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How To Commission A Painting March 27, 2010

Posted by Sandy Wager in Commissioned Paintings.
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The first things your Artist needs to know.

Black and White or Color? Decide if you want your commission to be in black and white or in color. Choose black and white for making a dramatic statement which can be very detailed at a small size. This isn’t to say that it won’t help the artist to know what color things are. Blue eyes are a different value than green.

Color lends a depth and reality to an image. It also conveys a broader range of emotion better than black and white. In general, we relate to, and “feel” color images more. If you want something very subtle or very over the top, then choose color.
Background or no background? Not every image needs to have a background. This is especially true of portrait work whether it is black and white or color.

Another option is to add a graphic image in the background that relates to the subject. It could be a flag behind a political figure for example or a a pair of crossed swords behind a knight. It could also be a pattern that is either simple of complex.

But all that being said, there is something complete and wonderful about a painting with the subject in an appropriate environment.
What size?  Aside from complexity, size is the most influential factor when determining the price, and the reason is the same for both.

Time.  The larger a piece is, the longer it takes to do. Likewise, the more detail and the more “stuff” that you want included in your piece, the more time it takes to do.

Not all pieces look good small, and not all pieces look better large. The subject, and the effect you are after, will often suggest the best size. A portrait destined for an opera house ought to be large while a miniature portrait’s small size is far more intimate.
Framed or unframed? All commissions that you have done should be framed. This can be done by the artist or the artist’s framer. These two people have the biggest stake making you happy. The frame should be an extension and a complement to the painting.

The only time this is not true is when you yourself are a framer or if a finished piece is being shipped. Especially overseas where the extra weight can make the cost prohibitive.

Receiving a piece framed alleviates the delay of hanging which isn’t good for the art and devalues your investment. Wasn’t showing it off to everyone the idea in the first place.
The budget. As you have seen, there are many factors that effect the price of a piece. One approach is to tell the artist how much you are willing to spend. The artist will manipulate the size, complexity, etc. so that you can get a quality job within your budget.

Another approach is to tell the artist everything you want to see in the commission and ask for a quote with your “want list” and see what comes up. The artist will usually give you a quote with a variety of sizes to choose from. You can pick one or you can ask the artist for suggestions on how to get the price in a range where you feel comfortable.

For example, you can get the cost of a piece down by changing a full figure image to a waist up image keeping the same size. Or you could keep your full figure and simplify or eliminate the background. Or you could keep everything and just go to a smaller size.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you can make installments on expensive commissions. It is a common practice. But be prepared to pay at least one third of the total up front, one third half way through and the final third when it is complete unless the two of you agree to another plan.

An installment plan is a regular monthly payment for as long as it takes you to complete the transaction. The art is shipped once payment is complete.
The time factor. Imagine writing your name on a piece of paper that is 8 x 10 inches. No problem right? It’s quick and easy and looks good without making a fuss.

Now write your name on a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp. This takes a little more planning, more effort and more attention to make it look good.

For a more relevant example, let’s say that you want a special ring on the finger of your subject’s portrait commission. If the piece is an 18 x 24 inch piece, this will not likely be a problem. If you want it done on an 8 x 10 inch piece, it’s another story.

The solution? Let’s say that the 8 x 10 quote is in the budget, but you really want that ring seen clearly. You can have the figure done at a closer view (from the waist up as opposed to a full figure from head to toe), or you could have the ring done as a graphic in the background. As we saw earlier, with creative inventiveness, there is almost always a way to get the job done within the budget.

The thing to remember is to know what the most important elements of the piece are and set your priorities so that you can relate to the artist what must be in the picture, what can be modified and what can be dropped if necessary.
Now your ready. With this information at hand, you are ready to contact your favorite artist with confidence and say I would like a commission.
Let me know if you would like a commissioned painting either by :-

Phone                 01752 313645

Email                  sandy_wager@msn.com

Via my website    http://www.artbysandywager.com

Post                    94, Lancaster Gardens, Plymouth, Devon, PL5 4AE, UK

The above text was copied from  (by Melissa A Benson re:- Squidoo  http://www.squidoo.com/artcommission#module12411555)

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