One of the things that I get asked the most in Hong Kong and online is whether I take commissions, how long it takes, what I need to get started and how much I charge for them. Therefore, I decided to write a blog post about it, hoping that it will clarify some of these questions! So, if you’re thinking of making a very special present to someone, then keep on reading!
1. What is a commission painting, or a custom painting?
A commission painting is a personalised piece that is made exclusively for you. Commissioning art has always been common in history (think of Leonardo or Raphael! More info about this here). This practice is getting increasingly popular nowadays too, as customization is a favorite amongst the thoughtful crowd. Whether it’s a pet or people portrait, a still-life or landscape piece, the possibilities are truly endless!
2. How much does a commission painting in Hong Kong cost?
Requesting a custom artwork in Hong Kong can seem a little intimidating due to how steep rates generally are. There are, however, multiple emerging artists (like me hehe) who will do just as high-quality work while keeping rates affordable for you (but fair for the artist, of course).
Generally speaking, a lot of different variables can affect the price of a custom painting in Hong Kong. These range from the size of the piece, to the technique used; from whether the piece should include a frame or not, to its complexity. This is why the best way to know how much a commission painting is going to cost is to request a quote from the artist! To do that with me, you can drop me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have, however, created a table of examples so that you get an idea of my rates:
|Size||Type||Frame||Price in HKD||Price in USD|
|A3 (29.7 x 42 cm)||1 Person Portrait (pencil)||Unframed||HK$2,000||$250|
|A4 (29,7 x 21 cm)||1 Pet Portrait (watercolor, without background)||Unframed||HK$1,200||$150|
|A4 (29,7 x 21 cm)||1 Person Portrait (pencil)||Framed||HK$2,000||$200|
|A5 (14.8 x 21 cm)||1 Pet Portrait (watercolor, with background)||Unframed||HK$800||$100|
These can be negotiated, so just get in touch and let me know if you have a specific budget!
3. What does an artist need in order to work on a commission painting?
Get in touch with the artist and describe what you want! Try to be as specific as possible, send reference photos, indicate what medium and size you’d like your piece in, and discuss your idea with the artist.
For me, if you’re looking for a portrait, I encourage you to send multiple photos of the subject and I’ll be able to advise you on whether I need more or not. You can send them via email at email@example.com.
4. What mediums can a commission painting in Hong Kong be in?
Hong Kong has a growing and vibrant artists scene, so I’m pretty sure you can find any medium available, if you know where to look! Run a search online to find commission artists in Hong Kong, find the one whose style/medium you like the most, and get in touch with them.
As for me, my main specialty are watercolors, ink line work and graphite pencils.
5. Should the commission painting come with a frame or not?
This is up to you, really! Many artists provide framing as an additional service and will usually purchase a frame to suit your artwork or bring it to a framing shop to get a custom frame for it.
It also depends on your budget as the price range for frames is really broad. A custom A3 frame from a shop would cost around 700 HKD, but you could also get a much cheaper one from IKEA for only 120 HKD. Just discuss the options with the artist and set what your budget is.
That should be it! I hope this was helpful. More information about this can be found here. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about this, or to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.