After twenty-five years of commissioned portraits there are many anecdotes I can tell.
I have met a lot of people. Occasionally there was something special about a job, like the two times I got an enquiry for a female nude painting. In the first one, the client was the model´s husband; the client making the other request was the model herself. She wanted to give the portrait as a present to her husband on the day of the wedding.
Of course, I have worked a lot from professional nude models in the past – a normal situation in which no one feels uncomfortable. But a commissioned nude portrait is different. The first time I was well prepared. I made several sketches of possible positions on the basis of photographic material from the Internet. We extensively discussed the proposals. In hindsight, this mainly had the function of getting to know each other better because, as with every job, you only see how a pose should be when you are at the location. The second time I did not prepare anything at all but I had a more extended interview with the model, which in the end was essential to gain each other’s trust. Anyhow I remember I was pretty nervous in both cases. I cannot show you either of the portraits, of course. However, below are some of the preparatory, proposal sketches.