Fine Art Portrait Artist Curtis Verdun

"Aaden" - Oil on Linen, by Portrait Artist Curtis Verdun

From my early teens, I taught myself pastel portraiture while landing many portrait commissions over several years. Then, after studying oil portraiture with renowned portrait artist John Howard Sanden and also the late Daniel Greene, I continued to complete many more fine oil portraits. For more than three decades, I’ve further honed my unique skills and developed my distinct style.

“The ideal portrait is an intriguing image, rather endearing but with some drama, a bit of mystery, and a small, measured dose of caricature.” – Curtis Verdun

Why Choose Me as Your Portrait Artist

With so many portrait artists to choose from, why should you choose me?

Shared Value, Shared Vision 

People and relationships are important to you. A fine art oil portrait serves as the perfect memento to commemorate and celebrate your loved ones. While I share that sentiment, each portrait I do also means that I expand my world of friends as well as my legacy. For that reason, you can be assured that I will employ my utmost efforts to create the best portrait possible.

Collaborative Portrait

A properly executed portrait requires the attentive efforts of at least three critical players:

  • Artist
  • Client
  • Subject

While it might seem that the portrait artist simply paints the sitter and that’s all there is to it, that’s not the way it works. It’s quite a different matter for the classic, traditional portrait.

There are many aspects of the portrait that the artist is not the one making the decision. Perhaps  it concerns something the artist has no knowledge of. It is therefore the client who has the greater control and final decision on many important aspects of the portrait. Then, there are the desires and wishes of the subject to be considered. Are they to be ignored? No way.

So, if it’s to be done right, it becomes very much a collaborative project.

I would like to think that every portrait artist would approach their commissions this way but that’s not really the case.

Here are the important aspects of the portrait commission which need to be addressed:


While it is obvious that a portrait of a small child will serve an entirely different purpose than that of a clergyman, there are other potential differences as well. For example, a man’s portrait could be casual rather than formal. A woman’s portrait could be more glamorous or perhaps professional.


What is to be said about the subject is, to a large degree, affected by the amount of their form represented in the portrait. While much can be stated in an intimate head and shoulders portrait, a full-length portrait provides for a much more profound statement. It may, perhaps even be somewhat of a narrative work.

Display Location

Where the portrait will be hanging is too often an afterthought. However, it is best to be seriously considered at the beginning of the portrait project. For one, what if the portrait will hang in a large boardroom or banquet hall? A good portrait artist would take care to find an effective composition and paint it so it will be impressive when viewed at greater distances as well as up close. This is not so important if the portrait will be hanging in a smaller room.

Another issue is that of lighting. If the portrait will hang in a dark corner, it might not look its best. However, a good artist can remedy that to some degree by altering the tones in the painting. In that way he could provide a portrait that works perfectly fine in that darkened location.

Finally, a certain planned location might work better with a canvas that is 34 inches wide rather than the 30-inch canvas that perhaps you were initially considering. It is usually best to size the canvas to fit the space.

Distinctive Style

As portrait artist, I like to think of my style as “Nostalgic Realism”. I prefer the classic look, with particular lighting that accentuates form and provides the best opportunity for drama and realism.

Quality of Materials

Since a properly-executed oil painting can last for many generations, it stands to reason that the canvas itself should also last at least as long. While many artists fail to appreciate this concept, every portrait I complete is on Belgian linen, which is stronger and more stable than cotton canvas. Of course, I also use artist-grade oil paint, my favorite is from M. Graham. They use walnut oil since it is believed to yellow less over time compared to typical linseed oil.

Protective Case

The typical portrait is large, awkward to handle, and vulnerable. How do you get it to the framer, and transport it to your new residence?

For each commissioned portrait, I construct a protective case and line it with Masonite to protect your investment. I also oversize the case accommodate the final frame. Why should you have to endure the hassle and nerve-wracking task of transporting your portrait? I’ve got you covered!

Commissioning Me as Your Portrait Artist

As I said previously, a portrait commission is a collaborative effort so we would work very closely together to plan and complete the project. Although this is a much easier process if you are located in South Louisiana, I am willing to travel to any part of the country. Of course, we can also make arrangements to get things done remotely.

While I prefer to shoot the reference photos myself, we could also hire a photographer in your area. With some guidance we would still get all of the reference photos we need.

If all goes well and there aren’t many delays we can expect completion of your portrait in about two to three months from the time we begin.

Booking a Call with Me

If you would like to work with me as your portrait artist and you’re ready to take the next step and to get a price quote, click the link below to book a call with me. You could also shoot me an email.

It’s a free private consultation to help get you started on your portrait project.