How to Commission a Painting


Commissioning A Painting

Where do You Start?

What is a Commissioned Painting
If you have a specific location, family member or beloved pet or wildlife you would like to have painted you need to find an artist to make your custom painting. Just like any custom made or built item you need to find someone to make it as well as find out the cost and discuss the date for the project to be completed. Once you find the artist you want to create your image the artist then creates your painting and you have your custom image to enjoy. That sounds all good and well but how do you find an artist to commission a painting.

How to Find an Artist to commission
Not all artists do commissioned paintings. Where do you find an artist for your commission? You want an artist you can count on who does commissions and has a good reputation with creating them. You can certainly start by searching on the internet for artists but that can be a hit and miss option. The simplest place to start is with your local or nearby art gallery this gives you a chance to find local artists and find out from the gallery owner which of the artists does commissions. Another way is to search art magazines such as Southwest art, Art of the West or American Artist magazines these magazines showcase national artist with solid reputations and consistent quality. Just remember that the more established and well know the artist is the likely the more expensive the commission will cost. Whichever way you use to locate the artist whose artwork you enjoy and who does commissions you will then need to discuss you project, the cost and the date needed to have the artwork completed. To make sure the commission is an enjoyable experience a few things will help and it’s all in the details.

The Devil is in the Details
When you remodel a kitchen or replace your carpet you want the project to run smoothly. Just like with any project, things run smoothly when the details are clear. Those details should be worked out in a contract.
Don’t work with artists that don’t create contracts for their commissioned paintings. With commissioned artwork you want a contract that details the cost and date of completion and any other particulars of the project. Some artists have simple contracts they use, the contract details the description of the desired art work , the cost and the date of completion. The contract is signed; the artist does the painting and sends it off along with an invoice. It’s simple, sweet and to the point. However some projects require a more comprehensive contract or more detailed contracts help avoid misunderstandings. These contracts can have several steps outlined in the project.  These detailed contract help to avoid misunderstandings between the artist and client.
When I am working on a commission painting there are several steps which are outlined in my contracts. These steps are detailed and the client is involved in each step along the way. There is a date for client approval of a rough sketch, final drawing, small comp painting and then the final painting. This way there are no surprises for either the client or myself. This also allows for small corrections to the project throughout the process so everyone is happy with the final project.  A good contract as well an open dialog between both the artist and the customer will make the commission process run smoothly and ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.
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2 thoughts on “How to Commission a Painting”

  1. i have just aquired a painting , of yours, from bob wassermans wife called ” fire over the desert “. it is not signed on the front but your name and price is on the back. is there anyway i could have you sign it? i think we both live in the area. please let me know if this would be possible. you can also look me up under loustubes.con. thank you, lou

    1. Send me a picture of the painting. I would like to see to verify it is one of my paintings. Also some paintings have been purchased as unsigned originals I will check my records to see if it was one of those. Please let me know. thank you

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