Tag Archives: personalized gift

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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The Personal Nature of a Commissioned Painting

~ by Maria Benner

One of the most unique, personal and unexpected gifts is a commissioned oil painting.  So we get to learn a lot of personal information about complete strangers, such as their hobbies, their past travels, their pets, family, etc.  Most commissions are ordered online from far away places, so we rarely get to meet the customer, or the person/people that the paintings are for, but we end up knowing a lot about them.  People send us photos of their babies, dogs, and other things that they love.  Sometimes we end up exchanging over 20 e-mails back and forth, talking about their lives, and how to incorporate the most important things tastefully into one painting.  The best part is being in on the secret.  One customer was working out the details for a painting for her father who owns a store in Anchorage.  Scott had to coordinate with her a time when her dad wouldn’t be there so he could stop by and take photos of the store front.  She had to be sneaky, because she couldn’t just ask her dad when he would be gone from the store, without raising suspicions.  And when someone orders a custom beer painting, the customers have to scheme to find out what the gift recipients’ favorite beer is, and we give them suggestions for what questions to ask.  We love being in on these secrets, and learning about people’s lives, because that is such a personal part of our business.  Making that connection with customers makes the paintings that much more special.