A Beginners Guide to Commissioning Art

commissioning art

Commissioning art means that you get a painting that is unique to you, and that meets your required specifications. You can get involved in the design process with your chosen artist too. Commissioning a piece of art not only produces an item to admire but an experience to treasure forever.

So how do you go about commissioning art?

Once you have decided that you would like to commission an artist to paint an image for you and what you would like it to be about, your children, pets or a favourite scene, it is important that you understand how to handle the commissioning process step by step:

Decide on a style and theme

Artists work in many different styles, so it is key that you understand the styles that you like before searching for an artist. As well as your favourite painting style, modernism, expressionism, impressionism or abstract, for example, it is also important to decide on your theme. This may be led by what the painting is to be about, a portrait, landscape, animals or perhaps a fantasy piece.

Make a note of all of your decisions, preferences and thoughts about your piece of art, this will form your brief which can be used  to refer back to with the artist throughout the process.

Now it is time to find an artist that fits with your requirements.

Choosing an artist

There are a plethora of places to find artists online, through a gallery, artists own websites and art societies, which the internet a good place to start your research. Search for artists that paint the kind of art that you are planning to commission in your favourite styles. Also, look for artists that specialise in the medium that you require whether that be watercolour, oil or pencil for example. There is no point in commissioning an artist to paint you a watercolour if they only work in pastels.

After searching within all these parameters you should arrive at a list with several choices that you can delve into further.

Research your artists

Now that you have your short list of artists there are a few items you should research before making contact:

Is the artist currently taking commissions?

You can usually find this out be visiting their website. Bear in mind that even if it states that they are they could be booked up months ahead.

What is the artist’s standard pricing?

The price of a piece of commissioned art can vary for many reasons. An artist that is new and looking for portfolio opportunities could offer a lower price point, whilst an established artist that has been in the industry for years will attract a higher price point. The cost of the materials they use and the rate of which they work can also reflect in the price of the commission.

Now your artist should be narrowed down to just one or two.

Make contact

Whilst you can contact an artist via their website, if they are affiliated with a gallery this should be your first port of call. Let them know that you are interested in commissioning a piece of art and they will usually arrange for you to visit the artist’s gallery or show you examples of their work.

They will also assign you a Commissions Consultant or put you in contact with the artist themselves.

Now the ball is rolling embrace and nurture the relationship you have with your artist. Treat any contact with your artist professionally. As with any other service, neither you or your artist wants to be taken for granted.

Good luck with commissioning art, we hope you enjoy the experience and treasure the outcome.

If you have found this article useful please let us know in the comments.


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