What is Commissioned Art? All You Need to Know to Get Started

What is Commissioned Art? All You Need to Know to Get Started

Commissioned art is like getting a special art piece made just for you. It's when you tell an artist exactly what you want in a painting or drawing, and they create it based on your ideas. 

This concept has been around for a long time and, thanks to technology, it's even easier these days. Services like Photo2Painting can turn your photos into beautiful hand-painted art. In this blog, we'll explore how to commission a painting - from sharing your ideas with an artist to picking the right person for your project. 

We'll also talk about how much it might cost and the steps to make your art commission official. It's a great way to get a unique painting that's all about what you love!

What is Commissioned Art? - Meaning

Definition and Significance

Commissioned art is when you ask an artist to make a specific piece of artwork just for you. It's like giving the artist a special task. 

This could be a painting, a drawing, or even a sculpture. The cool part is that you get to decide what it looks like, what's in it, and even the colors used. 

It's significant because it's not just a random piece of art; it's something that has a personal meaning to you. It could be a painting of your favorite pet, a drawing of your family home, or anything special in your life.

History of Art Commissions

The history of art commissions goes way back. In the past, kings, queens, and other powerful and rich people often commissioned art.

They would ask famous artists to create paintings and sculptures that often showed important people or events, or sometimes just beautiful scenes. This was how many artists in the past made their living, and it's why we have so many beautiful and famous artworks today.

During those days, commissioning art was a way for the rich to show off their wealth and power, but it was also an important way to preserve history and tell stories.

Art commissions today aren't just for the wealthy and powerful. Everyone can hire an artist to create something unique for them. This makes art more personal and special for everyone.

The Intricacies of Commissioning Artwork

Define Your Needs

When you decide to commission artwork, the first step is to figure out what you really want. This means thinking about the size of the artwork, the colors you prefer, and the subject matter — whether it's a portrait, landscape, abstract, or something else entirely. 

It's also important to consider where you'll display the art and the kind of emotions or atmosphere you want it to convey. 

Being clear about these details will help you communicate your vision more effectively to the artist and ensure that the final piece meets your expectations.

Choose the Perfect Artist

Finding the right artist is crucial for a successful commission. Start by looking at various artists' portfolios to see whose style resonates with you. 

Each artist has their own unique way of creating art, so it's important to choose someone whose previous works align with the vision you have in mind. Consider factors like the artist's expertise in a certain medium (like oil painting, watercolor, or digital art), their experience with the subject matter, and their reputation for completing commissions successfully. 

Engaging with artists through social media or art exhibitions can also give you a better understanding of their style and professionalism.

Establish Goals and Expectations

Once you've chosen an artist, the next step is to set clear goals and expectations. This includes discussing the timeframe for the project, the budget, any specific requests for the artwork, and the process for revisions or adjustments, if necessary. It's also a good idea to discuss how you'll communicate throughout the project, whether through email, phone calls, or in-person meetings. 

Establishing these details upfront will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smooth process from start to finish. Clear communication and mutual understanding are key to achieving a final piece of art that you'll cherish.

A platform for Art Commissioned Art: Photo2Painting

Overview of Services

Converting Photos to Paintings:

Photo2Painting's main service is turning digital images into paintings. This includes a range of subjects, from family portraits to landscapes, captured in various artistic styles and mediums.

Artist Team Composition:

The company employs a diverse team of artists, each with their own area of expertise. This variety allows for a range of artistic interpretations of customer photographs.

Customer Interaction and Service Options

Consultation and Customization:

Customers are guided through the process of selecting the right canvas size, medium, and artistic style to suit their photo and personal taste.

Service Flexibility:

Offering regular and express service options, Photo2Painting caters to different customer timelines and budgets, providing flexibility in the commissioning process.

Quality Assurance and Artist Support

Artistic Quality:

Each artwork is created by experienced artists, aiming to produce a high-quality final piece that aligns with the customer's vision.

Supporting Artists Globally:

The company maintains a network of artists working in various locations, emphasizing fair compensation and working conditions in its artist community.

The Ordering Process

Simplified Ordering:

The platform is designed to make the commissioning process straightforward, with clear steps for uploading photos and specifying customization options.

Additional Features:

Unique offerings, such as the option to receive a time-lapse video of the painting process, add an extra dimension to the customer experience.

Costing Aspects of Commissioned Art

Factors Influencing the Cost

The cost of commissioned art can vary widely based on several key factors. Understanding these can help in anticipating the price range for a commissioned piece:

Artist's Expertise and Reputation: More experienced or well-known artists often charge higher rates due to their expertise and demand.

Artwork Size and Complexity: Larger and more detailed works typically require more time and materials, leading to higher costs.

Materials Used: The type of materials (e.g., quality of paint, canvas) also influences the price. Higher quality materials usually mean a higher cost.

Time Required: The time it takes to complete the artwork affects the cost. Rush orders or complex projects that require more time can increase the price.

Medium and Technique: Different mediums (oil, acrylic, watercolor) and techniques can impact the cost due to the varying levels of difficulty and material expenses.

Understand the Value of Art

Understanding the value of commissioned art involves recognizing the various elements that contribute to its worth:

Personalization: Commissioned art is tailored to your specific preferences and desires, making it unique and personal.

Artistic Creation: The price reflects not just the physical materials, but the artist's skill, creativity, and time spent in creating the piece.

Emotional Significance: The value of commissioned art often goes beyond the monetary cost, as it can hold significant emotional or sentimental value.

Longevity: Quality commissioned art can last for generations, making it not just a purchase but an investment.

Setting up a Contract for Art Commission: Key Factors

Essentials of an Art Commission Contract

A comprehensive contract for an art commission is vital to ensure clarity and protect the interests of both the artist and the client. It should cover every aspect of the commissioning process in detail:

Description of the Artwork:

  • Include specific details like size, medium (oil, acrylic, digital), subject (portrait, landscape, abstract), and style (realistic, impressionistic, modern).
  • Mention any particular themes, color schemes, or elements that you desire.
  • Clarify if the artwork is part of a series or a standalone piece.

Pricing and Payment Terms:

  • Clearly state the total cost, including any charges for materials and labor.
  • Outline a payment schedule: upfront deposit, progress payments, and final payment upon completion.
  • Specify acceptable payment methods (bank transfer, credit card, PayPal) and any late payment penalties.


  • Define the project's start date and estimated completion date, considering preliminary sketches and final execution.
  • Include milestones for reviews and approvals to monitor progress and ensure alignment with the client’s vision.
  • Address potential delays and how they will be communicated and managed.

Revisions and Approvals:

  • Detail the process for reviewing and approving preliminary designs or sketches.
  • Define the number of revisions included in the initial price and the cost of additional revisions.
  • Establish a clear procedure for providing feedback and making changes.

Delivery Method:

  • Specify the method of delivery or shipping, including packaging standards to ensure artwork safety.
  • Detail who bears the responsibility and cost for shipping, including insurance to cover any damage during transit.
  • State the expected delivery timeframe after completion.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Outline terms for cancellation by either party, including notice periods and any applicable cancellation fees.
  • Specify conditions under which deposits or partial payments may be refunded.
  • Address the handling of materials or work completed before cancellation.

Rights and Usage of Commissioned Artwork

It's also essential to define the legal and usage rights of the artwork in the contract:

Ownership Rights:

  • Clarify if you own the physical artwork along with the copyright.
  • Discuss the artist’s rights for private display, gifting, or reselling the artwork.
  • Include limitations on reproducing or commercializing the artwork.

Artist’s Rights:

  • State if the artist retains copyright, allowing them to reproduce images of the artwork for their portfolio or promotional materials.
  • Discuss any restrictions on the artist’s use of the artwork images, especially if the artwork is of a personal or sensitive nature.

Reproduction Rights:

  • If you wish to reproduce the artwork (e.g., prints, merchandise), negotiate terms for licensing and royalties.
  • Include specific details about the scope of reproduction rights – geographic, duration, and types of media.

Exclusivity and Display:

  • Define whether the commissioned artwork is exclusive, preventing the artist from creating similar works for other clients.
  • Discuss the artist’s right to display the original artwork in galleries, exhibitions, or online platforms.

Moral Rights:

  • Ensure the artist is credited appropriately when the artwork is displayed or reproduced.
  • Protect the artist’s reputation by prohibiting any alteration, distortion, or mutilation of the work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of commissioned art?

An example of commissioned art could be a personalized portrait painting that you ask an artist to create based on a photograph of your family. 

Another example is a custom mural painted on the wall of a business, depicting a scene or theme relevant to the business. Essentially, any artwork created at the request of a client for a specific purpose or theme can be considered commissioned art.

Do artists own commissioned art?

Typically, the artist retains the copyright of the commissioned artwork, meaning they own the rights to the original design and concept. However, the physical artwork belongs to the client who commissioned it. 

Artists may use images of the commissioned work in their portfolios or for promotional purposes, but they usually cannot reproduce or sell the artwork without the client's permission.

What does it mean when someone wants to commission art?

When someone wants to commission art, it means they want to hire an artist to create a specific piece of art according to their preferences and specifications. 

This process involves discussing the client’s vision, the style, medium, size of the artwork, and other details. The client usually has a particular purpose or space in mind for the artwork, and it’s tailored to fit their individual needs.

Is commissioned art more expensive?

Commissioned art can be more expensive than buying pre-existing artwork. This is because it requires the artist's time, effort, and materials to create something unique and personalized. 

The cost also depends on the artist’s reputation, the complexity of the work, the materials used, and the time required to complete it. However, the price varies widely depending on these factors and the artist's pricing structure.

How do online art commissions work?

Online art commissions work by connecting clients with artists through digital platforms. Clients can browse artists’ portfolios online and contact them to discuss a commission. The process typically involves:

  • Sending a detailed brief to the artist, including the concept, size, and desired medium.
  • Agreeing on a price, timeline, and any other terms of the commission.
  • The artist may provide sketches or drafts for approval before creating the final piece.
  • Once completed, the artwork is delivered digitally or shipped to the client, depending on the medium.

Online platforms make it easier to find artists from all over the world and commission art without geographical constraints.