What are Art Commissions? (Simple Guide to Art Commissions)

What are Art Commissions? (Simple Guide to Art Commissions)

Have you ever thought about the famous Mona Lisa as a commissioned work?

You heard it right.

The painting that made Leonardo one of the most famous artists was actually a commissioned work.

A rich Italian merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, wanted his wife Lisa’s portrait to be mounted in their new home.

This gave birth to the famous Mona Lisa.

Commissioned art and commissioned artists have always been part of culture.

Earlier paintings were commissioned by elites as a symbol of nobility and to adorn their palaces.

mona lisa ad of reproduction

This motivated the artist to create realm art. Half of the renowned paintings admired today are commissioned artworks.

However, when it comes to commissioning art, people still have dilemmas.

Some frequent questions that cross people’s minds are: What are art commissions? How do art commissions work? or How do I set up a commission for art?

Family painting from different photos

To answer all your queries, I welcome you to this blog, which contains every piece of information you need on this topic with proper guidelines. 

But first, let’s clarify the concept of what are art commissions?

What are Art Commissions?

An old man standing in front of a canvas portraying an art
Image: Freepik

You walk into a gallery and think to yourself about having such art on your walls.

Everyone has that feeling.

That’s when commissioning art comes in.

Commissioning is about reaching out to the artist to create artwork with a proper cost included.

The only thing that people should know is how to hire a custom painting artist.

Why do people look for commissioned art?

The reasons can be multiple, such as:

  • If the client has a specific design in mind
  • A redo of the painting in a different size or style
  • Desire of owning a reproduction painting of a famous work
  • A conversion of a photo to a painting of their special event or moment
  • People who love to have a private collection of art
  • Add extra material to the artwork that is missing in the picture
  • For business marketing purposes
  • To get an original copy in well-known artist’s style, and so on

Nowadays, art commissions are in demand to have one’s pet, family, or house portraits made.

The only part in which the client needs to be specific is about the picture they have in mind.

There are even a few best places to buy a custom painting that you can look for.

So, how does it work?

How Does an Art Commission Work (Step-by-Step)

There are two types of art commissions: digital and handmade.

The artist needs to be clear about what work they offer, either on their website or through their marketing.

This gives a clear picture of an artist’s skillset and talents to the client. And further helps them to make a better decision.

It includes a few steps that need to be focused on.

Step 1: A Clear Vision

A woman drawing with a pencil on a paper along with colors placed on the table is a what are art commissions
Image: Freepik

The first step is to have a see-through of what the client wants and what the artist is capable of.

Here, communication is the key.

Before getting started on an art commission, the client needs to talk about the kind of artwork they wish to own.

A clear understanding of the picture that the client has in mind helps the artist learn whether they can fulfill the requirements or not.

The artist should be explicit about their skills.

When I say clear vision between the client and the artist, what I am talking about is transparency.

Suggested read: 10 New Painting Trends In 2023

Step 2: Look for the Right Clients

A man holding a painting of trees colored in blue which a woman is looking at
Image: Freepik

The first thing an artist needs to consider is getting the right clients on board.

Experimenting sounds cool, but when it comes to commissioning art, artists need to be mindful.

Never opt for something that is unhealthy and unrewarding.

Stop, think, and run a quick check on what the client is asking for.

Even availability can be on this list.

An artist should first review their calendar and inform the client about the timeline.

You cannot take a risk when it comes to having a potential client on your doorstep.

(Recommended: Watercolor vs. Acrylic)

Step 3: Create a Rough Sketch

an ipad that show a digital art of an eye and some more watercolor paintings placed on a wooden table
Image: Freepik

A preview of the art always goes a long way.

If artists are handmade painters, then a rough sketch would be fine, and if they are digital artists, then a quick preview of the art would be perfect.

The process helps client and artist be like-minded.

This will assist in three ways:

  • Artists will get a rough idea of how much time the art requires
  • He/she will create a plan accordingly
  • Have an understanding of how much to commission a painting

After this, the process of sealing the deal comes into play.

Suggested read: Incorporating A Lost Loved One In Handmade Paintings

Step 4: Place a Contract for Art Commission

Picture showing hands that are about to sign a contract paper
Image: Freepik

Place a contract, as it can be evidence that both parties initiated work with each other’s consent.

Also, it covers all the terms and conditions based on a commission piece of art.

The contract can be negotiable as well, depending on the artist’s and client’s needs.

There are also commission websites for art that already have a bond prepared, which is for all.

In the future, this will ensure that no other allegations will be conducted according to the contract.

There are many ways of how to create a commission contract for artists.

Writer’s tip: Provide as many details as you can on the contract to avoid any future threat, damage, or argument.

Include everything in the simplest way possible, which will make sure that no point is missed.

During the paper work, always pay some extra attention to all the processes, turn around times, and explaining the cost of a commissioned artist.

creation of adam reproduction

To make sure that everything is covered, go through the checklist below:

  • Create the bond that defines both parties
  • Be clear about how much an art commission costs. The distribution of the payment structure will provide a clear perspective
  • Make sure you reserve the artwork rights as an artist, which include exhibitions as well
  • Show a preview of the artwork that will help both parties learn about their thoughts
  • Explain the process that the commissioned artwork will undergo
  • Share the shipping details and the preferred payment method (if required)
  • Lastly, signatures are important, which include both the client and artist

Any extra information that you would like to highlight can be attached, according to your requirements.

You have now learned what are art commissions and how they work.

Let me enlighten you on the second most important part—how to get commissioned art prices!

How to Price Commission Art (A Simple Guide)

An old man painting on canvas
Image: Freepik

Commission art prices may depend on the type of artist and the work they do.

As you know, there are two types of art: handmade and digital.

The art commission prices will vary according to what the client desires.

If you ask me which one to choose, then there is an ultimate guide to traditional vs. digital art.

The above guide will bring some clarity to the client’s mind and help them choose the best.

In order to create financial stability, an artist needs to create market interest that brings clients.

Be specific about what to offer the buyers.

For example, if the client wants a wedding portrait, they need to update the artist with the exact details they want in the painting.

The same goes for artists. They need to ask clients about what features should be incorporated.

When the understanding is clear, the price can easily be distributed according to the characters, types of medium, size the buyer chooses, and so on.

People usually expect 50% in advance and the rest before the art goes out for delivery.

You know the best part?

At PortraitFlip, you can pay only 30% of your total amount, and the remaining payment can be made once you have received the preview of the final painting and approved it.

Isn’t it amazing?

To have a better perspective, I have divided the guide into three processes:

1. Procedure

A woman who has brush in her hands and a canvas in front of her
Image: Freepik

After receiving the advance payment, start the art process.

Previews can be provided to the buyers, and it is important to seek their permission to have the art look exactly how they want it.

Remember, most of the clients are personal buyers.

They want the art either for their home or to gift to someone.

Make sure to meet their requirements and know their preferences.

If you don’t offer a preview, be specific in your contract.

2. Modifications

When it comes to commissions in art, the work is created depending on the eyes of the viewer.

Sometimes clients won’t be satisfied with what they have received.

It’s not that the artist didn’t give their best, but details could be subjective, such as colors, placement of characters, and more.

Modification comes into play in such scenarios.

Offering alternatives gives the clients the freedom to get the art revised even after receiving the final work. 

Artists need to be clear about whether they offer such services or not.

If they do, then the limits must be included.

It can be mentioned in the agreement itself for a better overview.

Extra tip: If the modifications add extra charges, that must be stated in the paper as well.

Suggested read: The Ultimate Guide to Canvas Size Chart

3. Payment and Shipping

Now, when the commissioned paintings are delivered to the client, the artist can go for the rest of the payment.

They can invoice the buyer with the left payment procedure.

And boom, it’s done!

How to Get Commissions for Art: Build a Website

Homepage of PortraitFlip which is one of the website that commission art
Image: PortraitFlip

A dedicated website for art commissions sounds fabulous, especially for the new artist.

A website featuring the artist’s previous works may help clients gain trust and credibility.

The site may include:

  • Detailed process about how it works
  • Pricing list
  • Types of medium 
  • Size chart
  • Framing options
  • Policies
  • 24×7 customer support
  • Turnaround times

This creates a vision in the customer’s eye about what and how the artist works.

There are many websites that offer commission art and custom painting services. The first name that pops into my mind is PortraitFlip.

girl with pearl earring replica

Their amazing works in six or more mediums leave people in awe. Don’t believe me?

Final Word

You have an entire guideline in front of you that answers what art commissions are, how they work, their prices, and even how one can get a commission on art.

Commission drawings are nothing more than hiring an artist and paying them for the artwork you desire.

But this simple process involves many stages that a customer has to undergo.

The most important thing to mention is to be wise when giving art on commission.

Learn about artists and their work, and look for reviews of how they do it.

Trustpilot is the perfect platform to provide you with honest reviews.

Hi From Writer

I hope the blog about “what are art commissions” was able to convey the meaning you were looking for.

While going through the blog, there must be some suggestions to give and queries to ask.

Share your valuable feedback via comments.

Your opinion will help me grow and add merit to the content.

I’ll be back with another piece of writing soon.

Till then, keep reading and exploring!


Q. What are art commissions?

Hiring an artist to produce an artwork based on a client’s request is called an art commission.

Q. How are art commissions done?

After finding an artist the discussion about ideas, ongoing communication, and the process of creating art are done.

Q. Do artists get paid for commissions?

Yes, the artist gets the payment after the work is completed and delivered to the client.

Q. Why are art commissions so expensive?

The reasons why art commissions are costly include two reasons: Either the artist is successful and well-known or the artwork is unique and one-of-a-kind.

Q. What do art commissions cost?

The answer may differ according to the artist, characters, and detailing to be included in the artwork.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend