Commission FAQs

Commission FAQs

What is a commission?

A commission is a drawing/painting of a specific subject that is done by an artist for a client.

On your site it says non-standard and standard commission. What is the difference?

A standard commission is listed as a set price, standard paper size and is on a standard watercolor paper support. A non-standard commission is non-listed with pricing and can range from anything from a wall-mural to a multi-panel/multi-dimensional watercolor. A non-standard commission will be determined at the initial consultation conversation. The lead-time and costs are customized for the project.

How do I start the commission process?

It is very simple. First just contact me through E-mail at or call me at 317.690.2481. There is an initial conversation, which I deem as a consultation. It takes about an hour or less to discuss what you are looking for, what type of subject matter, colors and concepts.

There are no obligations to purchase a commission piece. It is just a consultation to discuss expectations, styles, sizes and subject matter. Once we agree on a general concept, we can discuss workload and timelines. If everything moves forward, we can discuss moving forward on outlining the contract process.

Will you create work in another medium or style?

One of the things I always encourage someone to do when looking at commissioning a piece of artwork is look at the artist portfolio of work. I am a professional watercolor artist with my own aesthetic style and technique. I do not take a commission project and create a work in another medium or style outside of my own. I strongly suggest you review my galleries and bodies of work prior to contacting me for a commission project. I want to make sure every project is a good fit and an enjoyable experience for the purchaser.

How do you determine the list pricing?

The list price of a piece is predominately determined by the overall size of the work, labor hours and hard cost of materials.

How long does it take to finish a project?

The time it takes to complete a project varies on the size of the work, timelines and workload scheduling and if there are any revisions during the time frame.
Based on the piece, my rule of thumb is for what I consider to be:

  • Small Pieces (8”x10” – 9”x12”) – approximately 2-3 weeks lead-time based on workload.
  • Medium Pieces (11”x14” – 18”x24”) – approximately 4-week lead-time based on workload.
  • Large Pieces (20”x24” – 24”x36”) – approximately 6-week lead-time based on workload.

If you are mulling in your mind about commissioning a work of art, my suggestion is not to wait until the last minute. I will work with the client to meet a specific chosen date and deadline and if it is possible up-front to meet the expectations of the final due date. I do not accept rush charges for truncated timelines. I feel that if the client is stressed about timing and the artist is stressed based on a rush fee, the final piece will be compromised in quality and clarity of the work.

If in the initial conversation we decide on what I call a “non-standard” project out of the realm of what is listed as standard sizes and pricing, we can discuss a more custom solution, pricing and timelines.

Do you paint based on a photo?

Most of the commission work I take on as a “standard commission” is photography image based. I ask that when we do an initial consultation that we discuss subject matter and I will request 4-5 hi-resolution (300 dpi) clear photos of the subject matter. These are used for conceptual design, colors and composition. If you are looking for a pet portrait, I suggest looking at this site for information on taking good high quality photos of your pet.

 **Special note on photography – If you had a professional photographer (outside of yourself) take pictures of the subject of interest, I will need a signed photography copyright release form. (I can provide this if you need one or if the photographer does not provide one to you). If the photograph in question for the subject matter of (‘the Work”) is copy written by a professional photographer, stock photography and/or not of the Purchaser’s personal collection, a written release form must be signed by the professional photography artist and or royalty free image company to use the image in (“the Work”) to be produced. If this is not done ahead of time, I legally am not licensed to reproduce another person’s work. I hold no liability or legal repercussions if this is the circumstance.

If I mail original photo(s) to you will they be returned?

Yes. I return all original photos, along with the completed commission piece.

What photo file formats do you take?

I can accept photographs in a number of popular formats (.jpeg, .png, .gif, .bmp, .tiff .psd). Don’t worry about the file size, the larger the better. If you are tech savvy, a high-resolution 4”x6” at 300 dpi or larger will allow me to better see the details and intricacies needed to create an incredible finished product.

**Note – If you send a poor quality photo, it will be difficult to produce a high quality commission for you.

Can I see the work before you begin?

Definitely! I will E-mail you a hi-res image of the conceptual sketch and/or outline before I start to lay down the paint. It is part of the approval process as checkpoint #2. If you do not approve of the initial pencil concept, then we go back to the drawing board until the beginning outline and composition is approved. Do note, the contract will state that the client is offered 1 concept revision as included, thereafter there is revision fee based on the number of revisions.

Can I see the artwork while you are creating it?

This seems to be a difficult topic of discussion with artists. Some are more than happy to show progress photos, while others will not show until the final work is complete. I can see both sides of the coin. I love showing progress photos of the work I have. I post them in an album on my Facebook artist page.

**I will caution, that as the progress moves on and I post photos, things can change and morph as the project progresses. I also paint in watercolor and once the paint is down, it is down. So when viewing progress photos make note that if there are revisions past the initial sketch and/or outline conceptual stage, the cost is at $75.00/hour. Think of it as I am starting a new painting every time.

How will my commission be shipped?

If you live around the Indianapolis, IN metropolitan area, I will deliver your portrait. If you live in the Central Indiana region, we can meet at a central location for the delivery of the work. If you are outside the area, your commission will be shipped insured via USPS or UPS. Shipping and handling charges are an additional cost and will be added to the commission list cost. Shipping and handling costs will be based on the size and weight of the work.

Can my painting be hung on the wall the day I get it?

If you chose to add on the matting options at an addition cost, I will matte and get the image frame and glass ready for you in a suggested frame size. I prefer to let the purchaser chose what framing option that goes best with the décor of the space. Also, shipping costs increase substantially when you ship a glass/plexi-glass finished watercolor. Currently I offer only matting services.

Do you accept international orders?

Currently, I do not accept international orders.

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” ~ Francis Bacon