Gallery Zoo Art Blog

Commissioning a Painting--What To Expect

  Commissioning a piece of artwork from an artist can be a thrilling but intimidating experience.  Here I have outlined my commissioning process for GALLERY ZOO ART so both current and future collectors have an idea what to expect.
1.  Contact Me.  This one is easy.  Each of the websites I am listed on (Etsy, Yessy, Fine Art America, and has a clickable link "Contact the Artist".  Or, you can simply cut/paste my address into an e-mail:
2.  Describe as specifically as possible the art you want me to create.  These are the types of questions I will ask you:  Do you want a canvas painting or painting on yupo paper?  If on gallery-wrapped canvas (staples are on the back for frame-free display), how deep/thick do you want your edges--3/4" or 1.5"?  If on yupo paper, do you want a mat included?  What color?  Framed or unframed?  What size painting do you want?  What subject do you want in your painting?  What colors do you want in your painting?  If you want your painting to specifically match a color in your decor, I will require mailed swatches, as the colors on computer monitors vary.  Do you want an acrylic painting or mixed media painting?  Are you looking to stay in a certain price range/budget? 
3.  What is your deadline for the completed work?  The specific details and timing of the commission request will determine the length of time required to complete your painting.  A smaller painting may take a week or so; a 24" x 24" mixed media painting may take four to six weeks.
4.  Pricing.  Generally speaking, I do not charge more for a commissioned piece than I do for one of my regular paintings.  (Highly detailed pieces, however, will cost more.)  By looking at my other paintings in a size and medium similar to what you want, you will have an idea about how much your commission will cost.
5.  Contract.   Once we negotiate the terms/details of your commission, I will e-mail you a contract outlining all that we have discussed for your approval.  Once you accept this contract...
6.  Down payment.  I  require a 25% down payment on all commissions.  Once you have approved the contract, I will e-mail you an invoice for 25% of the cost of the commission via PayPal.  After I receive your down payment, I will book you into my commission schedule.  You have a grace period up to but not including the date I have booked to begin your commission to cancel to receive a full refund of your down payment.  After this period (ie. once I have started your commission), the down-payment is non-refundable.
7.  How do I pay?  I accept payments via PayPal.  PayPal enables you to pay by credit card, debit card, or bank account.  It is a secure site that allows you to pay without vendors having access to your financial information.  Opening a PayPal account is easy and free.  You will receive both your down payment invoice and your final invoice from me through PayPal.  After you pay your final invoice, I will ship your commission, fully insured for the purchase price.
8.  Do you accept returns on commissions?  No, I do not accept returns on commissioned paintings.  Please be sure to measure your space to guarantee a perfect fit.
As a future member of my collector family you are very involved in my commissioning process.  Before sending your invoice and/or shipping your painting, I will e-mail you an image of your commission for your approval.  In this way, you can be confident that you know what you will be paying for.  I may also e-mail images by request throughout the process, depending upon the complexity of your commission.
I hope this outline provides some insight into my commissioning process.  And if you have questions, please ask.  I am always available.  You may check out a few of my commissioned pieces in my Commissioned Work Gallery.


elizabeth said:

Hi there,
I am a fine artist trying to market my paintings and jewelry. Do you have any suggestions for me? I thought about changing careers, but I love the arts..

Wednesday, July 14th

Catherine said:

Hi Elizabeth --

Your question is a bit vague for me to provide a detailed response. Are you trying to drive traffic to a website or sites? To galleries? Are you utilizing social networking sites (ie. Facebook?) You mention changing careers. Does your current career provide opportunities for you to get your name and work out there? There are scores of opportunities for marketing oneself. You will not only have to be committed to doing so, but you will also need to think outside the box. What may work for one artist may not work for another. You will also need to think about your target audience/market and adjust your efforts towards that group. A good professional publication for artists is Art Calendar Magazine
I recommend checking this out.

Hope this helps, Elizabeth.


Wednesday, July 14th

Sandra said:

I really appreciate this blog. I have a customer who wants to commission a piece of jewelry from my and I really had no idea if I should charge extra or what. After reading your blog, now I have a general idea on what to do.

Thank you,

Sunday, December 11th

Catherine said:


Thank you so much for this feedback! It's always a treat to hear that a post has been helpful to someone. Glad you found what you were looking for. Good luck with your commission!


Thursday, December 15th

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