House Portrait Commissions

Commission a House Portrait by Fine Artist Gary Armer

Beautiful house portraits painted from life or photographs.

Why Commission a House Portrait?

A commissioned painting is timeless. A piece of fine art that is uniquely yours, or a gift to be enjoyed for generations. It can record a special moment, capture the beauty of a place or celebrate a family home.

Great paintings of buildings capture the true essence of a place, in a way that portrays what makes them special. From your initial enquiry to the final paint stroke, capturing a brilliant likeness of your home or special place is at the heart of my work.

I’m a contemporary realist painter and paint in a traditional, representational style. I can capture the essence of a place with energetic alla prima portraits or paint in an academic style to bring a highly detailed and refined finish to a painting.

I enjoy painting entirely from life using traditional and classical painting techniques but can also work from photographs if the piece is a surprise gift or painting on location isn’t possible. My portraits are a collaborative process and as a client your comments and feedback are key as the work develops.

Get in touch

You can contact me directly via phone or email below, or, complete the form to organise a consultation where I will discuss your initial ideas for the painting and happily answer any questions.

Alternatively, read on to find out more about the commission process and see examples of house portraits and a price guide.

Contact the artist to discuss your house portrait requirements.

“What an incredible talent! We wanted something unique to remember our special day and a painting of the church where we were getting married was perfect. A stunning building, beautifully realised.

His patience is endless, capturing all the tiny details we didn’t even know were there! So great to work with and would highly recommend to anyone.”

Mr Joe Banks

House Portraits from Life

Having a house portrait painted from life is a memorable experience. You’ll gain an insight into the world of a fine artist and learn about the methods involved in painting plein air. My approach is flexible and designed to work around you.

Depending on the finish you desire I can either complete the house portrait entirely from life or make sketches and take reference photographs to work from back at the studio. 

House Portraits from Photographs

Sometimes it’s not possible or practical to paint on site, for highly detailed house portraits or surprise gifts for example, in these cases I can paint your house entirely from photographs.

A Complete Service

Throughout the process I can advise on framing and final varnishing and when the house portrait is complete will organise a delivery at your convenience. My paintings are typically finished with a protective coat of retouch varnish and I can hand deliver works and perform an unveiling – a nice touch for special occasions or gifts.

Looking after your Painting

After completion and delivery of the painting I’m only a phone call away to answer any questions and give advice to help you look after your special piece for years to come.

House Portrait Commission Price Guide

Academic House Portraits in Oils

Academic Layered Approach (highly detailed finish): starting from £2,000

Approximate time to paint: 1 – 6 months

An academic house portrait is a painting that is typically built up in multiple layers of oil paint and taken to a highly rendered finish.

The academic house portrait option is great for those looking to invest in a spectacular painting as an extra special gift or to mark a celebration such as an anniversary, birthday or retirement.

An academic portrait can take weeks and sometimes months to complete and so while some of the piece may be painted from life, photographs are used as reference for the majority of the process.

The starting price of £2,000 gives a guide for commissioning an academic house portrait. Please note that the cost can be higher for paintings with exceptionally detailed backgrounds or features. If required, framing, varnishing and any expenses such as travel and accommodation are charged in addition to these costs. Wherever possible I try to include delivery within the prices provided.

For a more accurate idea of cost please get in touch to discuss your initial thoughts. For commissions that need to fit a particular budget (such as paintings as a gift) then I can help advise the best approach and composition.

Framed Oil Painting of a House

Alla Prima House Portraits in Oils

Alla Prima Approach (looser finish): from £850

Approximate time to paint: 2 – 20 days

An alla prima painting is typically painted from life in a single sitting while the paint is wet (alla prima meaning ‘at first attempt’ or ‘wet-in-wet’) but I currently prefer to paint over a minimum of 2 sittings, each between 2 and 3 ½ hours in duration.

The alla prima option is a great way for someone to commission a house portrait but without the time commitment and higher costs of the academic portrait.

The £850 starting price give a guide for commissioning an alla prima house portrait.

If required, framing, varnishing and any expenses such as travel and accommodation are charged in addition to these costs. Wherever possible I try to include delivery within the prices provided.

For a more accurate idea of cost please get in touch to discuss your initial thoughts. For commissions that need to fit a particular budget (such as paintings as a gift) then I can help advise the best approach and composition.

Painting of Farmhouse

“What an incredible talent! We wanted something unique to remember our special day and a painting of the church where we were getting married was perfect. A stunning building, beautifully realised.

His patience is endless, capturing all the tiny details we didn’t even know were there! So great to work with and would highly recommend to anyone.”

Mr Joe Banks

About the Artist

I am a contemporary realist artist recognised for my accurate representational painting style and ability to capture intricate fine detail.

The majority of my works are realist fine art oil paintings on canvas created entirely from life or from a combination of studies and photographs taken during live sittings or situations.

One of my portraits, “Not a Penny More” was selected for the 21st National Open Art Exhibition in 2017 and displayed in London. The portrait was also voted into the top 10 of the MS Amlin World Art Vote and is now being exhibited at the National Football Museum in Manchester as part of the Football Is Art exhibition.

As well as completing house portrait commissions I also paint portraits, landscapes and still life paintings with a selection of recent works available to buy direct from my online shop.

I consider Herbert James Gunn, John Singer Sargent, George Romney and Henry Raeburn as inspirational artists.

Gary Armer Realist Artist

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an academic portrait?

An academic portrait is a painting which is painted over numerous sittings using multiple layers of paint. The artist will typically complete a layer of the painting and allow it to dry before moving on to the next stage and painting over the top, often in glazes.

The underpainting of an academic portrait typically provides a framework for the latter stages with the outline, major shapes, shadow shapes, colours and tonal values established.

The following layers of paint will look to establish the likeness of the sitter and move toward refining colour and smaller details.

What is an alla prima portrait?

Alla prima is Italian for ‘at once’ as this type of painting is usually completed in a single sitting. This approach to painting is also often referred to as ‘wet-on-wet’ or ‘direct painting’.

Essentially alla prima portraits are painted with a much quicker, direct approach and with a looser finish.

What paint and surface is used for the paintings?

Gary works in quality artists’ oil paints on either a cotton or linen canvas or canvas board and he can happily advise which surface would be best for your portrait.

Currently the majority of the artist’s palette is made up of Winsor & Newton and Old Holland Artists’ oil paints.

How is the portrait painting created?

When painting from life the artist uses a combination of the sight-size technique and comparative measurement. Gary is more than happy to explain these techniques to the sitter during the course of a commission.

Where is the artist located?

The artist works from his private studio in the Lancashire countryside. He is based close to the market town of Poulton, in between Blackpool and Preston.

The artist welcomes clients to his studio by prior appointment and has painted for clients locally in Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire to name just a few locations.

Will the artist travel to complete a commission?

Yes, Gary can travel to your home or another suitable location such as your place of work to complete a portrait.

The artist has painted for clients in Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Hampshire and even Switzerland to name just a few locations.

How are the portraits delivered?

Wherever possible the artist prefers to deliver a completed portrait in person. Alternatively, clients are welcome to collect works from his studio by prior arrangement.

When delivery in person or collection is not convenient, the artist will arrange for the painting to be carefully delivered by a specialist courier.

Do portrait paintings need any special aftercare?

Most portraits are provided with a retouching varnish applied which helps protect the oil painting. In time you may wish to replace this removable varnish layer with a final artists varnish which Gary can help you with.

Gary always provides advice on looking after your painting upon delivery and explains the dos and don’ts on where to hang the final piece in your home.

Who owns the copyright of a portrait painting?

As is the norm with any work of art, the copyright automatically remains with the creator.

If the commissioned portrait is to be reproduced in another format or used for commercial purposes then Gary is more than happy to discuss such usage at the briefing stage.

How long do oil portraits take to dry?

An oil painting can typically take from 2 to 8 weeks to be ‘safely’ touch dry so a retouching varnish can be applied and the painting delivered to the client.

An oil painting will continue to fully dry (or cure) over time and this process can typically take over 6 months.

Contact the Artist to Discuss Your Requirements

If you are interested in commissioning a painting then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact me directly via phone or email below, or, complete the following form to organise a consultation where I will discuss your initial ideas for the painting, make suggestions and answer any questions.

Contact the artist to discuss your house portrait requirements.

“Within each painting I strive to capture not just the subject’s appearance but the details, attributes and quirks that make it a special place.”

Gary Armer | Artist

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 “…I’m absolutely delighted with the interpretation and feeling you have created in minute detail in the painting… the painting is going to be a wonderful memory of my year in office but it is also something we will enjoy for a long time to come for the workmanship and likeness it represents.”

Mr Sam Rayner, High Sheriff of Cumbria

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