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Commissioning British Art

Buying Contemporary British art provides an enjoyable and memorable experience whether it is in the home or in the office. But getting the just the right British art is not straight forward. One thing art lovers have done over the years to address the problem is to commission a contemporary painting or sculpture. Commission art from one of the many Red Rag British artists is easy. This art advice from Red Rag aims to help you through the process

Commissioning British art portraits and art commissions.

Commissioning a British artist to produce a contemporary painting or sculpture is very satisfying and can become a good Art Investment. Original art work is always unique, but specifically commissioning contemporary British art makes it absolutely personal to you and is done to your exact specifications. As artist Ken Howard says: 'We all have loved ones, loved places, loved things and there can be nothing more satisfying than making them immortal by commissioning a work of art.'

An artist can be commissioned to produce any type of contemporary painting or sculpture. This includes everything from Landscape paintings, Architectural paintings or Marine paintings through to paintings of Figures. One of the most popular British art commissions continues to be Portrait paintings.

Portrait commission from British artist Simon Davis

Each British art commission varies slightly in the process from conception through to completion. Every customer, artist and approach varies. At Red Rag Gallery we are always happy to assist you through the art commissioning process but here are some basic suggestions to help you commission your very own work of British art:

Producing an artist brief for your British artwork or portrait painting

It is a good idea to produce a written brief for the art gallery and artist. Your art brief should communicate your ideas and requirements about the completed contemporary art piece. An art brief is beneficial when discussing the art commission with the artist. It will also be a reminder for the artist when your art piece is commenced.

Questions you should think about for an Art Brief and Commission

Who or what is the British art work for? Is the contemporary art for your home? Are you thinking about an art commission as an Art Gift ?. Should the artist be aware of any constraints or special requirements? Is the art piece or portrait painting to be a special place or a person? Do you want a painting which is similar to other paintings you have seen? What size of art work do you want? Where will the painting be displayed? Do you want a particularly type of painting or sculpture? eg Oil or Acrylic paintings; Bronze or Stone sculptures. Is there a specific British artist that you have in mind? What other British artists do you like? Do you prefer a particular style of art? What is the budget for the proposed art work?

Meeting the artist

After the brief has been agreed with the art gallery a discussion will usually be arranged with your selected artist. The artist will need to review the art brief in order to achieve a good appreciation of your requirement. Once your requirements are known the artist can decide whether, or not, he or she, is comfortable with producing the proposed art work. If you want a British artist to create a similar painting to one you have previously seen this may not be necessary. Reviewing the commissioned art work with the artist enables you to move the ideas of the art brief forward. It is important that the artist discusses the commissioned art piece to obtain a thorough brief of the requirement.

Portrait commission from British artist David Cobley

Art Commission agreements

Art commission agreements differ depending upon the requirement. Often the art gallery representing the artist will document details on: the artist; materials of the art work; and the anticipated timescale to complete the art work. Both the artist and you will be given the written brief. The degree of documentation depends upon the complexity and price of the art commission. If you are commissioning a major art project then the roles and responsibilities of the parties will need to be agreed. This is not normally the case where you commission a family portrait or painting of your favourites place.

If you are unsure and the amount substantial then you may wish to consult a lawyer or an Art Consultant who specializes in the laws related to Arts. They will draw up a legally binding contract to protect both yourself and the artist for larger scale art commissions. You need to ensure the agreement clearly states who will pay for the art materials and any other fabrication costs eg if part of the production will be handled by a third party

The Process of commissioning your Art works.

Before commissioning your art piece or works the price and payment should be agreed with the art gallery or artist. If it is a major art commission the payment for the art work will typically be linked to the artist achieving deliverables. Normally a 30-50% deposit of the agreed price is paid up front for the art commission. Once the artwork has been commenced this deposit is non-returnable, even in the unlikely event that the final artwork is rejected. A second payment can sometimes be made mid way through the creation of the art and the final payment on completion and delivery of the artwork.

British Artists work in different ways. Generally, but not always, artists produce initial sketches or models before commencing the final artwork commissioning commences. After that some artists may provide on-going views of the art work such as digital images but often you will not see your art work until it is complete. Reviewing progress with the artist is recommended on very large scale commissions. The number of meetings required will depend upon the size and scale of the art commission.

When complete an artist may delivery your art work while others prefer to work through art galleries. If it is a very large art piece make sure to agree responsibility for the delivery of the artwork upfront. After taking delivery of your art work do consider how best to care for your British Art and think about Art Lighting for the commission

Finally - copyright laws means an artist retains ownership of art work. If you wish to own copyright this will need agreeing in advance with the artist.

If you need help about commissioning British Art, British contemporary paintings and British contemporary artists please contact the gallery or

CALL US NOW on 01451 832563 or outside the UK + 44 1451 832563

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