Commissions

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harry brioche. pippa chapman. frank getty. jon gubbay. andrew grant kurtis. ed robinson. allan stephens.

 

 

A number of our artists are available to produce bespoke, personalised commissions. Find out how it works, and how we can help.

 

it starts with an idea

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It might be a certain view. It might be to hang in a certain place. It might be a gift, or to mark a special occasion.

Whatever the reason; you need something specific, and off-the-peg won't cut it.

If you’ve not commissioned a painting before, it can be daunting. 

This page will demystify the process, and empower you to confidently order exactly the painting you want. 

And our customers agree.

 ..

what is a commission?

    

but what is a commission?

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In art, a commission is requesting the creation of a work of art.

It’s paying an artist you like to paint something specific for you.

Some of the world's best known, most recognisable paintings started off as commissions; think Michelangelo's Sistine Chappell ceiling or da Vinci's The Last Supper.

Commissioning an artist is the best way to offer patronage and support to an artist that moves and inspires you. And commissions come from all quarters; from the great and the good, to the scandalous and debauched; more people commission original paintings than you might think. 

   
 

meet the artists

     

meet the artists

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Our magnificent seven. If there's a better group of artists, I've not met them. The best of the best, and the perfect group to bring your dream painting to life. 

 

PLEASE NOTE

Each artist has a highly limited number of commission slots available each year, and they fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment, please get in touch as soon as possible.

 

   

harry brioche

harry brioche

Nobody captures a landscape quite like Harry Brioche. Have Harry work his magic on a special view that's close to your heart, and hang it somewhere you’ll love forever.

   

pippa chapman

Pippa has been working almost exclusively to commission for the last few of years, and the results have been sensational. It's the most direct route to the front of the queue, and to owning the Pippa Chapman of your dreams.

    

frank getty

Frank's kinetic use of heavily textured impasto is the first choice for the movement and bustle of a modern city scene. Wherever your heart is - whether it's Tokyo, London, New York or somewhere else - there isn't a better artist to do it justice than Frank.

    

jon gubbay

One of our all-time best selling artists, and you can see why. Jon's moody, swirling architectural abstractions bring a sense of scale and wonder to any room, seemingly moving and changing each time you look at them. A real statement piece, and, if it features your favourite landmark? Perfection.
   

    

andrew grant kurtis

From his haunting moonlight sparkles, to his evening embers and striking dawns; Andrew's paintbrush may as well be dipped in magic. The question isn't whether to commission your own, personalised Andrew; it's which view do you pick?
   

    

ed robinson

Our mixed media maestro. Options include supplying your own mixed media - tickets from a first date, birth certificates, favourite novels, restaurant menus, meaningful quotes - and having Ed incorporate them into something utterly personal and truly unique.
  

    

allan stephens

Have Allan paint your favourite view with the same joy as being there. The artist behind our most successful ever exhibition, embracing life to its fullest. Pure, optimistic joy, writ large on canvas.
    

how it works

    

how it works 

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pricing

There’s no premium for commissioned work; you don’t pay any extra. If a 12” x 12” Harry Brioche is £900 off-the-peg, a commissioned 12” x 12” is exactly the same.

    

For further information, please request a 2022 price list from your artist of choice.

 

50% deposit 

We operate a simple, manageable instalment structure.  

  • 50% deposit before your artist starts painting
  • 50% balance on completion of, and satisfaction with, your painting 

Please note that deposits are non refundable, reflecting the time and materials spent on your project, and that ownership of the commissioned artwork remains with the artist until the balance payment has been received in full. 

 

lead time 

This changes from artist to artist, depending on their style of painting and how busy their schedule is. A little Andrew Grant Kurtis might take six weeks; a Harry Brioche a couple of months; a large Pippa Chapman anything from 12 months to 2 years. (Or six months of you want something a lot smaller). Again - get in touch. A quote doesn't commit you to anything, and we can tailor a specific response to your project's needs.

 

get in touch 

The most important thing you can do is get in touch. We’re happy to have a chin-wag about whatever you have in mind, and give you the fullest picture regarding your commission's requirements. 

 

 

case studies

    

case studies

eryn & steve

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Eryn and Steve's starting point was incredibly simple: they'd missed out on a Pippa Chapman previously, and would Pippa create something similar for them?

The original painting Eryn and Steve missed out on. 

Pippa was more than happy to help, and set about producing a number of ideas for Eryn and Steve. 

A handful of the sketches produced by Pippa. 

Eryn and Steve identified a number of elements they really liked. From their feedback, Pippa created this final sketch; a roadmap for Eryn and Steve's painting, and everything they'd ever hoped for. 

Nailed it. 

To close out this planning phase (and the key mantra very much being 'measure twice, drill once') Pippa transferred her sketch onto canvas for final approval, rebalancing it to suit the canvas Eryn and Steve had selected.

Eryn and Steve's sketch: rebalanced and committed to canvas. 

10/10. At this point Eryn & Steve paid their deposit (50% of the agreed price, with the balance due on completion and satisfaction) and gave Pippa the go head to start painting.

Pippa's first job was to ink in her outline, and set the composition in stone.

The very first brushstrokes, setting the foundation for everything that follows. 

Pippa's style of painting is the Old Master Technique - building up multiple layers of paint in translucent glazes - a painstaking and time consuming process which leaves no room for error.

The first layers are a monochrome version of the finished piece. Working in raw umber, Pippa delineates areas of dark and light, laying the foundations for illumination.

The paint you don't see, before it's hidden beneath the paint you do. 

Once the composition and lighting are set, Pippa starts ‘working up’. 

This is fixing the colouring and contours of the various areas in a single layer.

This layer can’t be painted all at once as the wet edges of different colours can bleed into each other, so Pippa works section by section in separate blocks, creating mini, individual paintings.

Pippa Chapman: the art world's colour-blocking MVP. 

Pippa has to take great care to maintain unity between each section so as not to lose the harmony of the overall piece. 

This is not without it's challenges: some colours dry more slowly than others, depending on the composition of the paint. The monochrome underpainting acts as a guide, but with some paints taking up to two months to dry, Pippa has to keep a record of each step and work incredibly carefully.

Doing the hard yards: time + repetition = talent. 

Meanwhile, we're keeping Eryn & Steve up to date via a dedicated WhatsApp group.

WhatsApp has been fantastic for this sort of thing, connecting our customers to the artistic process in almost real time. 

Come with me, and you'll be, in a world of painting-demonstration.

In the meantime, Pippa has moved on to glazing, which comprises the majority of her time at the easel.

Building up layer after layer of paint in incredibly thin, translucent glazes, Pippa begins to mix her colours optically.

This is a time consuming, technically challenging process. Historically used to create unavailable colours, optical mixing creates a depth and luminosity unachievable with any other technique. 

For your consideration: the final, finished piece. 

Several months of painting and drying later, and the finished painting arrives with our framer. 

Taking into account discussions with Eryn and Steve about the sort of frame they'd like, we presented them with a number of options, any of which would work fantastically.

Choose wisely: great options lead to great choices. 

The below jumped out, and following some stretching, varnishing (done at our framers to avoid blistering in transport) and - of course - framing, we had our final, finished, framed, original Pippa Chapman Lemons.  

Pictured: hard work, and multi-disciplinary collaboration.  

Eryn and Steve were thrilled with the results, and paid the remaining 50% balance; their painting officially become theirs. 

One delivery later, and Eryn and Steve got to see their painting in the flesh for the first time, after months of watching it come from conception to final execution.

In situ: Eryn and Steve asked, and Pippa delivered - in spades.

Chuffed to bits with their painting, they spent a happy couple of days trying it in various different spots, before putting it on a landing where they'd see it every day. 

Eryn and Steve backed Pippa to do something completely wonderful, and Pippa returned that confidence in spades. Job done.  

kumi and sian

     

kumi & siân 

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Kumi and Siân are a great example of how commissioning an artwork can solve multiple problems.

Kumi & Siân:

• Used to live in Wapping
• Wanted a painting of Tower Bridge
• ...that would reflect their lives in Wapping and time in London
• Weren't sure of the mood or which view they'd like
• Had moved to Australia, making organising something incredibly tricky
 
And so on the back-burner their idea remained. 
 
Step one is always options, so I ran down to Tower Bridge to take some photographs. Different views, different times of day, different types of weather...
In the art trade, this carefully curated approach is known as "throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks." 
Stop! Or my camera will shoot. (Sorry.) 

From there, Kumi and Siân began to pick out what they really liked. They liked the view from "their" side of the river. They also liked being able to see HMS Belfast, in front of which they first met. 

Sketch time:

Having already selected Ed Robinson as their artist - citing the lived-in texture of his mixed media, and the elements of their lives in London it could incorporate as reasons why - Ed set to work. 

Where the magic happens: inside artist Ed Robinson's studio. 

Ed produced a fabulous sketch that would easily be the foundation for a stunning painting.

That said, this would be the first time Kumi and Siân had seen their idea in the flesh. Moving from concept to reality can be an intriguing transition, so we braced for impact. 

Ed Robinson effortlessly turning out sketches like a pro. 

Ed landed within a hair's breadth of the bullseye.

Kumi & Siân loved the look, they loved the feel, they loved the scope of it. Even on a sheet of A3 paper it felt open and grand.

Their feedback was that they'd like more Tower Bridge. For it to be more front and centre. To not be surrounded by quite so much distraction, but without it loosing context. Maybe a bit more HMS Belfast. But not so much it looks out of place.

From Ed's perspective; a rebalancing.  

And he absolutely nailed it: 

Iteration: Ed's revised sketch. 

Kumi & Siân were thrilled. This was their view. 

They now had a few final choices to make. 

 

the style 

Great artists can switch between voices, so we gave Kumi and Siân as many examples of Ed's work as we could, and asked them about what they liked, and what they didn't.

All feedback is good feedback - it really is a case of the-more-feedback-the-merrier. Even if Ed hits saturation point, he'll absorb the rest subconsciously and it'll inform his painting, so Kumi and Siân set to work doing that. 

Just some of Ed's work we've sold over the years, each with it's own voice.  

 

the size

Kumi and Siân instinctively wanted a larger piece. Again though, it's one thing to have an idea, and another to translate it into reality. Even armed with a tape-measure, you're still taking a leap of faith.

To make the options more tangible, I took the sketch they liked and photoshopped it onto their wall in two different sizes. 

The reality informed the decision, and they chose the larger size.

Like being at the opticians: number one, or number two?  

 

the mixed media 

This was the really fun part.

With Ed's mixed media, you have two choices: 

1. Ed chooses the media he thinks will fit best from his collection. One for art purists and fans of auteur theory. 
   
2. You've got items of sentimental value you want Ed to incorporate into your painting, so you supply your own mixed media. 
  

Kumi and Siân very much wanted to go with the option two, using mixed media that reflected their time in London. 

Unfortunately, they now live 10,000 miles away, so they kindly prepared a list of their old haunts, and I got busy  drinking my way through them  diligently visiting each one, collecting anything that wasn't nailed down. 

Cheers. 

Newspapers, train tickets, menus from pubs and restaurants, local circulars - they named it, and I worked my way through their list and grabbed whatever I could.

I even got to have some fun adding a few East End treats, as well as some choice items their teenage selves might have approved of. 

Again, we strenuously advise you provide your own mixed media. 

 

final approval 

With the style, size, content and mixed media decided, we needed final approval on the sketch once it had been transferred onto panel.

(Fun fact, mixed-media fans: Ed's work needs a surface that won't bounce around like trampoline. Canvas doesn't cut it, so Ed works on artists' board.)

The bare bones of it all. 

Kumi & Siân gave it the thumbs up, paid their 50% deposit, and Ed was officially...

 

off to the races

The first wash: Kumi and Siân's painting starting to get a feel for itself. 

Much like Pippa Chapman, Ed's paintings are all about layering paint, but in a much more kinetic, immediate fashion.

Masking off areas brings delineation and structure to individual sections, but this really is the expressive pushing around of paint and Ed being free with his brushes.  

The majority of painting is pushing paint around until your painting finds itself. The majority of being an artist is knowing how.

With the first layers of paint down, Ed can start to block out areas of print media. From bold graphics to subtle textures, it's about finding balance and guiding the viewers eye around the painting.

These first areas of paint and media are critical - they're the foundation for the entire painting. Everything below will be over painted, or covered with additional media, but they inform everything that's to follow. 

The first layers of mixed media are folded in. 

And of course, every step of the way, Kumi and Siân and see their painting coming together via WhatsApp. 

Normally inaccessible outside of an artist's studio, it's a process that has previously been shrouded in mystery. 

Seeing a painting come to life turns the mystery on it's head. Now, when Kumi and Siân look at their painting, they can see an entire story from start to finish.

Pay every attention to the man behind the curtain. 

Back to the studio.

Ed by now is well and truly sandwiching layers of media together. I've always said it's a shame you can't click a button and explode each layer into a 3D view.

There's a startling complexity to the structure of Ed's work, with more still to come. 

Ed not just making sense out of chaos, but making it sing. 

And now; to the final, finished piece:

Layer upon layer of paint and print media combining to create the most incredible fidelity. Beer mats masquerading as Norton Rose Fulbright; deportation enthusiast Priti Patel lurking beneath a bridge; premium riverside office space engineered from an old Pukka Pie box.

It's all there, and it's magical.

Tower Bridge: artist Ed Robinson exceeding impressive, and never anything short of superlative.   

 

next job! 

Kumi & Siân needed to pick a frame, and wanted something relatively simple. We suggested the following from Ed's framer. 

LIKE THIS, BUT WITH OUR PAINTING IN IT - THANKS. 

...and it hit the spot.

 

presenting:

Kumi and Siân's final, finished, framed original Ed Robinson. And it's utterly glorious. 

Best part of the job: seeing these before anyone else does.

By embracing the commission route, Kumi & Siân were able to solve multiple problems, and remove whatever obstacles previously stood in their way.

They now own a stunning Ed Robinson they not only helped design, but whose heart is woven from the daily newspapers, beer mats and takeaway menus that made London feel like home for such a long time. Magic. 

final thoughts

    

some final thoughts 

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Commissioning a bespoke artwork from an artist you love is one of the most meaningful, creative endeavours you can experience. It's an incredibly rewarding process, creating a unique work of art that's deeply personal, and truly yours.

If it's your first time, it can be daunting.

Fortunately, you're in safe hands. We're incredibly good at commissions, and know exactly how to guide your idea from it's first, most tentative steps, to the bold, exciting conclusion you imagined it might be.

Most of all though, commissions are fun. SO much fun. And exciting. The experience is almost worth the price of entry alone.

The fact you'll finally own the painting of your dreams at the end? A satisfying conclusion to one of the most creative, personal journeys you'll ever go on.

(And if you're not that creative? Just point at something and we'll paint it. We can do that too.) 

 

 
The best thing you can do is drop us a line to discuss your specific needs. A quote doesn't commit you to anything, and we're always happy to help.
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