How to Commission a Painting

Commissioning your own painting is easier than you think, and the term ‘commissioning’ simply means that you contact an artist and ask them to create a painting specifically for you, whether that painting is a landscape, animal, portrait, or pet portrait e.t.c ..rather than buying a pre-existing painting that an artist has previously painted.

1) Why Commission a Painting

There are many reasons why someone might commission an artist to paint them a specific painting:

  • If you have something in mind, but you can’t find the painting to match your idea.
  • As a memory of a special place.
  • As a memory or tribute to a loved one.
  • As a memory or tribute to a beloved pet.
  • For a personal gift.
  • For a leaving work colleague.


2) The Commissioning Process

From start to finish both artist and client work together to bring your idea to reality. The process can be a little different from artist to artist, but it usually goes something like this:

  1. Once you’ve found an artist who’s style you like, you contact that artist with your idea for a painting.
  2. The artist and yourself discuss the required subject, painting size, painting shape, composition, colours, cost… etc. Most artists will have a set price list for their most popular painting sizes – you can find my prices here.
  3. The artist gathers reference material, perhaps photos or sketches, or you send/email your own photographs, sketches ..e.t.c to the artist to use and to work from.
  4. Once everything has been finalised, the artist starts work on your painting, emailing you photos at key stages throughout the painting process and as the painting develops. Most artist welcome all feedback throughout these stages, the whole idea of emailing updates through is so that you can see how your painting is developing and so that you can advise on any changes or alterations you might like. It’s much easier to alter a painting at these early stages than at the end when the painting is complete.
  5. When the painting is finished and you are happy with the final images sent through to you, or you have personally viewed the final piece, you are presented with the finished painting.

That is all there is too it!


painting commission

Happy client collecting her painting – See this painting in my pet portrait gallery here.


3) Deposit

Usually, an artist will ask for a deposit before beginning work on your painting, this is to guarantee the order and cover costs of booking a time slot and procurement of canvas and paints for your painting.


4) Personal Viewing

In this internet age it is often the case that the artist you commission to create your painting does not live locally. In this situation an artist will email you a large resolution image for final approval. If however you can travel or live locally a live final viewing is always best. I personally invite all of my clients to visit my studio to see their paintings before final approval, although understandably most are unable to visit.


5) Framing

Not all artists offer a framing service, but most use a professional framer for their own work and can therefore arrange for your commissioned painting to be framed for you ( there may be an extra charge for delivery of framed paintings though, be sure to ask ).

For framing in West Wales I recommend and use;

Cottage Harmony Framing Company
Cefn Hir, Blaenporth, Ceredigion, SA43 2AP
Phone – 01239 810000


6) Final Payment

When all parties are happy final payment is made, and you are then the owner of a unique personally hand painted work of art.

Read these messages from some of my happy clients.


Happy commissioning.



I look forward to some great comments below, and if you enjoyed this post and found it useful, please share it.

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