Commissioning a work is a deeply rewarding and enjoyable process and our help in guiding you through the process makes it easy.

The first stage is to choose an artist. Our consultants can help you with this as it could be overwhelming and confusing. We take your brief about the parameters of the commission and a pricing outline, size and medium as well as the subject and style and shortlist suitable artists for you.

Once you have chosen your favourite artist it is good to talk to them directly. It is worth noting that the price an artist gives you is for their fee.  Expenses such as framing, travel and accommodation are extra.

Another aspect you might not be aware of is that copyright belongs to the artist unless it, or part of it, is assigned to another person. This means that you can’t reproduce the work you commissioned without the artist’s permission. Copyright and the broader rights enshrined in intellectual property law should be discussed early in the process. 

Once the details are established, the artist should give you a quote. There are usually two elements to the pricing, the artist’s fee and their expenses.  Framing, delivery, travel and accommodation are not normally included. A letter of agreement is useful for establishing expectations and preventing problems due to misunderstandings.

Many artists take a deposit before starting work and the rest on completion. Three or more staged payments can be made for larger works but a second final payment on completion is more normal.  

Portraiture is one of the most often commissioned genres.   Broadly speaking for ‘from life’ work, six to ten sittings of 1 and 1/2 to two hours would be normal. If the artist uses photography they are likely to need fewer sittings. These can take place either in the studio or at your chosen location.

Once the work is complete, the artist will often show you a .jpg of the work for approval before delivering the work.  

Particularly with portraits, it takes time to see the work objectively. Six weeks is a good starting point but it takes five years or more to divorce your self from the image. We are so used to seeing ourselves in the mirror or photography but a portrait is something completely different and it can take a while to get used to it.

At the end of the day your piece of work will be a joy forever.



An artwork commission is a personalised experience that is different for everyone, at Mall Galleries we employ Commission Consultants to guide you through the process of commissioning an artwork from choosing an artist to choosing an artwork that is suitable for your home or business.

If you would like to find out more information regarding commissioning an artwork or book a private consultation, click here.