Are you curious to know what art commissions are? Or have you heard so much about commissioning artwork that you want to try it yourself? On the other hand, you may have found an excellent artist but do not know how the commission process works.

Commissioning a work of art for the first time can appear daunting and taxing. But if the result comes out well, all the efforts are worth putting in. So, if you are eager to commission art but unaware of how to begin, this article is for you.

This guide will give you insights into art commissions, how they work, and other essential facts. We will also explore the history of commissioned artwork and the ways of finding artists. Read this article and find answers to all your queries and doubts.

What Does Commissioned Artwork Mean?

A commissioned artwork is an artistic piece specifically made for the buyer. Commissioning artists involves engaging with creators to produce customized paintings or portraits. It is the process of hiring artists to create art pieces that match the client’s needs and requirements.

People commission art for many reasons. For instance,

  • to pay tribute to their deceased relative,
  • to cherish and treasure their favorite family moments,
  • to adorn their living space with aesthetic landscapes,
  • to show their love for their favorite characters and personalities,
  • for business purposes like custom logos, book covers, or illustrations.

The unique feature of commissioning is it adds realism and personal meaning to the artwork. The buyers' involvement during the creative process helps them connect with the work of art. This special touch gives the craft an essence of individuality and authenticity.

Commissioned art pieces do not necessarily include hand-made paintings and sketches. It can also be digital artwork like graphics, illustrations, and virtual images. The artists work according to the client’s preferred styles, colors, techniques, and designs.

Building trust and communication can be challenging for the creator and the buyer. But, once they both agree, the artistic process turns out rewarding and pleasing. Thus, commissioned artwork offers art enthusiasts a chance to create art to treasure for a lifetime.

Commissioned Artwork

Credit: O Sariho

Commissioned art

Credit: Twitter

History of Art Commissions

What first phrase pops into your mind after hearing the term art commission? Royal Renaissance paintings? Yes, you got that right.

During the early eras, people associated a commissioned piece with royalty and nobility. The elite and rich people buy art or often hired artists to paint portraits of their lineages. These portraits were symbolic of their prestige, high stature, and reputation.

Public opinion held that people who owned commissioned work demonstrated dignity and superiority. Apart from their custom portraits, royalties ordered religious, historical, and public artworks. These paintings showcased their family culture and traditions.

In the 15th century, the Medici family had the most extensive private art collection. Medici’s love for art and solid financial status led to the commissioning of art from well-known artists. Their most celebrated commissioned artworks include Sandro Bottecelli’s Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s Medici Chapel, Uffizi Gallery, and more. Hence, the Medici family is a great example of the royals hiring people for commissioned works of art.

Birth of Venus

Birth of Venus

Credit: Sybaris Collection

Art Commissions

Uffizi Gallery

Credit: Wikipedia

With the evolution of art, several new styles and techniques emerged. Art commissions also gained widespread popularity. No longer was the commissioning of art reserved for monarchial and regal families.

Today, we do not need to belong to a royal family to own a commissioned portrait, making it accessible to everyone. The art commissions of the past testify to how influential art was and its significant impact on public opinion.

How to Commission Artwork?

People enjoy personal commissions as they are customized and can stay with them forever. Individuals get the art piece they envision by commissioning a painting, often using a reference photo. They get their preferred style, color tones, and techniques recreated on the canvas.

As the demand for commissioning artwork is high, many artists readily take up these orders. However, one must go through several stages and processes to get the desired result. These steps are as follows:

1) Defining Your Needs

Before contacting any artist or moving ahead further, ask yourself some questions.

  • What is the purpose of commissioning artwork? Is it personal or professional?
  • What type of artwork do you envision to create?
  • Are you looking for something handmade or digital?
  • What painting styles, color tones, and techniques should the artist use?
  • Are you going for a unique creation or a replica of a famous painting?
  • Are you looking for a local artist or a global creator?
  • What do you expect the outcome to look like?

After answering these questions, you will get a fair idea about your requirements and conditions. Another way to learn more about art styles is by searching on Google. You can skim through Google pages and suggestions to explore the meanings of several artistic concepts. You can also review reference images or existing art pieces to comprehend art techniques.

Thus, before proceeding further, you should be clear about your artistic ideas and thoughts.


Credit: Etsy

Digital Painting on Deviant Art

Credit: Digital Painting on Deviant Art

2) Choosing The Perfect Artist

Each artist specializes in different niches and genres. Not only do they vary in art styles and techniques but also in career experiences, work ethics, and behaviors. Choosing a suitable artist is important to accomplish your artistic goals.

Though there are many ways to find artists, let's explore the most common approaches to do so:

a) Art Commission Agencies

Art agencies have several artists providing their creative services to the public. These artist agents promote and market exemplary artists who deliver excellent works of art. Art commission agencies help you connect with the most promising artists who can meet your expectations.

You can find art agents in art galleries, fairs, exhibitions, or other art events. These agencies search for new budding artists and probable buyers on such occasions. They arrange meet-ups and help you network with potential innovators. Once you find an eligible individual, approach the artist directly.

Art Commission Agencies

Credit: The Artling

ArtLand Magazine

Credit: ArtLand Magazine

b) Freelance Marketplaces

Nowadays, freelancing has stepped in as an integral part of the work culture. Many artists access these excellent freelance platforms to grab work opportunities.

Fiverr, Upwork, Behance, and 99Designs are among the best freelance marketplaces. Anyone can commission artists through these easy-to-operate freelance websites. You can even find creators and designers specializing in new fields and genres.

All you have to do is post your demands and criteria and wait for the artists to bid. After this process, you can choose among the potential alternatives. You can analyze their career stage and work style and decide. These websites enable you to reach many local and international artists.

Yet, one disadvantage of freelancing marketplaces is these sites have very competitive pricing schemes. This drawback makes people compromise on either the price or the skills.


Credit: Fiverr


Credit: Upwork


Credit: Behance


Credit: 1000 Logos

c) Social Media Sites

Social media has an art world of itself, filled with talented and bright artists. You can find not just art creators but also gifted musicians, dancers, writers, and other creative people there. The new age of technology has brought comfort and convenience to everyone.

Today, most art creators display their works of art on their social pages. They do so to grab attention and gain popularity among the general public. Social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn give art enthusiasts many prospects for commissioning art.

You can easily browse these platforms and search for potential artists. You can even review their pages and analyze their art projects and artworks. If you find an artist’s work fitting your needs, contact them through email, phone, or direct message.

hiring an artist

Credit: The Social Media Site

While hiring an artist, be polite, conversational, and courteous with them. Your good impression will make them interested in working with you. Be clear with your project requirements and needs, and do not hesitate to clear any doubts.

3) Establish Your Goals, Expectations, and Working Conditions

After finalizing an artist for your commission art, give them a clear insight into your vision and mission. Make sure you convey all your needs and provisions. Give them as much information as possible about the work of art you wish to have. A few things you could tell them are:

  • Why are you commissioning the work of art?
  • Where will you place the final work? In an office, bedroom, living room, or a big hall?
  • What mediums and materials do you want them to use?
  • Do you have an image for reference that can help communicate your idea?
  • Do you want the work of art to have any kind of aesthetics?
  • When are you expecting the completion of the project?
  • What are your budget considerations and payment methods?

After reviewing the terms and conditions, if you find yourselves on the same page, only then consider working together. Remember that even if a single element is not in sync, it can create a problem for both parties in the future.

4) Create a Written Agreement

After settling on mutual grounds, make a contract and sign it together. The pact should have all the vital components related to work details, pricing policy, timelines, and project provisions. If you are unaware of the format of a contract, you can find several templates online on different websites.

Linda Ursin

Credit: Linda Ursin

5) Be in Constant Contact with Your Chosen Artist

Maintain a cordial and amicable relationship with your artist during the creation process. Decide on some timely catch-ups and discuss the work progress on those days. Be free to give feedback and opinions if you need more accuracy and precision.

Along with keeping a stable connection, being patient is also vital. Do not keep picking on imperfections and flaws. Instead, give the artist the space and liberty to work efficiently and effectively.

Essentials of an Art Commission Contract

Commission contracts are vital for building a trustworthy relationship between two parties. The commission contract allows both the artist and the buyer to control the input and output of artwork. This contract spells out the work agreement and the terms and conditions beforehand.

What is a Contract of Art Commission?

A contract lays down the prerequisites of the working arrangement of the art commission. These conditions include date schedules, payment agreements, approval processes, project provisions, rights, and constraints. Art commission contracts help the artist and the buyer to manage the timelines keeping the project on track.

Commission contracts form an essential part of professional dealings. It keeps the parties accountable for their actions and helps them determine their expectations. Agreements control the functioning and other details, whether the project is large or small. It is advisable to keep the contract handy for reference and guidance.


Credit: Adobe

Art commission

Credit: Le Tribune

Contents of Contract

A commission contract is inclusive of the following factors:

● Introduction

The introductory pages of the contract explain the project details, information about the artist and the client, and some specific elements of the artwork. It contains details on the work of art, materials, techniques, and other technicalities.

● Pricing and Payment Terms

Money is an integral factor that can cause a rift between two parties. Thus, deciding the pricing policy, price installments, payment methods, etc., is necessary.

In the payment terms section, include all the vital data about the expenditure and cost. Generally, artists take half the installment at the time of the order and the other half after completion. So, including these details help avoid any doubt or misunderstanding.

Note that the artist should not claim any hidden costs after the fulfillment of the project. The artist and the commissioner should write and agree upon everything beforehand.

● Reproduction Rights

Discussing and formalizing the specific usage rights of the image is important for the art creator and the client. If the commission is for personal use, allotting rights is easy. But, if the person commissions the artwork for commercial purposes, it becomes a bit complicated. In such cases, the parties should write and sign detailed information about the artwork ownership, privileges, and stipulations.

The parties should confer on the selling, advertising, exhibiting, and copying rights of the piece in the initial stages. This agreement ensures hassle-free and lawful procedures in the future.

● Final Proposal

This part of the contract should carry the components of how the result and end outcome will look like. Most artists even attach preliminary sketches, prototypes, or a similar work of art in this proposal. You can even include feedback and alternatives for any dislikings or errors.

The final proposal should also include the shipping details, confirmation of addresses, and delivery charges. Apart from it, you can even comprise the privacy terms and non-disclosure agreement in the contract.

● Termination Pact

The termination deal defines how the contract should end after the final commission between the artists and clients. It should also incorporate how the parties will manage the situation in case of any unlawful deed or split.

Rights on Commissioned Artwork

People often think the right to own a work of art is similar to having the right to reproduce it. They believe that the ownership and license of a work of art are the same. The general audience is unaware of the importance of the rights and licensing of paintings.

Before committing to a work agreement, get clarity over the reproduction rights. The copyright law claims that the license of a painting belongs and remains with the person who made it. If someone wants to obtain those rights for reproducing them, they need consent from the artist to do so.

For commercial purposes, brands and companies often claim specific usage rights. These rights help them to lawfully alter, reproduce, advertise, or sell the artist's designs. The usage rights also give them exclusiveness so that no one else can copy them.

People can use commissioned art pieces for domestic purposes, such as decorating homes or gifting them to friends or family. In such cases, obtaining any sort of right or license is unnecessary. The rights automatically stay with the artist in these scenarios.

If you are commissioning a replica of an original, expensive painting, discuss all the possible legal protection options with your chosen artist.

Also, note that digital art is easy to copy and replicate. So, obtaining a copyright on graphic creations is vital if you hire someone to create it.

Tips For An Artist While Commissioning Art

Acquiring work on your terms and conditions can sometimes become challenging as an artist. For experienced and well-known artists receiving orders is not an arduous task. However, obtaining commission art requires a lot of effort for freshers and budding artists. Here are certain tips for artists which can help them while commissioning art.

1) Do Not Shy Away From Stating Your Terms and Conditions

When you take up work as an artist, be straightforward with your clients regarding your requirements. Expressing your needs before signing the contract ensures a smooth working process. If your clients do not know about the licenses for acquiring an art piece, educate them. Do not leave any scope for misconceptions in the future. You and your clients should be on the same page throughout the artistic process.

2) Know Your Target Market

Learning about the market and its requirements is crucial to grab more work opportunities. The artist has to promote and market themselves wisely to gain the audience’s confidence in their working style. Before reaching out to people, get answers to these questions.

  • Why should people buy your creations? What is so unique and special about them?
  • Are people ready to pay for your valuable paintings?
  • What kind of artwork do people mostly commission?
  • What is your target audience?
  • Who are your competitors?

The Balance

Credit: The Balance

Epic Marketing

Credit: Epic Marketing

3) Connecting and Networking In Art Community

Grow your connections and networks so that more people know about you. You can post your art pieces on social websites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc., and engage more audiences. You can even attend art events and fairs to communicate with other potential art enthusiasts. This way, you will gain knowledge about market trends and upcoming tendencies.

Eliott Connection

Credit: Eliott Connection

Art Community

Credit: LinkedIn

4) Decide Your Pricing Policy

Before you start looking for buyers, determine a method of setting the price of your art piece. Most artists price their artwork depending on the following:

  • Time required for completion of the artwork
  • Size of the art piece
  • The complexity of projects and the skills needed to finish them
  • The amount of creativity and innovation involved while making artwork

As an artist, you can ask your client to pay 50% as a pre-payment and the rest after receiving the final artwork. You can also decide on the kill fee, i.e., a 50% fee, even if the buyer cancels the project midway.

Pricing Policy

Credit: Spenowr

5) Treat Your Clients Well

Always be honest, open, and polite with your customers, as the first impression quite matters. People should have a good experience working with you. Share the pictures of the artistic process and keep them updated at every stage. Try to inculcate their feedback in the art piece to make them satisfied.

Be enthusiastic about their work so that they can have confidence in you. You must build trustworthy relationships with your clients to be their first choice. If you make a mistake, honestly tell the customer and share the repair strategy with them.

How to Get Commissioned Works from WhataPortrait?

Have you decided to get a commissioned art piece but cannot find a suitable artist? Stop stressing and explore WhataPortrait. WhataPortrait is a reliable and one-stop source for art lovers and enthusiasts. Its all-inclusive painting services can fulfill all your artistic wishes.

With the products varying from oil paintings and charcoal sketches to watercolor and pastel portraits, WhataPortrait gives its customers a wholesome experience. This online service's dedicated and promising set of artists ensures high-quality, mesmerizing paintings.

The talented professionals of WhataPortrait aim to recreate your favorite photos into beautiful artwork. They strive to convert your pictures into unforgettable replicas that let you relive your cherishable moments.

WhataPortrait, with its wide-ranging variety, has a gift option for all purposes. You can commission family portraits, memorials, compilation photos, wedding compositions, etc., all through this trusted website. Proficient customer care experts make your art journey much easier at every juncture. Their 24*7 availability through messages, emails, or phone support makes the process even more satisfying.


Credit: WhataPortrait

To get a commissioned art piece through WhataPortrait, all you have to do is:

Step-1: Kickstart your Journey with WhataPortrait

Access the WhataPortrait home page and click the ‘Get Started’ tab. The direct user-friendly interface allows for the smooth functioning of the website.

Step-2: Select the Painting Style

Begin by choosing an art style that will suit the photos you want to commission. You can consider black-and-white sketches or colored portraits, depending on your aesthetic preference. You can also visit the photo gallery and look for references to understand the end outcomes better.

Step-3: Upload The Picture You Want to Commission

As you have chosen the illustrating style, the next step of uploading the pictures follows. You can directly upload the images from your computer or phone. If you want to create a personalized compilation portrait, including multiple photos, email them at

Always consider uploading high-resolution images as their better quality helps the artist work in detail.

Step-4: Choose the Art Size and Frame

Whataportrait offers sizes from the most miniature of paintings to large lifelike portraits. Pick the painting size which most appropriately fits your visions. After picking the painting size, go for selecting the frame type.

WhataPortrait has multiple color options like rustic gold, bard brown, dark black, white, and more. If you do not want to frame your commission work and enjoy it rolled up, you can choose the no-frame option.

Step-5: Convey any Request or Message

WhataPortrait gives customers a blank space to fill in any special comments or requests they want on their personalized portrait. You can fill in the empty section with your unique messages.

Step-6: Finalize Your Order and Pay For The Product

The customer-friendly facilities of WhataPortrait offer unlimited revisions of your order. You can check, make changes, and then finalize the order. Once done, go to the shopping cart and pay for your product. And that’s it - after concluding these six simple steps, you will receive your realistic, perfect commissioned art piece in 2-4 weeks.

Personalized Portrait

perfect commissioned art

best commissioned art

Credit: WhataPortrait


Art is a meaningful expression that spreads joy and happiness among people. Personalized work helps private individuals relive their most treasured and priceless memories. It makes people’s precious moments etched in their hearts and on canvases forever.

A commissioned art piece blends the owner’s vision and the artist’s style. Art commissions are no longer a privilege for rich people alone. Today, everyone can equally enjoy this artistic service and add enriching artworks to their lives.

After reading this article, we hope you have found most of the answers to your questions. So, what are you waiting for? Start your commissioning journey with the best-talented artists across the globe.

Commission personalized paintings to bring your vision to life.

Personalize your space with a custom painting that reflects your vision. The skilled artists create unique masterpieces just for you.

Get Started