Today I was thinking about commission art work. First, let me just admit that it's not usually my favorite thing to do nowadays. There, I said it.
Some artists enjoy it. Some of us find it... constraining. And maybe even sometimes a little intimidating and/or frustrating, if the client seems hard to please.
I remember once doing what I felt was a fantastic job on a pastel portrait of a young girl. I still remember it like yesterday: she had sunlit black hair, wore a blue dress with white trim, and was grinning broadly. I proudly presented the finished portrait to the Grandma who had commissioned it... and she asked me to change the highlights in the hair. Okay, no problem (though I thought they were bold, matching the photo).
Next... she didn't like the dress. Fixed it.
Next... I don't remember, cuz I politely aplogized, took it home and threw it in the trash! What can I say... I was young. :-}
Just for fun, I dug out an OLD album with a crummy, faded photo of that portrait. Honestly, it really did look just like her! Well, I thought so, anyway. (can click pics to enlarge)
See, the Grandma had wanted it done from a photograph so it could be a surprise. You know how THAT goes sometimes... photos "lie". And Grandma insisted it didn't look like the little girl. Yet... it looked like the photo! Sigh...
Here are some others I did back then, and at least these people were happy with their commissioned portraits (sorry for the fading and skewed colors, they are quite old photos):
In the meantime, I'd be curious to hear how others feel about commission work, if you'd like to share.
Happy painting (even if it is on commission),