Portraits Africa | Commissions
Jack BirgenArtist Jack Birgen, Member, Portraits Africa

Commissioning An African Artist

Keith McFarlane, Editor / Curator, Portraits Africa


Why not commission an original, fine-art drawing or painting of your family or loved ones? Or perhaps you are inspired by an idea, a poem, or landscape? Portraits Africa can partner you with a young, highly skilled and creative talent. We can help you delight your family, we can help you re-imagine your dreams.

Portraits Africa offers commissions from some 50 African artists, distributed across Africa in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and of course South Africa. A SAMPLE OF THEIR WORK CAN BE FOUND IN OUR PORTFOLIO OF FINE-ART PRINTS.

You will work directly with the artists, and you will share in the creative process. Portraits Africa will ensure the quality and delivery of the work. We will keep your money safe, releasing funds to the artist only after delivery of an exceptional work of art.

Portraits Africa delivers almost all of the portrait's price to the artist. Bank charges and a commission of just 5% are levied on the purchase price, charged to the artist, and taken from the price agreed up-front between artist and buyer. Portraits Africa offers a quality, reliability and financial security simply not present in a private sale between artist and buyer. The issue of trust is crucial in international transactions, and in particular with Africa.

Why Portraits Africa?


Portraits Africa was designed specifically to reduce this barrier to the entry of gifted African artists into the European and North American market. It does so in three ways.

  1. We Assure Quality. Participating artists are chosen from applicants in each participating country. The selection is done by Artworld / Portraits Africa in consultation with the adjudicator, an established artist resident in the artist’s home country.
  2. We Guarantee Delivery. A simple but effective quality assurance is provided, whereby an adjudicator will rule on the acceptability or otherwise of a commissioned artwork in the event of a dispute between artist and buyer. The adjudicator's decision is final.
  3. We Safeguard your Cash. A fixed price is agreed upfront between artist and buyer. The full sum will be paid in advance, and held in trust by Portraits Africa. Funds will not be paid to the artist until the buyer has indicated his or her satisfaction, or until the appeals procedure has run its course.

For a detailed account of how to commission an individual artist check out our brochure, Commissioning a Portrait. This contains full details of the adjudication and disputes procedure.


Getting Started


Contact the artist via Keith McFarlane (Portraits Africa) at keith.mcfarlane@tele2.nl who will provide an introduction. Artist and buyer are free to negotiate on both subject and price. While the artist has provided a guide-price or price indication, the first step in any commission is that artist and buyer agree the price, size, subject and materials of the composition and its delivery date. Portraits Africa will then request the agreed commission fee from the buyer, and on receipt of that fee will advise the artist to start work. The fee will not be released to the artist until the work has been completed and delivered to the buyer. Should a dispute arise between artist and buyer, it is Portraits Africa that will adjudicate. For the service prospectus, terms and conditions see Commissioning a Portrait.