Tag: thumbnail

How does commissioning a painting work?

Have you ever wondered what is involved when commissioning a painting?  Let me take you through the steps of how it works with me.
 
Step 1: It starts with a simple conversation about what the client is looking for in a painting. This includes the subject matter, size of work, color scheme, and general style and mood.  I like for the clients to look through my current and past artwork to see if there are any particular paintings or color schemes that appeal to them. Price is also discussed. 
 
I visit the location the painting is going to be in, notice the other artwork hanging near it, plus the color of furnishings in the room.  While I don’t believe good art has to match the sofa, there’s no reason it shouldn’t if that’s important to the client. 

Step 2:  I show the client several thumbnail sketches of composition ideas to pick from.  These simple visuals help the client discover if they like a dynamic or more soothing mood to their painting.  We discuss and revise the composition as needed
 
Step 3: I work up a couple of different color schemes using the composition they picked. We discuss them and I take notes on changes to incorporate into the final painting. 

By this point, we’ve determined a concept, composition, and color scheme.  Hopefully, everyone is comfortable with the direction of the painting.  This is when I ask them to sign a contract and make a 50% non-refundable deposit.

In the pictures below, the client liked a previously sold painting of mine but wanted one that was bigger and a different color scheme which included an array of pinks.  I used Photoshop to mock up a couple versions to narrow down just how MUCH pink they wanted.

 

Less pink version
A less pink version
Pink version
A very pink version


Step 4:  About 70% of the way through, I’ll send an update with the image to the client inviting them to review and make comments and suggestions.  At this point, it’s still easy to edit and make adjustments. I do this again at the 95% completion point to let them make any final changes.   

Step 5: When the painting fully completed, I sign, photograph, and varnish it.  Once dry, it is shipped to its new home with the final invoice.

Communication is key. I encourage it throughout the entire process.  I choose to communicate via email because it gives the client time to review and live with the work without being put on the spot for an immediate response. I’ve also used FaceTime so we could view the painting in real time while making adjustments.