Please forgive the brief departure from a landscape-linked post today (images aside) but it is that time of year again when thoughts start to turn in a Yuletide direction; over the last few years I have found that the number of commission requests I receive starts to crank up significantly as Christmas approaches. If you are considering giving a special gift to someone this year (I think we have all deserved it) then perhaps commissioning a painting is something to consider. If I can help with that then please get in touch, but understand that early orders are much appreciated as the diary fills up and the shutters start to close on available windows of opportunity.
Commissioning artwork may be an unfamiliar process to many, but it's quite straightforward to be honest. I have created a brochure that many clients have found helpful in understanding what is involved and for ease of reference I have included some excerpts below:
'Commissioning a painting is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding process. It gives you, the client, an ability to work with the artist to create a piece of art that not only encapsulates your vision but is quite unique to you. Through your conversations with the artist and your involvement in the creative process the finished painting becomes very special.
There can be many reasons for commissioning a work of art – a close connection with a place for example, missing out on a painting that you saw in a gallery, a favourite holiday location perhaps, or simply a gift for a special person on a special occasion. As a landscape artist it is almost inevitable that the work I am commissioned to do includes the countryside, the coast and sometimes the city. Often characters are included, giving the scene some personal context. With landscape-related subject matter I am very much on ‘home turf,’ but never be afraid to ask for something a little bit different; I have been ‘off-piste’ with several commissions before, and will no doubt do so again. Please bear in mind however that watercolour will be my medium of choice.
The purpose of this guide is to help you to understand what to expect, and what is involved when you commission a painting, and how we will work together.'
THE COMMISSION PROCESS
'I have established a simple process that helps ensure that the commission will be positive experience for both of us. The old adage states that ‘good neighbours have strong fences,’ and my experience is that it pays to have a framework that we both understand. It is broadly as follows:
1) Initial Ideas. You can send me an email or call me to let me know what you have in mind and then we can talk in more detail over the phone, or ideally meet up, to set some parameters. As a guide it is useful to have the following in mind:
•Framing - where it is going to hang
Any reference material that you have (photos for example) is always useful. Have a look through the paintings on my website and tell me which of my paintings you are especially fond of (and which ones you don’t like) - it gives me a stronger understanding of what you want your painting to look like. At this stage we can discuss specifics such as seasons, weather, the inclusion of figures…….
2) Price Quote. Once we have agreed on the main parameters I will provide you with a price quote. This takes into account the painting of course, and any additional time required to create it. For example, if the only way that I could create a fantastic painting of your holiday cottage in The Cotswolds were by going there myself then I would factor the additional time and costs into the overall price.
3) Deposit. Having settled on a price that works for us both I will send you a simple agreement that sets out the scope of work, price and payment terms. In most instances a non-refundable deposit of 50% is payable before I start work, and this acts as your acceptance of the terms. The balance is paid on completion.
4) Development & Sketching. Admin completed, I then look at any reference material you have provided or is more widely available, making site visits as and when the assignment dictates. I will make a sketch (or several) for your review so that you can see that my interpretation of what you have told me matches up with what you originally had in mind. It invariably leads to a better painting, but also helps avoid awkward moments later. The key to a satisfying commission is good communication…. it is important that we are in touch as the work takes shape.
5) Delivery & Payment. Once the painting has been completed I will send you a digital image of the painting, and the outstanding balance will be paid upon your approval, prior to delivery which follows within three working days (or whatever we agree.)'
Please send any commission requests to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel to call me on 07720 699033 to discuss further.