© 2019, Rowena F. Finn. All rights reserved.

Commissions

“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”     -Chuck Klosterman

Types of commissions I accept:

  • Portraits

  • Botanical, floral

  • Homes, buildings

The information below pertains mainly to portrait commissions. Prices are approximate and subject to change. Additional fees may include framing, shipping or hand delivery, and travel.

Where to Start

Let's talk! It is important that every Patron and I have clear and consistent communication throughout the commission process. I welcome and encourage regular feedback, and will send you progress photos via email. Please understand that the initial photos will not accurately represent the finished piece. Many people are excited to watch their commission unfold from blank canvas to finished piece, but it can sometimes shock and dismay a Patron who has not watched such a process before. Be assured, I have extremely high standards for my work and must be completely satisfied with a painting before I will ever deliver it to a Patron.

Before I do any preparatory sketches or take reference photos, I like to meet in person and spend some time getting to know you. We can also discuss what you envision for this piece and where you intend to hang the artwork. The quote I give is based on your commission’s requirements and the basic pricing listed below. It does not include extra fees such as framing, shipping, or travel expenses. Please respect that I am a professional and do not negotiate or lower my fees. They are based on my time and the expertise I have developed for decades.  Patrons must sign a contract and pay a nonrefundable deposit of 50% before work can commence. This guarantees the agreed upon price and delivery date. The deposit cannot be refunded because once work commences, whether or not a Patron keeps the final piece, I cannot resell it or recoup the time I invested.

Beginning the Commission
For any commission, I prefer to work from life and my own reference photos. I have found that most photos offered by potential clients do not have the proper lighting, composition, or detail needed to produce a successful painting. Certain circumstances, such as a surprise gift or posthumous portraits, will of course require working from a client’s photos and I will if I can. 

After our initial meeting, we must schedule at least one sitting. If possible, the best portraits result from a 3-4 hour sitting, during which time I can make preparatory sketches and color studies, and take my own reference photos. If such a sitting is not possible, we must at least schedule a photo session, which may take an hour or so. These photos will be used exclusively for your commission and never published. 

Preliminary Painting
After a Patron’s sitting, I will develop a preliminary painting. At this stage, I work out the composition, color scheme, and overall feel. This part of the process may take several weeks. Open and honest communication at this stage is crucial, since this is where the Artist and Patron agree on how the final piece will look. Email is the best form of communication as I will use it to send photos of the work in progress, and it is the simplest way to keep a record of our discussion. Once I have your complete approval, I will begin painting the final piece.

The Painting Process
Please note that I always use archival, professional grade materials. Once I begin painting the final piece, the process will take months. I cannot be in my studio as often as I wish, which is why I limit the number of commissions I take per year. It is an honor to be entrusted with your commission, and I take my work very seriously. Like you, I expect nothing less than excellence from myself, and that takes a great deal of time. When working with a specific deadline, I will do my utmost to honor that completion date. That said, if I do not feel there is enough time to complete a commission within your timeframe, I must decline the work. I appreciate your trust and patience.

Delivery of the Final Work
The balance due must be paid upon delivery of artwork. From the day of delivery, I request that Patrons live with it for at least two weeks before requesting changes. I ask this because seeing your painted portrait for the first time may be a bit of a shock - akin to hearing your voice on a recording. Like the voice you hear and have grown accustomed to, the face that you see in the mirror everyday is not the same face that our friends and family see - it is a reversed image. This is why people sometimes dislike photos of themselves. Therefore, during this two-week period, live with the painting. Invite people over and ask for their honest impressions without commenting yourself. If after two weeks you are still dissatisfied, please contact me so we can discuss revisions.

PORTRAIT PRICING (Other types of commissions are priced comparably)
Prices are for a single subject, head and shoulders. Additional fees will apply for full torsos, hands, three-quarter, full-figure portraiture, and detailed, fully painted backgrounds. For group portraits, a fee of 75% will be added per additional subject.

Impressionistic charcoal portraits on archival paper

9x12” - 12x16"     starting at $325

Detailed, realistic watercolor on 140 archival watercolor paper

9x12” - 18x24"     starting at $550

Impressionistic oil on specially-prepared, archival paper

9x12” - 18x24"     starting at $625

Detailed, realistic oil on canvas or smooth panel

9x12” - 18x24"     starting at $1,250

 

Please contact me for pricing on larger and more complex works.
 

Request a Commission
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