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A guide to finding the best portrait painter for your child and family

Most people don’t have the fortune of personally knowing or meeting a child portrait painter or perhaps don’t quite know how to go about finding the right portrait painter for their child or family. This guide aims to give the reader some basic guidelines in helping to choose the best.

It is important to know that children, on the contrary of adults, cannot pose. Children must be captured in the moment when they are most natural.

A child portrait painter should have the ability of capturing the essence of a child, their natural movements, even when they are moving about. Valentin Serov was such a painter.


When capturing the nature of a child, it is fundamental that the portrait painter personally photograph them in their environment, e.g. home, play area or park.

The artist should also have certain photographic skills, capable of composing and choosing the proper exposure.

One cannot simply take an ordinary photograph of a child and transform it into a painting. Yes, it is possible, however the result will most likely be a stiff, painted reproduction of a photograph and not the uniqueness of your child.


Know how much you would like to spend, the dimensions of the final painting and which medium you would like your portrait in and be certain that the artist is comfortable in that technique: oil paints on canvas, tempera, pen & ink, pastels or pencil.


Popular themes for child portraits are costume portraits where a child could be dressed in a period costume resulting in an enigmatic feel to the portrait.

Your child could be also be painted on a pony, horse or donkey or with their favorite pets.


Commissioning a child portrait takes time. The various phases include photographing of the child child, preliminary sketches & approval, and the actual execution of the painting may take 2-3 months time depending on the size of the work.


It is advisable to have a written agreement between the artist and the commissioner where the following terms and times are established:

- photographing child

- initial sketches and approval of sketch

- payment method and details (50% upon initiating portrait and 50% upon completion)

- painting time (state the timeline for completion of painting)

- sending final images for approval

- packaging and shipping method

- eventual framing advice

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Contact me with your enquires.

View Genya Gritchin’s child portrait painting here:

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