48FW Commander Portrait

Painting Commissions

The vast majority of my work in recent years has been in the form of commissions from air force and other units, airlines and other companies, galleries and individuals across the world. This I find is often not just the most challenging and interesting way to work, but also involves the client in a combined effort of imagination and learning in order to arrive at the personal painting he has in mind.

Aviation paintings range from relatively straight-forward representations of particular aircraft against pleasant, generalized backgrounds to the highly exacting and precise depictions of complex historic scenarios. Overall my work covers the whole range, although it tends to be heavily weighted towards the latter. But whichever part of the spectrum they lie on the combination of high accuracy, technical and otherwise, with artistic imagination and excellence is always my top concern. The following outline of steps reflects this concern:

(1) Think carefully about what you want in your painting. Note down any special features you wish shown or emphasized. It may be a fairly generalized scene, in which case you may leave much of the decisions to the artist. If, on the other hand, it is a highly specific kind of situation, then it is important that every circumstance is taken into account: time of day, weather, altitude, terrain, heading, etc.and etc. Everything. Allow at least a couple of months for the painting to be done.

(2) Draw a sketch or diagram if you can- it tends to save a lot of words. It doesn't matter if it's not very artistic (although I'm often pleasantly surprised) – that's my job. Get together photographic and other supporting references and send them to me with the sketch. This can be done by e-mail as well as the post.

(3) I will quote you a price for the work. At the present time this is usually in the range £1500 to £2,000 (GB£1.0 now = approx US$1.60) for a 20 x 30 in. canvas (approx 25 x 35 in. framed), which is the most common size I use while other sizes are, of course, possible. Officers' Messes/Clubs often request larger sizes for their walls. A favourite is 24 x 36 ins( approx 30 x 42 ins framed).

(4) When I have all the information from you, I will prepare detailed drawings based on your ideas and send them to you for approval, asking you to note any corrections/adjustments you feel are desirable. Alternative compositions may be offered for your consideration in order to arrive at the best possible solution for the painting. Once the concept is clarified and finalized I will be ready to commence with the canvas. At this point please send along approx 25% of the agreed price as a down payment.

(5) I will keep you up to date on the progress of the work. At appropriate points I will email you digital snapshots of the painting and invite your thoughts and comments. Your active cooperation is very important. When the work is near completion I will send digital images of the painting for your final approval. The remaining payment is due at completion.

(6) Delivery or collection of the finished painting by special arrangement. This may involve further costs which may need to be considered, such as for air freight overseas. But we'll face that when we get there.

There is no quicker way to make back whatever money you pay the artist than to follow on from the commissioned work by investing in a series of fine art prints! If you belong to a squadron or wing there is also no better way to put yourselves "on the map" than by producing a good quality print from your painting ….which as well as selling at air shows, etc. is convenient for decoration, presentations, gifts and so forth. The number of repeat customers proves the point.


For more information on painting commissions and prints please contact me.