Questions About Commissioning A Painting? Read This!

Commissions, watercolor, Wedding Art

There are all sorts of amazing reasons to commission a painting from an artist you love, but if it’s the first time you’re considering custom artwork you might have some questions! Requesting a custom painting is actually a lot easier than you might imagine, but the process can be a little intimidating if you haven’t done it before. Below, I’m going to walk you through how commissions work, and if you’re interested in commissioning a painting or would like to request more information, please reach out to me at hello@alexsgardenstudio.com

Hydrangeas commissioned as a Christmas gift for someone.

Why commission a painting?

Clients usually commission paintings from me for one of two reasons: they want the perfect piece for a space in their home OR they are giving a very thoughtful gift to a loved one. I’ve included lots of photos in the post below so you can see the range of commissions that I’ve worked on in the last couple years. Birthdays, weddings, house-warmings, going-away gifts, moving-home gifts, anniversaries, celebrations, memorials, Christmas presents, nursery decor, and more!!

This commission involved painting five different flowers that each had a special and significant meaning to the clients. We chatted back and forth a few times to make sure that our vision for the project was the same, and it was a very fun project for me to work on because of the complexity!

A few reasons I’ve received commission requests before:

You’re looking for the perfect gift for someone in your life. Many times, there is a certain flower that has a specific meaning to your friend or family member, and a painting that incorporates those symbols is a gift that has layers of thoughtfulness and is treasured for years to come.

I painted this Scottish Thistle for Mary, who wanted a special way to remember her father and their shared Scottish ancestry.

You know what you want for a specific area of your home, but can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. This is especially true if you’re looking to incorporate specific colors or floral elements into your design.

Part of a series of Plant Portraits that I painted–this commission came from a client who wanted a painting of one of her favorite houseplants. It ended up being a good thing, because she told me recently that the plant had not survived for much longer…

You would like to remember something special through a painting–this could be a wedding bouquet painting, or flowers that remind you of a loved one or a special time in your life.

A wedding bouquet commission–these are always so fun because I know that I’m painting something that has an incredible amount of meaning for the recipient.

Since I am a botanical artist, I get lots of requests for special flower paintings. Did you know that there are flowers for each state and country? For each birth month? Lots of places have a flower that is very special to that region. Custom paintings make beautiful gifts for newborns to celebrate their birth month with something special, or for couples celebrating a milestone anniversary with a painting filled with symbolic flowers.

This painting was commissioned by a woman for a friend of hers. Her friend was from Kansas, had lived in Texas, and was moving to New Mexico and so she asked that I incorporate the state flowers of each place into the painting and unify the piece with Southwestern colors. This was a really fun painting!

Okay, I’d like to commission a painting…what do I do next?

Let’s talk! I believe that beautiful art should be accessible to everyone, and I work hard with my clients to understand their vision and to make it achievable.

Sweet Peas were a significant flower for this client and she asked for an explosion of pink sweet peas to mark their meaning in her life as a birthday present to herself!

Start out by writing to me at hello@alexsgardenstudio.com with a few ideas or details about what you’re looking for. Feel free to include your budget or discuss the price points you’d like to see. I work with all sorts of budgets and strive to always create something special for each customer.

Sometimes people reach out to me with fully-formed ideas for what they’d like their paintings to represent, and sometimes they come with just an idea and we work together to flesh it out. I genuinely love chatting with you all and figuring out the best answer to your artistic needs and some of my favorite paintings have been the result of brainstorming something unique and fun with a client.

These hellebores were commissioned to be a part of the stationery for a wedding invitation suite.

When we’ve hashed out exactly what you’re looking for, I’ll send you a written proposal with all the details expressly laid out. How long will the painting take? When can you expect to receive it? I’ll include a few reference/inspiration photos and may give you a few options about styles and sizes, depending on the project.

Then, when you sign off on the proposal, I get to work! Some people enjoy seeing updates throughout the project, while others like to be surprised by the final painting. Either way, you have a completely unique, one-of-a-kind painting for yourself or someone special that will be treasured for many years.

I painted these transom windows as a very unique kind of commission!

I know the idea of commissioning a painting can be a little intimidating. In fact, there is a lot in the art world that seems mysterious or intimidating, but I like to make art accessible and I am always happy to answer your questions or inquiries!

If you’re interested in talking about a commissioned painting, write to me at hello@alexsgardenstudio.com to get the ball rolling! I’m writing this in early-November 2020, and I have a very limited number of spots opening up for commissioned paintings to be done by Christmas. If you’re interested in reserving one of those slots, I’d encourage you to write to me soon.

This client reached out to me asking for a painting that was similar to one I had already sold. If you see something you love but it isn’t available any longer, reach out and we’ll figure out a special painting for you 🙂

Hopefully, this post has answered any questions you have about requesting a custom painting. You can see from the examples I’ve posted that commissions can be created for all sorts of occasions and purposes. If you see a particular style or something you like, don’t hesitate to reach out.

This little painting was commissioned to hang in the nursery of newborn Olivia 😀

Okay, I’m posting one last example because I can’t help myself…look at these pretty irises!! It’s the last one, I promise!!

This is the initial sketch of the purple irises below. Purple irises were Ella’s favorite flower and so a friend gifted her a commissioned painting of them as a Christmas gift. The finished painting is below!

See? 🙂

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