Commissioned artwork is created by the artist for a client with a vision. The artist and client work together to create a custom piece of art that fits that vision.
The process of commissioning a piece of artwork from an artist begins with the client’s vision. Once the client reaches out to inquire about commissioning a piece of work, a conversation begins to ensure that the final artwork will suit the client’s vision. This conversation covers subject of the artwork, size, surface type, media, and specific aesthetic.
Once the details are determined and all necessary supplies are obtained, the creation process begins. From initial sketches to the final touches I check in with the client to ensure transparency throughout the process. These check-ins include questions, progress photos, and timeline updates, and allow opportunities for the client to make changes if so desired.
When the piece is completed, I send photos to allow for any final changes. Once approved, I finish the work and prepare for delivery. “Finishing” varies based on the medium of the work, but for paintings this typically involves varnishing and installing a hanging wire.
Finally, the commission is packaged and either shipped to the client or exchanged in person.
Commissioned artwork is priced at $1.50/ square inch.
Example: If a client is looking to purchase a painting that is 16″ x 20″, multiple 16 x 20 to get the total area in inches, then multiply the total area by 1.5 to get the price.
16 x 20 = 320 inches
320 x 1.5 = $480
The client is not charged for supplies or materials, but may have to pay for shipping of the final work if that is the determined exchange method.
The “medium” (or “media” plural) is the material used to create the artwork. Most commissions that I create for clients are acrylic paintings, so the medium is acrylic paint. Other media options may be charcoal, pencil, pen, or others. If you are interested in exploring different media, please contact me and we will figure out the best option for your commission.
The “surface” of a piece of artwork is the physical vessel for the medium. For example, if a piece of artwork is created with acrylic paint and painted on a gallery wrapped canvas, the gallery wrapped canvas is the surface.
There are many options and varieties in surface types. Some popular options are canvas board, gallery wrapped canvas, wooden panel, and cradled wooden panel. All options come in a variety of sizes. Choosing your surface type may seem daunting, but don’t worry! Together we can go over all the options and select the perfect surface for your commission.
Canvas board is a thin board with a canvas surface. “Canvas” is a woven fabric that has a characteristic appearance due to the weave of the threads that make up the fabric. The canvas is mounted onto a board, so overall the canvas board is about 1/8 inch thick. This thin surface is perfect for commissions that are going to be framed, but is not ideal for unframed works.
Gallery Wrapped Canvas
As previously mentioned, “canvas” is a woven fabric that has a characteristic appearance due to the weave of the threads that make up the fabric. In this option, the canvas is stretched onto a wooden frame and wrapped around the sides, hence the name “gallery wrapped canvas”. These canvases come in many different “depths”, or how far the work protrudes from the wall when hanging. Common depths of gallery wrapped canvas are 3/4 inch, 1.5 inch, and 2 inch.
Gallery wrapped canvases can be framed, though can also go unframed. Deep canvases have a rather stately appearance, and can bring a contemporary look to a space. Framing a gallery wrapped canvas may be more expensive than framing a canvas board of the same size.
Wooden panel is a thin board that acts as a smooth surface for painting. Like the canvas board, the wooden panel is typically about 1/8 inch thick and is perfect for commissions that are going to be framed, but is not ideal for unframed works.
Cradled Wooden Panel
Cradled wooden panel shares the same smooth surface as the wooden panel, but this version is mounted on a wooden frame to offer depth similar to the gallery wrapped canvas. Like gallery wrapped canvases, these cradled panels come in many different “depths”, or how far the work protrudes from the wall when hanging.
Cradled wooden panels can be framed, though can also go unframed. This option is much heavier than gallery-wrapped canvas, and therefore large paintings on this surface may be more difficult to hang and more expensive to ship. The weight difference is virtually irrelevant for small or medium sized paintings. Framing a gallery wrapped canvas may be more expensive than framing a wooden panel of the same size.
What if I don’t have a specific vision, only a general idea?
That’s completely ok! Some clients prefer to trust me, the artist, to choose things like color scheme, composition, size, etc. At the beginning of the commission process I ask many questions to get a thorough idea of what the client is looking for, and I consider many aspects that may be overlooked, like, “What size is the wall that this piece of artwork will be displayed on?”, “What is the decor of the home and what will ensure that the artwork matches?”, “Is the client planning on having the artwork framed?”. Though this conversation the client and I are able to come up with the perfect design for their envisioned artwork, and multiple check-ins throughout creation process ensure transparency between the artist and the client, and gives opportunity for the client to request any changes.
What if my idea is different than your typical art commissions?
If your idea seems a little out of the box, I would love to hear it! Art is all-encompassing, and I would be excited to discuss atypical projects. Whether you are looking to have a mural painted, a special custom mobile to hang above your baby’s crib, or you want a painting on the cross-section of a tree, we can work out the best way to complete your project.
Pricing may vary for atypical commissions, but the process will remain the same.