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Commission Art

Commission Paintings from our Artists

At The John Dyer Gallery we make the process of commissioning art easy. Most artists are happy to consider commissioned art and our artists take on a select number of commissions each year for our gallery clients.

Both John Dyer and Joanne Short regularly accept commissions that work for the artists and our customers.

If you would like to talk to us about a potential commission please do contact us as we would be delighted to hear your ideas and plans.

What is commissioning art?

A piece of commission art or a painting is one in which the artist has been specifically hired by a client to create a work of art for a specific brief.

It can be a painting, drawing, sculpture, or any other type of artwork. Art commissions may be given to a specific artist, or an open call may be put out to all artists in the area, or you can ask a gallery to suggest the right artist for your proposal.

The client will typically provide the artist with a brief describing what they are looking for. This might include the subject matter, materials, colours, style, and any other specific requirements. The artist will then create a proposal, maybe including a sketch or mock-up of the proposed work, as well as a price estimate timeline.

If the client is happy with the proposal, they will approve it and the artist will begin working on the final piece. The finished artwork is then delivered to the client.

Why request to commission a painting?

There are many reasons why people might choose to commission artwork. Perhaps they want a specific subject matter or scene captured on canvas, or they may want an original piece of art that is unique to them.

In some cases, people may commission a painting as a gift for a special occasions like an anniversary for someone else, or they might have a specific sized piece of art they would like that isn't otherwise available.

John Dyer painting  of Venice - Commissioned for a wedding anniversary

Above: John Dyer Painting. 'Love on the Water, Venice'. 
24 x 24 inches, acrylic on canvas. Commissioned to celebrate a wedding anniversary

How does the process work?

The process of commissioning an artwork generally starts with the client contacting the artist via a gallery and discussing what they would like. The artist will then communicate directly with the client and discuss an estimate for the cost of the artwork and the approximate date of completion. Once the client agrees to the estimate, the artist will begin work on the artwork.

What should I consider when commissioning a painting?

When commissioning an artwork, there are a few things to keep in mind. It's important to think about which artist you want to commission and the size and shape of the painting you want.

The client should also discuss any specific requests they may have with the artist. These may include a choice of a daytime painting or nighttime or nocturne, including or avoiding specific colours, the inclusion or exclusion of specific elements like flowers, boats, cats, groups of people, dogs etc.

A commissioned artwork does not give the buyer licensing rights or copyright, so it is important to discuss with the artist if you have plans to potentially publish or reproduce the artwork as licensing the final artwork is another process and has an additional cost.

How much does it cost?

The cost of commissioning a painting varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. Generally, however, expect to pay a similar price to other paintings displayed on a gallery website, so they are broadly priced by size, but if you have a list of additional requirements for the painting there may be additional costs.

These might include additional painted elements like family groups, pet dogs or a a specific style or wood you wish to have the final painting framed in.

Who can I contact to commission a painting?

If you're interested in commissioning artwork, the best place to start is by contacting the artist directly or approaching via a gallery. At The John Dyer Gallery, you will always be dealing directly with our artists and you can start your conversation by sending us a message on our contact form.

Let us walk you through the commission process and what to expect

How do I commission art?

Commissioned artist

The first step is to select an artist and artists work that you feel will create a work of art that would be a good fit for your commission and subject matter. John Dyer and Joanne Short are both experienced in creating commissioned pieces of art and have a wealth of knowledge and understanding when it comes to meeting the customer's needs and building a great relationship with the commissioner.

Explain to the artist your vision and idea

Once you have selected your artist, it is important to explain your vision and idea for the piece of commission art. This can be done in person, over the phone or via email. It is important to provide as much information as possible to help the artist understand your needs and get a feel for the project.

Discuss if this is a personalised work of art or a specific subject

It is also important to discuss if the work is to be personalised or not. Some customers prefer a completely unique piece of art that includes elements unique to them such as their dog or children, their house or an unusual location or event, whereas others may want something that is representative of the artist's style but based on a painting they missed out on or in a size that hasn't been available.

It is important to communicate this information to the artist as early as possible in order to ensure they are able to create a piece that you will love.

Most artists are very happy to talk through your ideas on the phone and to look at wide ranging reference images you might have as this will help them with the creation of the brief and ultimately the artwork.

Listen to the artist and their thoughts

The artist will have their own ideas about the commission and how to produce work you will be pleased with and it is important to listen to their thoughts and suggestions.

A professional artist may have some great ideas that you hadn't considered and this will help to create a piece of art that you are both happy with. Feel free to show the artist an example of previous collections of paintings they are done that have inspired you.

It is also important to remember that the artist is creating a piece of art based on your specific needs and requirements, so it is important to be as open and communicative as possible but try not to have too many requests as at the end of the day you want to buy art that is a great example of the artist's work and that also fits your brief.

Once you have agreed on a commissioned piece with an artist the artist will ask you a series of questions to help with their creative process. There may be items that have a very personal meaning to you that you wish to be included. Sometimes the artist can include these or if they feel the painting will struggle with the content they will talk you through the creative process and why it might be best to change the plans slightly for artistic integrity and a better outcome.

Decide on a size

When commissioning art the size and price of the commission should also be discussed and agreed upon. The artist will usually have a range of prices for different sizes of commissions, but it is important to agree on a price that both you and the artist are happy with. A commission will take the artist longer than their normal working process, so they often only consider larger commissions.

Agree on the framing style

Another important factor to consider is framing. The client may want to discuss if they would like the artwork framed in a certain way and, again, agree on a price.

Many artists include the framing in the overall price of the commission, but it is important to clarify this before starting work on the piece.

With all of the art commissioned from The John Dyer Gallery, the frame is included in the price, but if you wish another style or type of frame an additional cost will apply.

Agree on the price and payment schedule

It is important to agree on a price and payment schedule before work begins on the commission. Often, a non refundable deposit is paid at the start with the final balance paid once the piece is completed.

This arrangement should be discussed and agreed upon between you and the artist. All payments are handled by The John Dyer Gallery.

Agree on the date of completion & delivery options

Once the commission is agreed upon, the artist will give you an estimated date of completion. This should be taken into consideration when arranging for the delivery of the piece. The John Dyer Gallery offers a number of delivery options, all of which are generally complimentary depending on your location. If the commission is unusually large there will have to be a specific price agreed for delivery or installation.

Formally accept the commission via email

Once all of the details have been agreed upon, the customer should formally accept the commission by email. This will serve as a reference, record and a contract for the agreement and also confirms that you are happy with what has been discussed. The John Dyer Gallery will also send an email confirming the commission.

Avoid big revisions, interrupting the artistic process and getting too involved

It is important to remember that a commission is a bespoke piece of art and should be treated as such. Often, making big revisions or requesting too many changes can interrupt the artistic process and may even lead to the artwork being cancelled. If you have any specific requests, it is best to discuss these at the start of the commissioning process so that the artist can plan accordingly.

Checking on progress

It is always a good idea to check in on the progress of the commission, but remember not to interfere with the creative process. The artist will send updates as work progresses if you request these, but it is best to let them get on with their job!

Approval process and viewing the final piece of commission art online

When the commission is complete, the client will be sent a link to view the final piece of art online. If they are happy with it, they can approve it. If there are any changes that need to be made, the client has a set number of days to get back in touch with the artist, but if the process has been well planned there should be no changes required as this is less than ideal for the client and artist and is often impossible.

Payment, delivery or collection

Once the artwork has been approved, payment will be processed by The John Dyer Gallery unless specific payment terms have been agreed upon. Customers can pay online, pay in person or pay on the phone and the commission will be delivered to the agreed address wherever you are in the world.

If you wish to arrange a personal collection from the gallery in Falmouth and to meet the artist this can also be arranged and is a lovely way to finally see your commission and completes the commission process wonderfully for both the artist and customer.

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