Martin Schmandt
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A photograph can record what you look like, but a biographical portrait is about who you are, and who you are becoming. Bring together into a single powerful image the people, the values, the visions that are important to you, that remind you why you are here.
A biographical portrait is the perfect way to mark a special birthday, a wedding, or other turning point. As a memorial, a biographical portrait is the perfect way to celebrate the life of a loved one.


The process is designed to bring out what needs to appear in your portrait, while also protecting your privacy.

The Questionnaire

When you click on the link below, I send you a two-page confidential questionnaire to help me get to know you better (or the person the portrait is for, if a gift). You also receive a full set of templates to give you a first idea of the range of possibilities for your portrait. Four sample templates appear below.


The questionnaire asks about your values, your life, your loved ones, who and what inspires you. It takes from 15 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on how much time you have to give it. In cases where the portrait is to be a gift or a memorial, you can answer based on your knowledge of the person to be painted.

The Conversations

When you send me the completed questionnaire I will contact you to arrange a first online interview, via Whatsapp, Skype or Zoom. For clients in the southeast of England a personal appointment can sometimes be arranged as well. We will go through the questionnaire together, and also consider which templates appeal to you most. (The templates are only a starting place—your portrait will be completely unique.) I will ask you to send copies of any relevant photographs.


After the first conversation, I will send you a quotation, and a deposit of 20% of the total cost will be payable by bank transfer.


I will produce several sketches, working out how the different elements can come together in a single image. In no more than a week, I will send you copies of the sketches, and we arrange a second conversation.


In the second talk, you have the opportunity to give feedback about the sketches and any other relevant information or images. During this conversation, I generally also need to take screenshots of you, and might need also to draw you.


During the next 7-10 days I arrive at a compositional sketch, and send you that.


If necessary, we have a third conversation to make any last adjustments before I start the actual painting.

The Painting

The Painting will be done in oil, and will take from three to six weeks, depending on the scale and complexity of the image. I will let you know the starting date for painting, which will depend on how many other portraits I have on at the time. Once begun, I will send weekly progress reports so that you can watch the image in process. Sittings: The portrait can usually be done on the basis of sketches or photographs I take during the conversations or photos you provide, but as the painting develops I may also need to see you again online or in person, generally for no more than 20 minutes.

The Delivery

When the painting is finished,  I will arrange delivery by courier (or will deliver personally if you live relatively close). The remaining payment is due upon delivery.

Prices depend on size and complexity.


The skill, creativity, talent, and artistry of Martin is brilliant! He masterfully captured my husband's likeness with his brushstrokes. Beyond this, in a single image, he gifted my family something that incredibly captures so much of my our story. My word's are not adequate to express our sincere gratitude and joy for the experience we have had with Martin. To have something to share with generations that so genuinely captures our family's journey and history is priceless.

Antoinette K.

It's morning and I'm sitting in bed looking at my painting. The more I look at it the more I love it. Your artistry is everywhere and the composition is amazing. The way you have created time, linear events and things important to me as well as spaces and sense of place as well as spaciousnessand the feeling my life is not over! You have made me feel so happy about my life!

Annie Interfaith Minister


Below are just a few options of the templates that can be considered for your biographical portrait.