Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Custom Artwork Contracts

Discovery
16x20 Oil on Canvas

In this post, I will share thoughts about custom artwork contracts and details to include in the document. This is a continuation of my previous post, “Quoting Custom Artwork.” It is intended for both the artist and the client and does not serve as legal advice.

As information is gathered, both parties should determine if a signed contract is  necessary. Here are other questions to consider: 

As the Artist:  

·         How confident are you about achieving the client’s vision?
·         Can you complete the project within the requested deadline?
·         Do you have enough information?
·         How much of a financial risk are you taking?
·         What is the size and scope of the project?
 
Being clear about your abilities is most essential.  You may be asked to do projects outside of your specialty area. If that’s the case, turn down the job and refer the client to another expert in the field. For example, I have declined offers for painting wall murals and made suggestions for muralists in the area.
On the other hand, I have accepted painting projects in a variety of subjects and styles that were challenging and successful (meaning that the client was happy). I gained valuable insight from the interactions and used the experience to revise processes and business practices.
As the Client:
If an artist submits a signed contract, you can accept this as a good sign, especially when it involves multiple or complex projects. This is another method to confirm your specifications. Read the document carefully and ask additional questions that may not be included, such as:
·         What is the deposit amount?
·         What is your return / refund policy?
·         What occurs if the painting is damaged in transit?
·         Will you make changes to the painting?
Note: Many artists do not accept refunds for custom artwork, due to the time and supplies involved.  Review pictures of the painting before it is mailed to you.

The Final Contract 

The artist drafts the initial contract based on the details discussed via email, phone, and in person.  Some have standard documents on file and simply need your signature. 

In my opinion, the information should be revised until everyone involved agree to the terms. The final contract becomes a tool for future reference. But in the end, I have found that communication throughout the entire project ensures the best outcomes. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quoting Custom Artwork


Coastal Cloud
10"x 8"x .75
Framed Oil on Linen

This blog post is geared towards artists who are interested in doing commissioned artwork and things to consider before submitting a quote to your client.
While it may seem like a complex process, taking a standardized approach, much like a checklist, will simplify everything for you and potential customers. The main concept to keep in mind is:

Avoid burdening the client with unnecessary information upon initial contact. Ask only pertinent questions such as:
1.      The painting size – including the depth of canvas edges
2.      The location or zip code of the buyer – to calculate shipping costs
3.      Preferred medium – oils, acrylics, watercolors, etc.
4.      Any variances from the reference image
5.      Deadline for completion
Quickly respond with an all-inclusive quote (within 24-48 hours)
Clients might have tight deadlines and are researching artwork on behalf of other individuals. They will appreciate a timely response to their questions. Additionally, rapid communication will give them an idea of your future interactions and reliability.
Behind the Scenes

 There are several other things to consider in calculating the overall expenses and value of the finished piece:
1.      Work Involved – Before agreeing to any project, estimate how long it will take you to complete the painting, including the drying and shipping time – to their door. Oils will take longer to dry than acrylics. If you need to order special supplies and additional equipment, add this into the equation.

2.      Custom Artwork Markup Fee – Review your current price list for recent and similar paintings of the requested size. Add a percentage for custom artwork. If the painting is significantly larger compared to what you normally produce, you will need to set aside other projects for the duration. Make the project worth your effort.

3.      Supplies & Shipping -  In addition to canvases, brushes, and paints, consider the shipping and handling costs, especially with larger works that require insurance. Check with local carriers to obtain rates for oversized works. You may also want to offer framing or companion pieces.
 
The client is unlikely to be concerned with the details of the supplies, working hours, and how you arrived at the final cost. If you have a website, chances are great they have researched your portfolio, viewed prices, and decided to contact you based upon their knowledge. Don't we all do the same thing when it comes to online purchases these days? Art is no different - and this is coming from an artist who also collects paintings :)

The Final Quote - The minimum information provided should include:
1.     Price – As if the customer is adding the painting to the shopping cart
2.     Estimated time of completion – when the client can expect the painting to arrive at their location. (I add a few weeks for larger projects with multiple paintings or larger work. It is much better to deliver the artwork early than to be late.)
       3.    Deposit - What amount is required to begin the project? Decide ahead of time if you will
             invoice the client in increments. Some artists may require full payment upfront.

Once you have sent the response, allow the client plenty of time to reply. I recommend waiting at least 5-7 days before following up. If they want to proceed, the next step is to confirm the information and enter a "contractual agreement".
 
In the next post, I will offer suggestions for setting up a custom artwork contract, as a tool for enhancing communication between both parties.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Painting the Coast

 
I have been painting a lot of tropical and beach themes lately. I am also updating my studio and office with coastal décor. Here a few ideas for those of you who were thinking of doing the same (while staying on a reasonable budget).

Tips for Decorating with a Coastal Theme
 
Select 3-5 Colors - Choose colors that you love the most and carry them throughout the rooms. First determine the tone or value scale you want to use. For example, navy is on the dark side of the scale while lighter blues can be viewed as almost white. Also, keep the level of energy in mind. Gray and lighter blues will have a calming effect, while a combinations of rust, coral, or orange tones will create a sense of energy.
 
Select a theme - Coastal décor includes anything from lighthouses to tropical fish, lifeguard stands, boats, aquatic birds, and seashells. Plants that grow in warm climates such as hibiscus, orchids, and succulents further define the region. You can mix themes and easily stay with the same color palette.
 
Use Glass and Shells - Decorating with glass items is an inexpensive and effective way of adding color and transparency. Purchase larger glass containers at your local donation centers and fill them with the shells you collect this summer. Set colored glassware on tabletops for keys or remote controls. Place larger shells on bookshelves.
 
Use Wood - Wood shelves, driftwood, and barnwood picture frames to give a home a natural appeal. Alter their appearance to suit your decor by staining or painting them black, silver, or gold. Select the correct staining products for each type of wood.
 
Paint the Walls - Maybe it's time to change your interior wall color or paint an accent wall? Choose your artwork before purchasing gallons of paint. Paint a small area on the wall, and once it's dry, hold your painting next to it. A darker wall color may compete with the mood you are trying to create. I recommend using the color Softer Tan by Sherwin Williams as a great sandy color!


The paintings in the banner are available as prints and originals. Visit EveWheelerArt.com to view these new listings and sign up for my email notifications if you would like to view the paintings as they are posted.
I would love to hear your ideas! Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Painting Depth

Yellowstone Majesty 2016
24x36 Oil on linen
EveWheelerArt.com

This painting of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon was a challenge in depth perception and perspective. I used several tactics of landscape painting and general composition:

- Breaking horizon lines, blurring distant objects, enlarging subjects that are close in proximity, darkening areas along the foreground, etc.
I selected the horizontal format, with the canyon covering the majority of canvas. The forest along the top of the canyon is an obscure block of greenish-brown tones and the foreground trees are larger to scale, with deeper values. Near the bottom of the painting is a glimpse of the Yellowstone River. This hint of blue is also placed in the sky, as I tried to keep the visual interest from top to bottom.
Even with the “tricks” of depth translation, the painting is far from a match to the reality of standing on the edge of a trail cliff and feeling your heart pound with a massive sense of wonder. In my opinion, Thomas Moran's paintings are among the few that will actually take you there.

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Selecting Background Colors


 
 
The initial layers literally set the tone for your paintings, even if when starting from a white surface. Imagine this canvas covered in bright red paint with purple outlines. The direction would be very different, with a vibrant palette and radiant energy.
 
Here is a basic wash of Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber outline. The concept is to create a peaceful and realistic landscape using oils.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you start with a medium to dark tinted base coat, it is easier to distinguish values. Additionally, subtle values will automatically develop from the layering process and thickness of paint. Depending upon the amount of drying time and medium used, colors may blend. I normally allow the areas to dry overnight or longer in between sessions.
In this stage, I chose various shades of purple, green, and brown. 
 
 
Next, I placed small amounts of golden yellow along the canyon walls of both sides. Most yellow paints have transparent qualities, so if you apply too much, you can normally wipe it off when the previous coats are dry. Pure white streaks of paint were added to the top portion of the waterfall. Distant trees are lighter, shorter, and less defined than foreground trees.

 
Lower Falls Reverie
Available 20x16 Oil on Canvas
 
This is the method of painting that I use with most of my work. It is a slow process of building layers, adding and subtracting color, and attempting to emphasize the focal point. There are certainly more direct ways to accomplish the same result!
 
Yellowstone is my favorite of the American national parks. There is something new around every corner. The wildlife and scenery are a nature lover's paradise. If you ever have the opportunity to go, be sure to set aside at least a few days to explore. Visit the Mammoth Hot Springs, three waterfalls, and of course, Old Faithful. You will see bison and elk roaming free. And the hot springs resemble liquid gemstones of brilliant emerald and turquoise colors....
 
It is the most magnificent and diverse landscape. No wonder millions of people flock to the park each year. 
 
Thanks for reading and commenting ~ Eve