Portrait Commissions

Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people – the point where we go inside them – is the face. It tells all. - David Hockney

Portraits have been one of the most consistent subjects throughout my art practice. Conveying a likeness in the sitter was what initially drew me to portraiture, but now finding an emotional tension is what interests me most. When I was a BFA student I took numerous life drawing courses where I learned many skills in working from observation or "what I see". Since then I've developed ways to bring the nuances of working from life into my process when painting from photographs. Portrait commissions can be made from:

a photograph provided by you at no extra cost

a photograph I take professionally at extra cost

or painted from observation during in-person sessions at extra cost


Step 1. Take a look at some of the portraits I've made. Some were commissioned and others are personal projects. I prefer to work within a range of loose to tight realism. Artists who have influenced my approach to portraits include Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Diego Velazquez, Frida Khalo, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Jenny Saville, Ann Gale, and Alex Kanevsky. (click image to open expanded view)

Oil Painting on Stretched Canvas Commissioned by the Aber Suzuki Center and American Suzuki Institute. 20" x 30" 2015 Painted from a photograph. Collection of the Aber Suzuki Center, UWSP Campus.

Permanently installed on UWSP Campus within the Noel Fine Arts Center.

Portrait Commission Oil on Stretched Canvas 8" x 10" 2013 Painted from a photograph. Private Collection

Oil Painting on Stretched Canvas Commissioned by the Aber Suzuki Center and American Suzuki Institute. 20" x 30" 2015 Painted from a photograph. Collection of the Aber Suzuki Center, UWSP Campus.


Step 2. The next step is to decide what media and size you want your commission to be. I have listed options for a drawing or a painting. Prices are based on an equation with the height and width (inches) of the unframed art. Prices are non-negotiable, but I'm open to suggestions for surfaces or media! All commissions are paid 60% upfront with the signing of the contract and before I acquire and prepare my materials. The remaining 40% + shipping costs are paid when the art is finished prior to shipping. 



Graphite, Charcoal, or Colored Pencil

Strathmore Riverpoint Archival Paper

Max size 20" x 30"


H + W x 25 = Price




Strathmore Riverpoint Archival Paper

Max size 20" x 30"


H + W x 30 = Price



Handmade Cradled Wood Panel or Stretched Canvas

Max Size 48" x 48"


H + W x 35 = Price

Portraits made from photographs I take add a $100 base fee + travel expenses (gas, lodging if further than 4 hours) Portraits made from direct observation (8-10 hour session) add $200 base fee + travel expenses. Prices do not include sales tax or shipping costs. Frames are not included in the price. I do build custom frames using Poplar wood for an extra fee. Note in your email inquiry if you'd like to purchase a custom frame and we can discuss options for color and design. All payments are requested through my site. Monthly payment plans are an option and still apply to the 60/40 rule. The commission will not ship or deliver until after the full payment is received. Prices do not include cost of travel or lodging if applicable.

Step 3. If you have decided how you would like your commission to be made, please contact me directly at h.acuna45@gmail.com. The subject of your email should read "Portrait Commission Inquiry". 

In the email body please include the following information:

1. Full Name + Where you reside?

2. If you have collected or commissioned my art before?

3. If you need the commission earlier than 2 months from today? (rush fees may apply)

4. Who is the subject(s) of your commission? / How many faces do you want to be painted? in the email attach photos if you want to commission an artwork based on a photo (required) 

5. What media, surface, and size do you want your commission to be?

6. Do you want the artwork to be unframed or framed?

7. Do you want the art to be made by referencing your photos, photos I take, or created in person on-site?

8. How would you like to setup your payments? (100% upfront, 60% upfront, or across three monthly payments) 

9. Is this commission a gift? If so, will it be shipped to the location provided in question 1?

10. Is there anything specific in the portrait that you would like me to emphasize?

That's all I need to understand your inquiry and gather a clear idea about what you're looking for. Please feel free to add any other important details about this commission in your email. I will respond within 24 hours unless I'm away from my studio and access to wifi. Once we have agreed to the terms of a commission, I will forward a contract to be signed by the client prior to the start of the commission. 


"When we had a benefit for my father, I wanted more than just a normal photo to look at to remember this day. I thought of Hector and asked him if he could paint a portrait of my dad and I from that day. He sent a video of him making the portrait which was amazing to watch. My dad hung that painting up hin his office until he passed away. Now it is hung up in my hallway. It truly is an amazing way to honor and remember my dad and I could not have asked for a better artist to paint this portrait me! It means so much!!"


"The painting of our son MJ brings us true joy. The way Hector was able to show MJ is truly remarkable and we always smile when we see it. I look forward to future commissions with Hector."