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Commissioned Art Outside the Box

When your thinking about having  commissioned art done, don’t think
 you have to stay inside the box. You could have a very large painting done. It could be painted on multiple canvases and

Panaramic Airpark

Panaramic Airpark

displayed together. Big, tall, round and even weird shapes could be possible.

Here is a 8 foot wide panoramic oil painting on Masonite of a small airport with a grass field. It features about a dozen planes and is only 1 foot tall. This format was the only way to capture the whole place. This was delivered locally but if it would have been shipped it could have been a two or three piece commission displayed side by side to form the whole.

This project is available to see step by step at

Photography for Commissioned Artwork

If you are collecting photographs to send to an artist to have commissioned artwork done, here are some pointers to keep in mind. I personally paint buildings and things in landscapes so this is directed at outdoor photography.

  • Pick the scene or view that is your favorite and leave enough room around the subject for your artist to crop later.
  • Take photograph in the dawn and dusk hours where the light is strong enough to illuminate but not so harsh.
  • Take photograph in the dawn and dusk hours to get the light on the face of the subject. Lower more horizontal light rather than straight down.
  • Take your photograph in the dawn and dusk hours to capture more flattering and colorful light on your subject.
  • Think about the objects like trees, etc. that block the view, try to align them so they only block less important features of your subject.
  • Examine your photos (easy with digital) and check to see that you can make out the detail in both the shadows and the brighter areas.
    Your artist needs to see this detail. Try different exposures or zoom in for some closeup shots. (the camera then will compensate)
  • Think about capturing your subject on a rainy day. Rainy days show the most detail becuase the light range in narrow, more within the cameras range. The painting can still be done in brighter light  but the rainy day photo will give all the detail that could be missing in the other photos.
  • Add sentimental objects within the photo to make you artwork more personable and memorable.
  • Take closeup shots of any numbers, lettering, pets and people at same angle as the main large photo.

Care for ArtWork

Old abandoned fishery at Tarpon Springs, Florida

Old abandoned fishery at Tarpon Springs, Florida

Taking care of your art will make sure the image you see today will be the same in years to come.  Watercolors and art on paper is protected behind glass, but since the art is sealed in care needs to be taken to make sure the humidity is controlled. To much humidity and the art can discolor and even mold.  Oil paintings framed without glass or glazing are able to breath and are less susceptible to high moisture but mold can form in high humidity.

One of the main problems involved with art is light. Paper, pigments, paint and most mediums used have limits to the amount of light they can be exposed to. Direct sunlight catching even a artwork for a few minutes a day will most likely fade the colors. Individual oil paints for instance have different ratings as to how much lite they can take without problems starting.

Keep your artwork dry and the humidity low, keep them out of direct sunlight and away from very bright areas.

Oil paintings can be dusted off and even lightly cleaned with mild soap. When dealing with very old paintings and artwork be careful or have them taken to a frame shop to get there opinion if they look fragile or your not sure how to handle some aspect of care.

Commissioned oil paintings Care and Framing

After receiving your completed original oil painting there are a few things
to know concerning lasting protection and framing.

Oils on canvas often take longer to completely dry than is thought.
If you have received a newly done oil painting discuss with your
artist how long to let the painting dry before applying a varnish
to the surface. The length of drying time depends on the technique
and materials the artist uses. This could be from a month to 6 months
possibly longer if thick paint has been used . Thin paint applied
with mediums that have drying agents can dry in a couple weeks.

The paint may be dry to the touch but thick paint forms a skin with
soft paint below. After the paint is completely dried a varnish can
be sprayed or brushed on. Varnish will make cleaning the painting
easier and evens out the gloss or matte luster. A choice of luster
can be made, matte – semi gloss –gloss depending on taste. Not
all paintings need to be varnished, it depends on many things, your
expectations on how it should look, and also the way it was painted.

Framing can be done after the painting is dry to the touch most often.
If a canvas on stretcher bars does not lay flat the framing will solve
this. Some paintings are done on stretched canvas meant to be left
unframed. Glass or glazing is never used in framing oils.

If the painting needs varnishing after drying for a longer period of
time or if a different luster is desired, the painting can be removed
from the frame and varnished. The painting should be lightly cleaned
with mild soap before varnishing. If you know in advance that you
will unframed the painting for varnishing have the framer use canvas
clips with no paper backing. This will make the whole project much

Top 10 Ideas For Your Commissioned Oil Painting


  • Your house or homestead in the glow of evening light
    during you favorite season
  • A favorite photograph of someone, something or someplace
  • A vacation photo of that scene that looked so great when
    the picture was taken but disappointed you afterwards
  • Your boat, automobile, plane, motorcycle or other vehicle
  • The place that you grew up or had lived before that holds
  • A gift for someone in your life of a painting with what they might
    hold dear as the subject.
  • A place you always wanted to visit but may never get the
  • A scene or landscape that you saw in other art or media that
    you could have something similar done.
  • A composite of things you like. Let’s say you like clowns
    castles and winter scenes. have a painting done with
    ”clowns building a snowman outside a castle”
  • Dream of the perfect painting then give an artist a challenge.

Commissioned Oil Paintings


Few people think of having artwork done as a commission for them, but it’s a lost opportunity to have a something that represents a part of your life as the artwork in you surroundings.

Instead of searching for art that you like in stores, galleries the internet and other places, day dream a little and imagine what would be an important subject to have painted that is something you really cherish.

Your house, farm or place you grew up could be the subject. Photos are a great source for ideas because they capture all that is important to us. Family, pets, vehicles, vacation spots and other places and things you have captured on film or digital.

It really boils down to selecting an idea for your commissioned artwork that is something you can’t necessarily get from a photo and you could never find already done.