How to Commission an Artwork

A commission, particularly of pets, is one of the biggest challenges for most artists.

One must take into consideration the client's request and create a painting which works for the client.  When painting pet portraits it is essential to understand the essence of the subject and the relationship between pet and pet lover.  A dog for instance looks at its owner in a completely different way from another person.

If you are considering commissioning me to create an artwork these are the steps I go through with a client.

  • Initial discussion will include subject matter, size of painting, colours, whether on stretched canvas/paper/framed etc.
  • I will then give a quote on the work.
  • If the quote is accepted I will require a deposit of 50%.
  • In the case of a portrait of a living subject I prefer to visit the client, talk to get an understanding of personality and expressions and take photographs. If this is not possible many phone conversations will take place.
  • In the case of a deceased subject I prefer to learn as much about the subject as possible.  Again with an in depth discussion.
  • Where a place or other subject is required I would need to have clear photographs (if I am unable to visit the subject) and again discussions as to the client's attachment and/or thoughts.
  • Throughout the process I will send updates for refinement.  This is an opportunity for comments and changes.
  • When the painting is completed to the client's satisfaction the final payment is made.
  • If the painting is to be posted/couriered that cost will be added.

Please note the differences in presentation of the pets I have painted. Many of these were done as gifts for others and specific requests were made as to how they were presented.


Dear Gerry, Tony loved the paintings of our boys and everyone else loves them as well. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done. They will always be with us now.


Janice and I would like to thank you for the beautiful painting of Rainbow Lorikeets that Lyris asked you to paint for us. We were thrilled to receive it. It will sit so nicely on the wall with the wonderful portrait you did of Indie and Bowie. Your work is brilliant. Thank you.

John and Janice

Gerry what can I say? I will cherish this painting forever.


Gerry, this possum is so real it is almost 3D. The background ever so natural is a lovely colour. I like the red tips on the leaves. It certainly shows your attention to detail.


Dear Geraldine, thank you for the great painting of our pet. We love it and Scarlet is very proud of it too. Well done.


Thanks Gerry, your paintings have taken pride of place in our home.


Hi Gerry, thank you for the wonderful work. So many people have commented on the portraits of our “3 Boys”.  You have really captured their distinct personalities. Thank you so much.


Just a short note to say thank you for painting the perfect scene for me.  I find it very calming, peaceful and inspirational. It touches my soul.


I just wanted to say a massive thank you for the wonderful portrait you painted of our fantastic Kaiser. The likeness is amazing and to be honest it had us all in tears – but of course in a lovely way. It is now taking pride of place in or home and it is nice to glance and remember him.


Geraldine I cannot tell you how much the portrait of Honey means to me. She, as you know, is so very precious to me. Thank you – you have captured her absolutely and so beautifully.


Dear Gerry, thank you for doing such an incredible painting of “Obee”. You have truly captured him as we remember him. Do you realise his eyes follow you as you walk around the room (just as he did) … both of us had a little tear. Again thank you.

Paul and Allan

Hi Gerry I wanted to tell you that Gina loved the portrait of Murray. She, as did everyone at the party, raved about it. You did an amazing job and I cannot thank you enough. It is going to be enjoyed for many years.


"We can't help but keep looking (staring) at Roy's portrait. It brings so much joy and also a bit of sadness that we have lost our beautiful boy. Gerry, you have captured him beautifully." Therese

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