Commissions: a painting for you

The joy of having something made especially for you will last a lifetime

Something unique to treasure

So sorry! I’m not able to accept any commissions at the moment.

Commission a painting to meet your specific requirements.

People ask me to paint pictures especially for them for various reasons; to mark a ‘big’ birthday perhaps, or for an occasion or event, such as a wedding gift. I have painted commissions that recall significant events or places in people’s lives, a walk through a specific landscape, a map, or a line from a favourite book, for example.

Note: I only very occasionally take on pet portraits as there are other artists far better qualified than me that specialise in this area. I don’t do commissioned people portraits at all – this is not an area I feel comfortable except for my own pleasure.

Things to consider

If you’re interested in commissioning a painting, there’s a number of things I need you to consider and for me to understand before I begin thinking about sharpening  my pencils and getting my brushes wet. Practical stuff…

Medium & format

Are you looking for a watercolour or an acrylic or something else? My default medium is watercolour.

Is there a format you prefer, for example, square, long and thin like a letterbox (I call this ‘panoramic’) or rectangular? Its shape may be determined by the space you anticipate the final work to hang in, or its purpose (for example, will it need to conform to A size?)

Size & budget

What size should your painting be? This affects price, as does the complexity of the subject you’re after, and whether you‘d like me to get it framed for you or not. Typically commissions cost somewhere between £300 to £1000.  But a more complex piece (for example, a map) may be c£1000 for a small one to £2000+ depending on size and detail required. I will give you an estimate based on what you tell me.

Subject matter

And then there’s the painting itself. What will be the subject matter; what it is of? Who is it for? Why do you want it? What significant things need to be in it? So many questions! But if I understand your story I can put my heart and soul into your painting. We can discuss this by phone or email. Making a list of the elements you need to see is a great place to start.

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Is there a date when you need the finished item framed and ready to hang? If it’s for someone’s birthday this is evidently quite important! I lead a very busy life so I need to factor in time for thinking and research, creating the painting itself and getting it framed, if you’d like me to do that for you.

Other things you need to think about...


This is not just a simple transaction of you acquiring a painting you’ve already seen and know you like. Whatever I produce will ultimately be my vision, my painting and my interpretation inspired by your idea; I can’t ever see exactly what’s in your mind’s eye. This is an inescapable truth. Commissions require trust. Look at my paintings carefully before you commit.

Right and wrong – a case study

I once took a commission from someone for a painting they could already ‘see’ it in their mind’s eye. I explained I couldn’t see into someone else’s head, but I (in hindsight, foolishly) agreed to the commission. They didn’t want my first painting, even though it was what they’d asked for. So I took more detailed notes from them about what was ‘wrong’ with it and went away to paint precisely what they asked for. The second painting still wasn’t ‘right’. It quickly became obvious that I was never going to get it right.

Fortunately, the subject matter they chose made it easy for me to sell my two ‘failed’ attempts to other buyers, (in fact they were snapped up!) so my time and efforts were not in vain. But if the painting you would like is very personal, and specific to you, your family and circumstances, it would be impossible for me to sell it to another buyer.

Getting started

You will need to do your homework! I may need visual or printed reference materials that only you can generate, and carefully thought-through lists of some of the things you want to see in your painting.

Making changes

Once we have agreed on a commission and I have begun composing the work and painting, it is very difficult (usually impossible) for me to change anything. So you have to trust me to get on with the work (you will have already seen my work and know I can do it) and I have to trust that you’ll have it.

Progress reports

During the course of making your painting I will contact you with progress reports and photos, and may ask for your input and ideas.


I won’t ask you to sign any contracts; I much prefer to build a trusting relationship  with you. For new buyers, I ask for a non-refundable proportion of my estimate up front – usually 50%.

A painting made especially for you is very special indeed. The thought, love and care we put into its creation now, the story behind it and the spirit of the final piece will last a lifetime. I won’t let you down.

Here are just few of the commissioned paintings I have already made:

What will be in your painting?

Contact me and let me know