Custom paintings are a wonderful expression of love for weddings, anniversaries, gifts or to commemorate a special moment in life.

Many people are unfamiliar with the process and I thought I’d share how I work with clients to create a custom work of art.

Step 1: Email me with a photo (or several) of the person or pet that you would like to have recreated as a custom watercolor painting. It is best if you can send a high resolution photo with really good lights and darks. It is preferable that the photo is not taken with a flash, as this tends to alter the lights and shadows.

Step 2: As the artist, I’ll choose the photo that inspires me the most and that I feel I can create a truly original piece of art. The most essential part of creating a work of art is the inspiration behind it. I do not create art out of every photo I receive. I have to have a connection with it, and feel that I can create a truly great piece.

Step 3: We will discuss size and pricing options. Once you select the size you want, we will sign a commission contract outlining the terms we have agreed upon. There is no payment due up front.

Step 4: I request a timeline of 3-4 weeks to complete your custom painting. Your painting will be done on 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper. Included in the price is complimentary matting and framing. The frame will be a stock black box style frame with a white mat and protected with regular glass. Or you may choose to have it custom framed by your choice of framer at your own cost. FREE Ground shipping to the contiguous 48 states is also included. To help protect the quality of your new Artwork, it is recommended that the painting remain framed under glass and not be exposed to lengthy periods of direct sunlight.

Step 5: Once I have completed your painting, I will email you the image for your final approval before I begin matting and framing. Although technology is wonderful, every single one of my clients always says, “Wow! The painting looks even better in person!” So please remember that when viewing the image on a computer or phone.

Step 6: I will finalize matting and framing and email you an invoice for payment. If you are not in Arizona, I’ll pack and ship your painting to you. As the artist, I retain the option of showing finished artwork images for marketing and promotion.

I hope this how-to article helps you understand the commissioning process a little better. As always, please contact me with any questions. I really enjoy creating custom works of art for clients. It is truly a unique gift for someone you love!