The artist had two sittings with Romney. The first was at his summer home in New Hampshire, where Whitney experimented with poses and did a color study in oils. The second was at the Governor's office. Consulting his photos and a color study as a writer would consult notes, Whitney then worked several months to create the finished portrait. Romney made three requests of the artist: One, that a picture of his wife, Ann, be included in the portrait, something that had not been done by previous Governors. Two, the background should be similar to what it was when he was Governor. Three, he wanted the gold symbol representing his health care program to be shown somewhere in the portrait.
Therefore, the photo of his wife is obvious, on the wall is a painting by Jonas Lie of a harbor scene, and on Romney's desk is a copy of the bill.
Richard (also one of the top landscape artists in America) has done dozens of major portraits previously, including those of Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor; Marlin Fitzwater, former Press Secretary to Reagan and Bush Senior; James Webb, Jr., former Secretary of the Navy; Dr. Phillip Sharp, Nobel Laureate; and John Sununu, former Govenor of NH and Chief of Staff for Bush Senior.