How to commission an artist?

Having recently commissioned a fine pencil artist to draw a highly detailed portrait of my dogs, I thought I would explain the process I went through to commission an artist.

How to commission an artist?

What type of art piece do you want created?

The first thing to consider is what type of art you want created, and what medium you want your art to be created in. In my instance I wanted a fine pencil art portrait of my dogs to frame and have as a focus piece in my living room. I choose pencil as I wanted to ensure it was highly detailed to be a true to life as possible. Evie on the left always has tuffty bits of hair sticking out, while Darcy on the right often has a dirty beard from where she loves to go snooping in the woods for a ‘snack’. Although I considered a watercolour piece instead, my living room is very minimalist and shabby chic, so pencil, being softer would work better in this room.

How to find an artist?

Once I had decided that I wanted a pencil portrait, I set to work to find local fine pencil artists. I largely used Google for this, searching for phrases such as ‘pencil artist’. I came across a few and went through their portfolios to see examples of what they could create. After speaking with a couple or artists and viewing their work I settled on Pif (Paul Fulcher).

The artwork on Pif’s website was amazing. The level of detail was above the other artists I had been looking at. I reached out to Pif and we discussed what I has hoped the piece to look like. Having spoken to the artist, I really got a feel for his passion, attention to detail, and his strive to make sure all his pieces perfect.

Once we agreed on the piece we went through some high resolution pictures I had of the dogs until we agreed on two which were most suitable for him to use as a guide.

How long did it take to complete?

The artwork required between 200–300 hours to complete, so it obviously did take a few weeks. However after the first week, Pif began to send me photos of how it was progressing. It was great to see how the piece came to life, and watch as the detailing was added over the next few weeks.

How much does it cost to commission an artist?

The cost does vary with any artist. It depends on a lot of factors such as medium used (pencil, paint, etc) size, level of detail, type of piece etc. My recommendation would be, once you have found an artists who’s portfolio matches the type of piece you are looking for, reach out to them and get the discussion going.

In summary I over the moon with the piece I had commissioned. A digital version of the piece is shown above. The actual artwork is in A2 size and in pride of place at my home.

I would highly recommend commissioning artwork for your home. It adds character, a great conversation starter, and certainly something people haven’t seen in the shops.

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