4 Portait in Oil by Marvin Mattelson
44 x 32" size

3/4 Length Figure

28 x 22 inches to 48 x 36 inches
Estimated Starting Price: $20,000

A popular format because it offers a great opportunity to create a unique and interesting composition, if you have the wall space. The pose becomes a far more significant compositional element. The portrait may also include  props, as well as more involved and specific background elements to greatly add to the narrative.

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Full Figure Oil Portrait by Marvin Mattelson
36 x 24" size

Full Figure Oil Portrait

30 x 24 inches to 72 x 48 inches
Estimated Starting Price: $25,000

This is the most impressive of all the single figure portrait formats. The added scale of the art, when wall space permits, will create a noteworthy focal point in any room. This is how people of nobility and stature are customarily represented. An expansive background can be used to further increase your portrait's dimensions.

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Multiple Figure Oil Portrait in Oil by Marvin Mattelson
40 x 44" size

Multi-figure Oil Portrait

Size is based on number of figures and compositional complexity
Pricing available upon request.

A multi-figure portrait opens up all manner of interesting pictorial possibilities and narrative scenarios. It can range from a depiction of two subjects to much larger and complex groupings —be they familial or professional. Themes from naturalistic to fantastic, imaginative and surreal can be realized.

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Not all portrait artists are created equal

Marvin Mattelson is a true artist, passionately dedicated to his craft. He utilizes a time honored technique, favored by the old masters, where he builds up multiple thin layers of translucent paint. This results in the most life-like skin tones possible, and can only be fully appreciated when viewing the actual portraits in person. He spends hundreds of hours on each oil painting, and in the case of very complex compositions, he may spend thousands of hours bringing them to perfection. Marvin uses no assistants, preferring to apply every brush stroke personally, nor does he subcontract out to other artists' studios. Based on his technical virtuosity, experience, insights and talent, he will paint an unrivaled portrait to be cherished for generations.

There is quite a wide discrepency between what various portrait artists charge for their services, and for the quality of their work. Marvin Mattelson's oil commissioned portraits are highly refined and therefore, time consuming to create. Ultimately what you are paying for is either an artist's time or their reputation. Many artists choose to paint in a very loose style to speed up their process, cranking out portrait after portrait. Other portraiture artists with "big reputations" may charge far more, because of their impressive clientele. Sadly, you don't always get what you pay for. Be wary of choosing an artist because a well known celebrity or a highly reputed dignitary did so. Look at the artist's work and ask yourself, "Is this the way I want my portrait to look?"

Portrait Pricing Factors

Marvin will do his utmost to insure the finest painting possible, while respecting your budget. He endeavors to be as transparent as possible, so he has posted the above price estimates as a way to begin a dialogue about the portrait you envision. Since time is the ultimate factor in pricing, you should consider carefully what you want to have included in your portrait painting. Intricate clothing, jewelry, furniture, artwork and background elements can contribute to a more interesting portrait, but will obviously increase the amount of time it takes to complete your painting. Including additional persons, pets and/or animals will also lengthen the process and affect the bottom line.

Marvin prefers to work life size or slightly smaller. It gives him the greatest option for making the portrait come to life. However, if you so desire, he can paint a smaller sized portrait – with the subject's size reduced – at a reduced price. Also, if cost is a factor, Marvin can paint a portrait in vignette style.

Additional Points to Consider

There are a few additional issues regarding your costs. Framing is not included in the price of the painting, although Marvin, for no additional fee, will gladly confer with a framer of your choice, or recommend a framer, since it's in both his and your interests to choose a frame that will further enhance the beauty of your finished portrait. Travel expenses, such as airfare and hotels will be billed to out-of-town clients, as incurred.

A portrait is something you will be living with for the rest of your life, so you should weigh your budgetary concerns against what will contribute to your ultimate satisfaction. Unlike the vast majority of purchases we make in our lifetime, a portrait will provide immense joy to both you, your family and the many generations that follow.

Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, Marvin (who is fully vaccinated) is prepared to employ a wide variety of protective measures and precautions to insure that both you and he remain 100% safe.

Please feel free to contact portrait artist Marvin Mattelson with any further questions or to discuss your specific circumstances, and start a conversation about owning the portrait of your dreams.