Mikael Melbye believes that when painting portraits, the best result is obtained through an open process, in which the artist and the model continously share their ideas and thoughts about the painting. Therefore the model is invited to see the work in progress several times during the process.
The portrait process starts with a few sittings, at which the model and the artist will meet. They are normally a few hours, and it is during these meetings that the nature and the size of the portrait will be established; also the question of the pose, lighting and what clothes the model should wear on the portrait will be discussed.
At the same time an extensive photographic reference material will be made. In this way the artist can proceed with the work after the sitting is finished.
In the studio, the artist will develop the material, and the model is often invited to see and comment during this initial stage.
Here the final format of the portrait will be established.
The fine Belgian linen will be stretched and primed with several layers of Titanium White. At this time one may discuss which frame eventually will be used for the painting.
A long and thorough work is started in the studio. All details will be developed and the artist will bring the painting as close to completion as possible.
A final sitting or two may be necessary. This can take place in the studio or where the model is located. It is during this meeting that the final touches will be added.
The painting will be transported to the framers to be completed, and the portrait is now ready for display.
Included in the price is the final varnishing which will take place at the earliest six months after completion of the portrait.
The price for portraits are negotiated individually, starting from €4000,-. The final price is is dependant on the size, of how much of the model is included, and how detailed the background is. Extra persons will raise the price accordingly.
Transport of the painting and the artist to distant locations will have to be paid for by the client. If the artist is required to travel outside of Denmark, an additional fee as well as per diems will have to be negotiated.