Tag Archives: how to commission a painting

How to Commission a Painting

~ by Maria Benner

There are few gifts more unique and personal than a commissioned oil painting.  If you’re considering giving one as a gift this holiday season, but don’t know how to commission a painting, here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1. Decide on the subject matter for the painting: a place, person, or thing (or all of the above).

Step 2. Contact us at least two weeks before you need the painting.  During busy times, like the holiday season, the earlier you place the order, the better.  Now is actually a great time.  We will need to know the size, and when you need the painting.  Then we’ll send you a price quote.

Step 3. Send us photos.  The more, the better.  Don’t be shy.  You can either e-mail them to us, or stop by the studio to discuss the concept in person.

Step 4. Scott will create sketches of different options, or just one sketch (if the concept is straight forward), and send it to you for approval.  This is the time to make changes, and dial in the painting concept.

Step 5. After the sketch is good to go, Scott will start painting.  When the painting is done, he’ll send you a photo.  Then you’ll have a very short window to make any small, last-minute tweaks, if necessary, before the paint dries.

Step 6.  The oil paint will take about 10 days to dry.  Then Scott will coat it with a clear protective varnish, and frame it.  Then you can pick it up, or we can mail it to you, or to the recipient.

You can order a custom beer painting, or a custom bike painting online at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or just send us an e-mail, call or text.

Another option is to give someone the experience of commissioning a painting, by giving them a Gift Certificate.

Here are a few examples of recent commissions.

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Give the Experience of Commissioning a Painting

We prefer to spend money on experiences, rather than on stuff: travel, concerts, ski lift tickets, etc.  I never thought that commissioning a painting could be an interesting and fulfilling experience, until I watched clients meet with Scott throughout the month to commission paintings as gifts for very special people in their lives.  Not only are you paying for an experience, you also get a custom oil painting in the end!  One person said her dad is really hard to find gifts for, but a painting of his wedding day was going to be a surprise, and a meaningful gift that he’ll treasure for a long time, and something that will be in the family for generations.  She photographed pictures at her dad’s house, and contacted family members to ask for certain photos.  Then she met with Scott at our studio, and told him the stories about her parents, and together they created a sketch for the painting.  When she saw the painting, her reaction was priceless!  Seeing all the details in one painting that was created just for her dad, stirred up some emotions.  Another person said she has never been able to surprise her husband with a gift, because he’s just really good at guessing what she bought him.  But, she said, this year he’ll never guess that she commissioned a painting of the view from their cabin.  Scott delivered the painting to the couple’s home last weekend, and his reaction was priceless.  He couldn’t believe the painting was of a view he knew so well.

One has to plan ahead for such a gift.  Photos must be gathered, and a lot of thought has to go into creating a quality piece.  So it’s too late to commission a piece for Christmas this year, however, you can GIVE someone the experience of commissioning a painting for themselves of their pet, cabin, car, bike, skis, favorite place, etc.  The person will visit our studio and talk to Scott about the concept, and in many cases, Scott can create a sketch on the spot.  Then Scott will send a photo of the complete painting, and once it’s dry, the painting can be picked up at the studio.  People who don’t live locally can also commission a painting by communicating and sending photos via e-mail.  Scott sends them a couple sketches with different options, and then we mail the completed piece.  Every painting is framed in a natural wood frame, and the hanging hardware is installed.  The way to give someone this experience is to purchase a gift certificate online at our Etsy shop.  Not bad for a last-minute gift idea!

Commissioned painting of view from cabin

View from the Cabin. Commissioned for Jim Lamb by Lisa. 1 ft x 2 ft, oil on panel.