Contemporary artist Elizabeth R. Whelan paints our world in all its complexity. Working from her studio on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, Whelan creates distinctive fine art paintings that will last generations.

Contact Elizabeth Whelan

Elizabeth R. Whelan: The Value of a Portrait

Seeing art in person can be a life-changing experience, both humbling and inspiring.
And in any art museum, portraits are everywhere: in every style, color, and size, from every country and created by every type of artist.

In a portrait's brushstrokes we find a path connecting us to another human on a timeless level.

Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, van Gogh and Rembrandt's many self-portraits, these are just a few of the well-known portraits that have come down to us through the ages. Their popularity is testimony to the power and value of capturing personality, character, and aspect, on canvas.

Oil paint captures the living qualities of the human face and body like no other medium. Skillfully handled, the portrait transcends technique and draws the viewer in, and a single artist creates a treasure for us all.

The Painting Commission Process

Commissioning a portrait or other painting is a significant moment, and Elizabeth Whelan makes the process straightforward and enjoyable.
Portrait Process
Commissioning and sitting for a portrait is an exciting and unique experience.
Portrait Fees
A guide to portrait fees, which are based on factors including the size and complexity of the painting.
Other Commissions
Elizabeth Whelan also paints nautical and coastal subjects, landscapes, still life, as well as animals.
Visit the artist's studio
Working from her studio on Martha's Vineyard, Elizabeth paints and draws daily. Art is the foundation of her life.
What her clients say:
Your talent and love and generosity make the painting shine and we are very grateful that you hold us gently at a moment in our lives and in a place that we all love dearly.
portrait painting testimonial elizabeth whelan

Mother of family Martha's Vineyard

Thank you so much...We think it looks amazing and beautiful and really captures [our retiring CEO].
portrait painting testimonial elizabeth whelan

US luxury jewelry company New York City

The portrait of [father] exceeds our expectations. You must hear this from all your happy clients. Each day we enjoy another aspect of it.
painting testimonial elizabeth whelan

Family of portrait subject Martha's Vineyard

My portrait was unveiled this a.m. You are a true genius and master! ...Thank you again for all you did and because of you, it was truly painless.
portrait painting testimonial elizabeth whelan

Retired doctor, surgeon New York City

I don’t have much formal art training, so perhaps the most valuable advice I can give is that you don't need to go to art school or have a degree to become a professional artist and make a decent living. That doesn't mean you can't pick up some useful info at a school--an introductory drawing class I took years ago taught me fundamentals that I still apply to this day. (Thank you, Prof. Vincent Castagnacci, University of Michigan!)

Later when I was in the role of an art director, I found that some of the best and most qualified graphic design and illustration applicants I had were the products of vocational schools, where real-life skills were being taught and the expectations for salary and entry-level work were far more realistic than those applicants coming from high priced schools.

And there's nothing like some instruction from someone whose work you admire, or who possesses skills and technique that you want to acquire. Many incredible professional artists also teach classes and workshops, perfect if you don't have the time, funds or desire to pursue a degree.

I started out as an entry-level junior illustrator for a screenprint business, and built on that experience with other illustration and design-related jobs until I had enough skills to break out on my own as a freelancer. After building a very successful solo business I decided to transition to fine art.

Rather than rely on trial and error to learn the fundamentals of the craft and the business, I sought out Daniel Greene and Burton Silverman, two artists I hold in very high esteem and took workshops with them. In my opinion, this sort of targeted learning is of more value than a bunch of required and expensive classes in which you may have little interest.