Tonight, I hope to start painting the commissioned family painting. It's been on hold for a while due to various issues... lack of space, lack of money, lack of time/energy (pregnancy), and so forth.
I created the sketch from various reference photos he provided before I found out I was pregnant, and got the "thumbs up" for it. My patron was excited by how well the mere sketch turned out. I also have a sample of the background he likes, which is actually important in my opinion but often overlooked (especially by customers).
One thing that worried me was that I had little idea of what "style" of portrait he wanted. Something more smooth or more textured (where you can see the brush strokes). Today, I sent him a number of examples, both modern and classic pieces. Nothing overly stylized though. I asked him to choose the ones he liked the best (at least two) so I can use them as a guideline. I wouldn't, however, guarrantee that the painting will be quite to the same level as some of the masterpieces I included. He chose, explaining what he liked and what his expectations are, given what his original view of "how a painting looks" was before he saw the samples I provided. The Pre Raphaelite painting amazed him, which shocked me. Then again, I have to remind myself that most people didn't take art classes, especially 3 or 4 classes in art history alone.
Below are the samples he chose, from most to least favorite of the ones he liked best. We'll see how I do, though I fully plan to mix the styles a bit, taking elements that I like best. I think my expectations of myself are much higher than the expectations he planned to place on anyone he might have hired... but that seems to be the way of many artists. Overly self critical. On the plus side, I'm as concerned as I notmally might be. Must be the "I don't care" aspect of this pregnancy. :-p