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? 🙂

Commissioning a Painting of your Wedding Bouquet: Tips for Commissioning!

Original Paintings, Products, watercolor, Wedding Art

You invest time, thought, money, attention, and an incredible amount of significance in the flowers that surround you on your wedding day. If only they could last forever! Commissioning a painting of your bouquet is a meaningful way to honor the work and beauty that went you’re your wedding-day florals, after all, a painting doesn’t fade or crumble as time goes on, and is a lasting and thoughtful memento of one of the most important days of your life.

This week, I’m sharing a few posts about what goes into creating a personalized wedding bouquet, click on the posts below to read more about each stage of the process. Check out a Q&A with a happy customer here, and see behind the scenes of the whole artistic journey here.

Today’s post is all about my top tips for brides looking to commission a painting of their bouquet–whether it is a watercolor painting with me or a different type of painting with another artist. These tips apply to any bouquet commission situation 🙂

  • Communicate exactly what you’re looking for.

Communication is key! Let me know your timeline, your style, the story behind your flowers. Let me know what you like about my style. Send me pictures of your inspiration or paintings that I’ve done that you connected with. Is the painting a gift? Would you like updates? Do you want to see the painting from initial sketch to drawing to finished product, or do you want to be surprised? I like to go above and beyond expectation, but it helps when I know what the expectations are, so remember to communicate.

  • Know the styles of the artist you’re working with.

If you’re looking for a stunning watercolor rendering of your bouquet–I’m your girl! But if you’re looking for a detailed oil painting of your wedding bouquet, I’m going to tell you to look elsewhere. Equally, if you request lots of artistic changes that don’t resonate with my style, it will be difficult for both of us.

I personally paint wedding bouquets in two different styles and I find brides are usually pretty clear on wanting one or the other. Above, you can see the tighter ink-and-watercolor style I offer and below, you can see the looser, more expressive style.

This is the looser style I offer. Still lots of color and details, but no ink outlines and looser, more expressive hand.

Remember, you are approaching the artist because something about their style has resonated with you and attracted you to their work. So, let us do what we do best and that way we’ll both enjoy the process.

Note: This really goes for all commissions. Lots of artists become frustrated when someone approaches them for a commission and then picks apart everything about their unique style and voice or asks them to paint something in the style of a different artist.

  • Great reference pictures:

This one is a game-changer! The better the photos you provide, the better the end product will be. Remember, your bouquet is a 3D real-life object, so the more angles and views the artist can see, the more true the end product will be. When I get sent really great photos I do a little happy dance because it makes the process so much smoother!

Featuring a photo by Bradley Moss
  • Commission the biggest size you can afford:

If an 8″x10″ is in your budget, go for it. It will be beautiful!

But I will say that typically customers regret going small and wish they had gone up a size. Imagine your bouquet framed and hung above a mantel or your bed or as an eye-catching centerpiece of a gallery wall!

  • Follow up after you receive the painting.

Okay, so this one is optional, but I wanted to add it because it makes a huge difference to me (and I’m guessing to other artists!) when we hear what you think after you receive your painting. The truth is, I only hear from clients about 10% of the time after they buy an original painting or commission art from me. I’m guilty of this myself–I don’t always reach out to creators once I receive what I bought, even when I LOVE it.

BUT when something is totally handmade and has so much thought and effort behind it, it makes a world of difference when the client reaches out to say, “thank you I love it!”

SO, any questions about commissioning a painting of your wedding bouquet? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment, write to me at hello [at] alexsgardenstudio [dot] com or click here to read more about how to purchase your painting.

Commissioning a Painting of your Wedding Bouquet: BTS of the Artistic Process

Creativity, Original Paintings, Products, watercolor, Wedding Art

You invest time, thought, money, attention, and an incredible amount of significance in the flowers that surround you on your wedding day. If only they could last forever! Commissioning a painting of your bouquet is a meaningful way to honor the work and beauty that went you’re your wedding-day florals, after all, a painting doesn’t fade or crumble as time goes on, and is a lasting and thoughtful memento of one of the most important days of your life.

This week, I’m sharing a few posts about what goes into creating a personalized wedding bouquet, and if you didn’t have a chance to read the earlier Q&A with client Laura, hop over to this post to read her take on the commission process.

In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the actual artistic and creative process that goes into creating a painting of a wedding bouquet using Laura’s bouquet as an example of the step-by-step process.

The finished painting. Let me show you how we get to this point 🙂

The first thing is to communicate quite a bit up front–it’s so important for me to understand what you’re looking for, the style you’re interested in, and what you hope the end product will look like so that I can have those goals in mind while I draw and paint.

I always start by asking for lots of good, clear images of the bouquet. These can be from your photographer or from your own camera, but the more pictures the better!

One of the reference photos I used to create Laura’s painting. This was taken by Bradley Moss, who you can find here.

I don’t ever want to just copy directly from a photograph–the photographer is an artist, too, and no one likes to have their work copied–but I do need lots of reference pictures to get a clear idea of what the bouquet looked like. This is especially true because a bouquet is a 3D object, and a painting is a 2D object, so to translate it beautifully and accurately it’s important for me to see the bouquet as close to realistically as possible.

Once I have an idea of what I’m working with (I know your vision for the piece and I have good reference material–I start to sketch out composition ideas. These are usually big, messy shapes on drawing paper so that I can get an idea of the scale that I’ll be working with.

The very first sketches I do are usually just roughly done big shapes.

Next up? I start to pencil in the details. This can be a bit time-consuming, but it is critical to get this stage right before moving on to adding ink or watercolor. Angles, ruffles, petals and more come under scrutiny as I try to translate their shapes and movement to the page.

The drawing on top is the initial pencil sketch, the one on the bottom is the final sketch transferred to watercolor paper.

I offer two styles of art for the wedding bouquets. One features tightly-detailed ink lines and watercolor washes (like the banner of hellebores here:

Ink and watercolor.

And the other style is a looser more free-handed interpretation consisting of only watercolor, like this:

Depending on which style you’re interested in, I’ll either start inking or I start painting. Here’s what it looks like when the inking starts–lots of tiny lines and details, and the shapes really start to pop off the page. (If your bouquet has lots of white flowers, I typically recommend inking just to give the painting more definition.)

Adding inky detail stroke by stroke and line by line.

And then the best part! Watercolor! Lots of beautiful layers add up to gorgeous watercolor paintings. The layers start with watery, pale washes and build up into vivid and deep swathes of color. This is my favorite part as I watch the bouquet transform into a finished and fully realized piece of art.

Layer by layer, the painting starts to take shape.

And the first layers of a looser piece.

Once I’m finished with the painting, I take a break from looking at the piece so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes and add any last-minute details in. I sign it, take a lot of pictures, let you know that the bouquet is done, package it, ship it, and wait to see how you frame and display your finished painting.

Watch a timelapse of the first layers of watercolor on Laura’s bouquet.

Aaand…that’s it! The whole process typically takes between 1-2 months depending on how many other commissions I’m working on. I really enjoy creating these and would love to hear from you if you have any questions about the process or if you’re interested in commissioning your own painting. You can write to me at hello [at] alexsgardenstudio [dot] com or you can go straight to my website and order your own beautiful painting. Stay tuned for the next post in this series–my top tips for brides looking to commission a wedding bouquet painting.

Commissioning a Watercolor Painting of your Wedding Bouquet: A Q&A

Original Paintings, Products, watercolor, Wedding Art

You invest time, thought, money, attention, and an incredible amount of significance in the flowers that surround you on your wedding day. If only they could last forever! Commissioning a painting of your bouquet is a meaningful way to honor the work and beauty that went you’re your wedding-day florals–after all, a painting doesn’t fade or crumble as time goes on, and is a lasting and thoughtful memento of one of the most important days of your life.

This week, I’m sharing a few posts about what goes into creating a personalized wedding bouquet, including tips for brides looking to commission a painting, the complete artistic process, and my Top 5 suggestions for your finished painting.

In today’s post, I’m thrilled to bring you a written Q&A with a recent client, Laura. I loved working on her bouquet, and I think you’ll enjoy seeing the process and hearing what it was like from her side of things.

A glimpse of the finished bouquet!


Laura, how did you find out about the wedding bouquet paintings?

I was looking online for independent artists who commissioned watercolor paintings, especially botanicals, and came across Alex’s Instagram and website. 


In your own words, describe the process of commissioning a painting. What jumped out at you about the process and our communication? Is there anything you’d change?

I had the opportunity to tell Alex what the process of designing my bouquet was like, and how I wanted to replicate that same vision with the watercolor piece. She was super communicative, involved and very much understood my vision. I appreciated the updates along the way!

An update from along the way!


Why did you decide to commission a painting of your bouquet rather than simply frame a photograph?


Although I LOVE the photographs of my bouquet and am probably going to frame some, I had our venue watercolor painted by a local artist (she only does venues, no botanicals), and I thought that doing the same for my bouquet with a botanical watercolor artist would be a nice way to pair those paintings for a good memory “to hang”.  

What were your thoughts going into creating this?


I wanted to eternize everything I loved about my bouquet, and I love art! So I wanted to make it something special that I could have around me for years to come. 

Some up-close details.

Let’s talk about your original bouquet–who designed it, and what did you love about it? 


Our wedding was a private family ceremony and not very traditional. I wore gold instead of white, and I didn’t really envision even having a bouquet (even though I was having A LOT of floral in the decor).  A couple of weeks prior to the date, my mom started bringing it up to me that “how was I going to be a bride without a little bouquet?”. To be completely frank, I’ve always thought that “little” bouquets are tacky, so I said to my mom, “I’m either going to have no bouquet, or the most abundant, lush, overwhelmingly beautiful bouquet ever”. So I worked with my floral designer on exactly that, we had the most beautiful flowers (I didn’t hold back on that) and a gorgeous ribbon hanging from it. I wanted something impactful and to this day, when I look at my pictures, I’m in awe, and it happens to be one of the things I get complimented on and asked about the most about our wedding- my bouquet. 

[Here’s a link to Steve’s Flower Market. Her bouquet was designed by Kylee Lynch.]

A shot of Laura’s beautiful bouquet — photo by Bradley Moss, who you can find here.

Was I easy to work with? Did I accomplish your vision for the painting?
Absolutely and yes! 

Any suggestions or recommendations for other brides looking to commission a painting? 
Know what you want and communicate it! The more details, vision, meaning you communicate about your goal, the more understanding and inspiration you provide to the artist to make their art. I loved the work Alex did and am excited to frame it!

The finished painting!!

Thank you so much, Laura, for taking the time to answer these questions and give other brides a peek into how the process works. I hope you love your painting for many years to come, it was a pleasure to create it for you!!

If you’re interested in commissioning a painting of your bouquet (or the bouquet of a loved one–they make great gifts!) you can get in touch with me by writing to hello [at] alexsgardenstudio [dot] com. You can also order one right now by clicking here.