commission work suggestions

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2008 10:40 PM GMT
    hey folks!

    a classmate wants to commission me to do a body portrait of himself. he's 47 yrs old and muscular/built like a brick sh*t house, in his own words, he said he wanted to get a snapshot of his body now before gravity and age finally catches up with him. and he wants to make sure he pays me the proper amount for the work. i am gonna meet with him tomorrow to show him what i can do and my portfolio.

    my question is, how much do i charge for the portrait? do i go by the hour, or is there a specific calculation? below are some specifics at the moment:

    charcoal and graphite medium
    on Arches or Stonehenge drawing paper
    18" x 24"

    i may also do test photo shots since it's going to be a lighted composition, and i'm giving him the option of posing for me for a few hours, or i can work off of a high quality photo.

    So, whatcha guys think? Advice? icon_question.gif

    Thank you!
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    depend on how good you are. My sis find artists for my parents portray and each cost about 500 I think, at size about 20x24 They look ok, could be better.
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:21 AM GMT
    ebl333 saiddepend on how good you are. My sis find artists for my parents portray and each cost about 500 I think, at size about 20x24 They look ok, could be better.


    wow, 500? damn...icon_eek.gif

    i spoke to some artist folks, and so far, they suggested anywhere from 20-30 dollars an hour is a nice/fair range. i dont anticipate taking several days to do the portrait, but i think i'm going to have him pose for 3 hours, then whatever fine tuning i need to do will be done via a high-res photo for minute details
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:28 AM GMT
    i'm sorry, on second thought, she pay maybe 250-300. the were not oil, just pastel painting. With the size you mentioned and the technique, I would say about 100-200 range.
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:45 AM GMT
    In such cases, it's often a good idea to ask how much the person expects to pay. Sometimes you might be surprised-- but regardless you'll avoid offended them, or wasting your time if they are not willing to pay. In art, the market usually sets the price. If his idea is way too low, you can then mention an hourly rate.

    PS- My personal experience is that sometimes such offers come with an expectation of more, i.e. the person if paying you a lot and he will be nude. Not always, but asking him the amount he expects to pay will also help you make sure he's not into that.
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:53 AM GMT
    I know an artist who gets $10,000 per painting for painting in the realistic "old master" style.

    Ask around at your school for an idea of how much to charge.
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    Jan 15, 2008 6:48 AM GMT
    hey, thanks for the feedback guys! keep em comin!

    i asked around, some have said 100, some said 200, since this was about the average going rate for the professional artist.

    i also asked some of the art students/profs i ran into at the art store(while looking for the appropriate drawing paper) and they've suggested 30-40 dollars an hour, since i'm not a professional/established artist who can command 3 figures and up. which makes complete sense, i'm not an established artist by any means, this is pretty much a freelance job.

    im gonna talk to him tomorrow and get more details, i'm not sure if he wanted a shirtless portrait or a full-body portrait.
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    Jan 15, 2008 8:58 AM GMT
    It depends on how good you are, how well known, wether you will have residual rights (for prints for example), etc.

    I am currently having my partner painted from a photo that was taken last summer at the lake. The artist is well known, works in oils, and his larger pieces usually go for much more than any of the above estimates.

    I would expect that a pencil or charcoal piece would go for considerably less.

    How long do you think it will take you to do the piece?

    If you are a well trained, established artist, I don't think $25 per hour is unreasonable.

    Look at it this way...

    $25- per hour x 40 hours per week = $1000-
    $1000- times 50 weeks per year = $50k per year.

    That does not seem unreasonable to me for a beginning full time professional artist.

    As a trained professional your time is a commoditty. If you don't have the confidence to value it highly, who will?

    The final decision of course will have to be an agreement - a negotiation - between the two of you.
    ___________________________________________________

    Once upon a time in my younger days I was asked to model by a very famous West Coast photographer who specializes in male nudes. His Tabletop Art Books are in most major bookstores, he has been exhibited at many amjor museums, and I had seen his work profiled in mainstream magasines. Very nice guy, professional, and highly recommended.

    Usually a photo session with this photographer might cost well over $10k or more. Since he had asked me, it would cost nothing.

    I was very wary of allowing him (or anyone) to photograph me nude however.

    After a couple monthes we reached an agreement.

    He could photograph me over a weekend in PS; I would have final refusal, I would receive a portfolio of what he took, and he would have only limited rights to those images (he could show them in gallaries and museums, but not print or distribute them through other media without my further permission [right of refusal]).

    what I am getting at is that in many cases things like this are a NEGOTIATION - I have known many artists who would do certain pieces for free just because it was important to them as artists or maybe developementally.

    Talk it over with your client, ask him what he expects. Ask him what he thinks would be fair. Decide how important it is to you.

    Think to ask about what is to be done with residual sketches and images, etc.

    Good Luck.