I’ve recently been commissioned to do a large family portrait for a friend of a friend, but I’m concerned about what they want to pay for it? They also sent me a great many photos in different conditions with lots of different groups of people on them. The problem is I can’t make a coherent image or composition using them.
I replied ‘That’s twelve portraits for £50?, it would have to be a small painting or a watercolour. Please can you choose the best photos that I can work from. I will do it but it will take a while. Possibly a couple of hours per portrait which works out at a cost of £4 per portrait or £2 per hour. I would normally charge £50 (normally £60) for one portrait, but I understand you might not be able to afford any more and I don’t want to ask too much. I want to do a good job for you and as you have already got a couple of my paintings I will consider only asking for a small amount for the painting. But please can you choose the twelve images you prefer as then I won’t get it wrong. “
I want to paint for people, but I don’t think they realise the work that goes into things. I would Never overcharge, but on the other hand I’d like to be paid at least the minimum wage for it!
How would you respond? Should I have questioned the request or refused it?
Note * I’m now just doing a very small painting, but I do wish people understood how hard it is to paint something like this, it’s not a snap!
Triple portrait. I painted this more than twenty years ago. It was from a photo and the workwas a commission. Unfortunately I only have this blurry photo. I think I have a better one somewhere. The painting was called breakfast. Acrylic on canvas.
I really must get all my paintings stored down at my studio. These are a tryptich of Jupiter. I need some work doing on the house, but I’ve got things hanging around that could be put away safe, they are up in the bedroom where I’m doing college work and everything is crammed together on one side of the room. Plus I actually have a commission. Someone contacted me. My first real job this year! I need to start getting things sorted out…. Spring cleaning – in late July. Perhaps I will get it done by September! In the meantime I need to get the college work done. The date for handing in work is soon. Help!
Work in progress, about A4 size, acrylic on canvas. I’ve got to work on the background. It’s now a commission as someone saw the start of it and liked it. I’m not sharing this on my Facebook page because I want it to be a surprise. I don’t think I will do a lot more to it. I want to resolve the head though. The photo I’m working from has a lot of dark rock and patterns around its head and its hard to see what’s happening. That’s why a lot of the surface is on is light so the lobster stands out a bit more.
I’m trying to make it look like it’s almost floating. I might add some light and dark bands, like ripples of light and shade being reflected down from the surface.
The cat sculpture by Charis Jones, of Sculpted Steel based at the Forge at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, has settled nicely into the greenery of our garden. It stares out from between geraniums and lilies. The light glints on its glass eyes and shows off the lovely green coppery finish.
I don’t commission art very often, but Charis translated my two dimensional drawing into a remarkably beautiful cat. Proud and purrfect. It’s crinkly whiskers full of character. I’m pleased to possess it.
Just did a few more adjustments. Painting on the texture of canvas is difficult when you try and brush paint on it. I half feel like I ought to paint a thick layer first so I could paint on a rough surface. But it’s not bad. I could see where I need to make changes, it’s sometimes difficult to force the paint into the nooks and crannies of the canvas. Phew.
Finished and varnished! Well after being struck down by a severe head cold all week it was touch and go if I could get this done. But I was doing the lower part of it, so only had to climb up at the end for a few minutes to varnish the painted bits at the top. I now feel like c**p to be honest. But I’d promised to get it done (a bit like Boris) (grr) (people in Britain will know what I’m on about)…… The people I did it for are really pleased.
I’ve got his nose too long, his face needs to be slightly wider. The eyes need to be slightly further apart. I’ve got to work out if the mouth and chin are right. This is one of four possible commissions I’ve got. I’m not bad at portraits, but you have to be willing to change things and not stick with something if its not right.
I’ll leave it a few hours and then come back to it…..
This portrait of a friends three children must be twenty years old or more. All I have as an image is an old photocopy of a photo of it….which is why it’s blurred..
The three children were having breakfast when the photo was taken. There was strong sunlight shining into the room. The main colour was pale pink but the pin board behind them and the deep shadows made a good contrast.
I’d like to share a photo of my painting but I haven’t seen it for years. I used to do a lot more portrait painting but I guess now selfies are the fashionable thing they are less likely to be commissioned.
If you would like a portrait don’t hesitate to contact me.