Re: Painting Commissions and Legalese
Good advice from artbymdp, above.
In my experience, commissions may be challenging because of the difference in desires and judgment of the commissioner and the artistic perceptions and directions of the artist. That is, commissioners often hand the artist a photograph, and may even want additional items added to the photograph/painting for sentimental reasons.
As artists, many of us know that seldom do photographs make strong paintings. It always takes editing--deleting, adding and moving--to have strong painting design and composition.
The commissioner wants a painting often for sentimental reasons. The artist wants to make a strong and memorable painting which is a credit to her/his reputation.
So what to do? And what about the situation where the commissioner rejects the painting, either in-process or at completion?
Here's what I say about commissions on my web site:
"Commissioned work may be up to 22" X 30", unmatted and unframed. Style of the final painting will be that generally shown in my Portfolio."
"You may provide photographs, or at your option, I will go to your location to photograph and sketch the actual subject. With this option, I will provide several pencil sketches for your review and selection for the final painting. At your option, I will also paint several smaller full-color studies for you to select for the final painting. Expenses for these optional pre-painting activities are non-refundable."
"Prices vary with size of the final painting. A non-refundable deposit is required. Any desired pre-painting options, such as on-site photographs, sketches and studio options such as full-color studies are additional expenses, including any extended travel beyond 15 miles from Boerne, TX. Options of your choosing are a fixed fee for each that you may choose and non-refundable."
"I reserve the right to make the artistic and aesthetic decisions about the final painting. As with all my work, however, your satisfaction is guaranteed, and if the final painting is unsatisfactory for any reason, I will retain the painting and use for my purposes. Your only obligation will be for the initial deposit, your desired pre-painting and studio options, and/or extended travel expenses incurred, if any."
Hope this helps.