Commission work is always challenging. The client selects the subject and often the treatment he/she wants. It may not be your vision!
I recently completed this painting, commissioned by a real estate agency owner. It depicts his family on the beach at Haystack Rock, a near-holy place for him. His instructions were very specific. Place the family on the beach, by the rock, at sunset, backlit by the setting sun. Emphasize the blue and gold colors of the scene. (In the final painting, I darkened the figures, slightly. This photo was taken prior to that edit.)
I completed many drawings, rearranging the family members and varying sizes of the main elements. I painted several small studies and three large drafts before completing one I liked. I worked on the project while on the trip to Canyon de Chelly because he wanted it for Mother’s Day.
He had indicated that it need not be framed as his wife likes to frame the work that hangs in their home but I couldn’t just hand him a piece of paper! Of course, I matted and framed it explaining that it could easily be lifted out.
He requested a personalized letter of authenticity. I addressed it to his wife.
As always, when I accepted the commission, I emphasized, that he was under no obligation to purchase the resulting work.
He came to the house and took Carol and me to lunch. Then it was time to unveil the painting, which I had draped on a stand in our living room. I was nervous.
He was thrilled. He was particularly pleased that I had perfectly captured the shape of the family members. He loved the color scheme.
As agreed, he handed me $1,000.
I encourage you to paint commission work. While challenging, it can advance your art. It can also be lucrative.