Working on commissions is great - you get to create something unique and you know someone is waiting to snap it up.

Here are a few insights that we've understood to be key when working on commissions with collectors!

Understand what they're after - really!

Have a good conversation beforehand so you (and the collector) know what you're going to create.

  • If it's based on an original work, that's great. Set the expectation that it won't be a replica.

  • If it involves faces, pets or portraits, set the expectation of how photo-realistic that would be.

  • Discuss colours, tones, shapes - anything you feel might help you understand what they're after

  • Also, remember to confirm the size of the artwork they are after. Many collectors purchase artworks to go into a particular space, so sizing is important.


  • Will it surprise them? When asking for commissioned pieces based on exisiting (sold or available) pieces, they have the expectation that the price will be same or similar. If you think price will be significantly higher, it's a good idea to explain why.

  • Make it all inclusive $$ amount - when quoting a price, it's best to present one single figure (inclusive of commission and shipping amounts). This reduces the variables they see and minimises the chances of a negotiation.

  • Have you considered a round of changes? Commissions sometimes involve a few round of changes from the collector. It's your responsibility to set the expectation on how many rounds they will be (before the commission starts).


Set clear expectations on how long it's going to take to paint and how long it'll take for drying before it's ready for shipping (always keep a week or so in margin - it always comes in handy).

Shipping costs

Make sure the shipping costs are included in the price you've quoted - so there are no surprises.
If you plan to deliver it personally - let them know well in advance (and ask if it's okay).

Set expectations on number of revisions

This is a key point and worth mentioning again - If you're liaising directly with the collector, make sure you liaise clearly before starting on how many revisions you're up for so there are no surprises.

Once you and the collector have reached an understanding of what's required, here are the steps involved in commissioning a piece (we've made it so you can simply copy and paste in your message to them so they're across the terms and conditions before you start painting/working on the commission) - 


  • A 30% deposit is required prior to starting the project.

  • The collector can put a deposit down by purchasing a gift voucher for 30% of the agreed price and addressing the gift voucher to you the artist.

  • Ask the collector to confirm with you once they have paid the deposit and let us know by sending an email to [email protected]

  • We'll check the deposit has been made and confirm the work can start.

  • When the artwork is at a mid-way point, update photos will be provided. Once the artist is confident that the artwork is close to completion, final photos will be shared for approval. You are then able to submit one round of revisions if needed.

  • Once approved, the artwork will be uploaded to Bluethumb and steps for completion of the purchase will be sent to the collector upon request. They will be able to complete the purchase by using the gift voucher and pay the remaining amount at checkout.

  • The artwork will then need to be shipped within 5 business days

  • Bluethumb's 7 day return policy still stands. If the collector decides to return the artwork you will still receive the non-refundable deposit. This deposit is paid 100% to the artist to cover their costs.

Hope this sounds fair.

You can tell a collector the easiest way to put down a deposit is to purchase a gift voucher for 30% of the amount is by following the prompts on this link:

They can use the gift voucher towards the final purchase.

Feel free to email the team via [email protected] if you have any questions.


If you'd like to share the article with more details, you can share this link - This is how Bluethumb goes with commissions.
If you have any questions/doubts, do let us know. We're always here to assist.

If you haven't used the Bluethumb Inbox, have a read at this article to understand it better - Things to keep in mind when communicating with collectors directly.

It's best to stick to this format as it allows us to provide protection in fringe cases where things go in an unexpected direction.

If you're in doubt and uncertain of anything, please reach out to the Bluethumb team and we can assist.

Your team at Bluethumb

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