View Full Version : Commissions and varnishing....
07-09-2002, 12:40 AM
I have a commission due in November. Best case scenario, I finish it in a month. Not enough time to varnish it. The original will be auctioned after prints are made for a fundraiser. How do I varnish it? Should I just use retouch varnish?
Also, if you do a private commission, do you ask the client to bring the painting back after a suitable amount of time for varnishing?
07-09-2002, 06:30 AM
Kiwi, Easiest case scenario: spray with damar retouch varnish. Nice even non glare coat. beautiful finish. Tell them to bring it back in one year for a final varnish.
Btw, I have a brand new studio light for sale ( Ultra zap 800- $100. off the original price) ) and background in a bag ( half price) for sale in the WC swap shop.
07-10-2002, 12:38 AM
Thanks! Only problem is, when this is done and shipped, it's out of my hands - original will be auctioned off and gone. Will the retouch varnish do for the longrun?
Does it make any difference that I paint very thinly? I just had a couple of paintings framed and the framer thought they were acrylics......Maybe I can get away with varnishing in three months?
07-10-2002, 07:08 AM
Kiwi, Here's a search on WC for all the old varnish threads. I typed in "final varnish" on the "search" buttton. You could try variations of that. Most of the answers are on those threads
I don't know offhand how to solve your problem. Hope you can find it in the search.
Here's a better search link, using the word "Glazing":
07-10-2002, 03:45 PM
You don't have to varnish, many artists don't.
But assuming you prefer to:
Why not attach an envelope to the back of the painting and make clear to the auctioners that it contains important conservation and care information regarding the painting? Then put a letter inside stating that the painting was produced specifically for this event and as such has not had a final varnish. Point out that it in no way puts the painting at risk and the timing for varnishes on oils, maybe a short layman's explanation? Then a date and contact for if the purchaser would like the painting varnished when it's appropriate.
As it regards the care of the painting I wouldn't think anyone would object.
07-10-2002, 04:30 PM
Think of it as a chance for the buyers to contact you for the final VERY IMPORTANT varnish- then sell them two more!
07-10-2002, 09:08 PM
Thanks everyone. I think I'll worry about getting the painting done for now.:D
07-11-2002, 07:53 AM
Timelady wrote:But assuming you prefer to:
Why not attach an envelope to the back of the painting and make clear to the auctioners that it contains important conservation and care information regarding the painting? Then put a letter inside stating that the painting was produced specifically for this event and as such has not had a final varnish
Kiwi, This reminds me to tell you about the envelope I place on the back of every commissioned portrait.
I saw this trick on the back of an original watercolor at my sister in law's and have been doing it ever since.
I use the large white envelopes at Staples ( 8 1/2 x 11) and glue it to the back of the brown finishing paper on the back of the painting. Inside I place sheets of 1) my resume, 2) newspaper articles and 3) upcoming exhibits
Then I paste a business card to the outside of the envelope. It looks classy and they will never forget how to contact you in the future or how to recommend you to friends.
07-11-2002, 01:12 PM
A question...how do y ou go about getting your work commisioned. Coming from the illustration world I know how to promote myself as an illustrator to publishers, but how do you guys go about getting your paintings seen by clients? Also does is it hard giving up your painting after all the hard work youve put into it.
07-11-2002, 01:35 PM
Impressionist - that's a great idea, but I've never had an exhibit, and don't have anything to put on a resume yet! I will need business cards and a resume by then though.
NY, I'm just, just starting out. The few commissions I've had are as a result of either connections, or people looking at my site. This commission is for a conservation group as a fundraiser and will potentially get me international recognition, if everything goes to plan. It came about once again by luck and connections. I want to start approaching publishers ect but I don't feel I have a good enough portfolio yet. If you have any suggestions for me as far as the illustration world goes, feel free to pm me!
I work primarily in colored pencils. The few commissions I have done were very small. Right now I am working on a very large piece that I've put months of work into. Up until now, I could not bear the thought of parting with one of my pieces. But this will be the last one I will not sell. After this one, the rest will be up for sale. All my good work is just sitting on a shelf gathering dust - not terribly good for anyone.
07-11-2002, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the info. i suppose I would not mind parting with some of my work, as long as I could get a good reproduction of it, which I have not figured out how to do yet. As far as approaching publishers, first you obviously have to obtain their mailing addresses. This can be done several ways. One of which is simply going to Barnes and Nobles and obtaining a copy of "Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Market 2002". Not only will this provide you with more info than I can here, it will give you these important contact addresses. Once you have that you need to make sure the publishers you send to take unsolicited materials (this is in the book as well). Unsolicted, meaning you dont need an agent to send them you work for you. This is important because sending work to a publisher that does not accept unsolicited materials is a waste of your time and effort as they will toss your work and also makes them very grumpy. When you do you mailing usually include about five to ten color copis of your work along with a brief letter explaining a bit about you. Another thing that is also a good idea to do is inlcude a postcard with one of your best works on it and your contact info on the back. These can be made up at modernpostcard.com. This way even if there is no job for you at the moment, in the best case scenario an art director will pin your card up on their cubicle/wall and one never knows when they might need an illustrator for another job and happen to glance over at your card. Also everyone who comes into their office will see that card as well. The idea is simply to get as much exposure as possible. One final thing, even if a publisher likes your work expect at least 3 to 6 months before you get a response. Publishers are just simply too busy to get back to you too fast. In fact Ive found that if you don't hear back from a publisher for awhile its usually a good sign as the negative responses usually come back faster. Hope all this helps. Also sorry I didnt PM this to you, but I figured this could be some helpfull info others might be interested in as well.
07-11-2002, 05:12 PM
Thanks NY! And it's better that you posted this here, so everyone can benefit from the info.
If I ever get my act together, there is a large art show/sale here once a year that I can enter. Perhaps you could go into something like that where you live. Here you can hang a few paintings and get brochures and cards printed out to give away. I saw a lot of sales going on this year. It's basically juried too, so it's all very good stuff. It was packed!
07-11-2002, 10:22 PM
NY wrote: A question...how do you go about getting your work commisioned. Coming from the illustration world I know how to promote myself as an illustrator to publishers, but how do you guys go about getting your paintings seen by clients?
I schedule rotating exhibits throughout all the libraries in my area. My portraits are always on display somewhere each month.
I keep full archives on my website and send anyone interested to my website to see the entire gallery of past commissions.
I get referrals practically every two months from the gallery that carries my landscape work. They take a 25% referral commission off my fee.
Then NY wrote: Also does is it hard giving up your painting after all the hard work youve put into it.
No. It's hard giving up my landscapes. I don't know the people I paint, so those portraits do not have a pull for me. But, I choose locations for landscapes that I love and which have meaning to me. Those are So difficult to part with.
07-13-2002, 03:12 PM
I just used the new Gamar or whatever Gamlin calls their new final varnish and it seems to work well.
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