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John Arcaro

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Artist’s Statement:

I began drawing and painting at the very young age of ten. While having studied art in both New York and Montreal alongside great artists and instructors, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment in many different mediums, techniques and subjects. After having spent several years studying and recreating works by great portrait Masters such as John Singer Sargent and Rembrandt, I quickly learned that portrait painting was my niche.

Painting portraits has always been more challenging to me and very rewarding at the same time. Creating a portrait and trying to portray an individual’s life and character by expressing my own feelings and emotions into the artwork, creates a feeling of fulfillment that only an artist can understand.

I learned at a young age that the day you stop learning is the die you die, therefore I strive to challenge and better myself every single day.

The Process:

I enjoy painting and drawing figures from life, although most of my commissioned portraits are from photographs. There are many advantages from working with photographs for both myself and the client. For example, it is very difficult for the client to dedicate a whole day of sitting or standing while keeping the same expression as I work from life, especially when children are the subjects. For myself, it allows me to take my time and analyze the photographs while creating several compositions and proofs (colors, theme, setting, etc.) prior to beginning the painting.

Step 1 - Meet and & Greet:

  • Talkand preferably meet with the client to discuss the details of the portrait such as size, composition, pose, colors, type of setting and background they prefer.

Step 2 - Preparation:

  • I prefer working photographs which are taken by a professional photographer as the quality will be much more superior. This also allows the client to have the photographer set the composition, lighting and pose exactly as planned in the first stage of the process listed above. Note that I am not opposed to working with a photograph that the client already has, however depending on the quality of the photograph it may not be practical.

Step 3 - Getting to Work!:

  • Once I receive the photograph(s) either by electronic or a hard copy, I will begin the painting. It is common for me to update the client with my progress and allow the client to visit my studio in the Toronto region  for viewing prior to completion. I allow myself 1 to 3 months to complete the painting depending on the size and subject matter. Prior to commencing the painting at this stage, a non-refundable 50% deposit of the total amount is required.

Step 4 - Finishing:

  • When I have completed the painting I will meet with the client to present the final work. If the client is not happy or requests some changes (deletions or additions) to the artwork, we will discuss it and I will take it back to my studio to work on further. Once that is completed we will meet again. Of course, depending on distance arrangements can be made to have the painting shipped. The remaining balance owed will be paid on delivery.



Oil Paintings:

Head and shoulders (size approximately 18x24’’)  $1,500
Half figure including hands (size approximately 24x30’’) $3,500
Full figure (size approximately 30x40’’) $4,500
Life Size (size approximately 50x75’’) $6,500



Head and shoulders $800
Half figure including hands $1,300
Full figure $2,300


*Any extra subjects will be an additional 50%
*All prices are in Canadian Dollars plus GST
*All sizes are referred to in inches