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Drawings and Paintings and Commissions, oh my!

Oil Painting: "Murphy" by Barbara Teusink


10x8 inches

Original Oil on Gessobord panel

Here’s my latest commission piece. Murphy is a sweet and sassy little Westie that is oh so lovingly spoiled by a dear friend. It was so nice to create this for her!

One of the best feelings is the validation of people seeking out my work. Currently, I am blessed that many people have inquired about me doing a commission for them. I currently have two big beautiful landscape commissions booked and several more dog portraits in the queue as well. A good problem to have indeed! So, I thought it might be good to explain a little more about how I create a commissioned piece.

When someone approaches me for a commission, we work together to ensure the finished painting will be what they have in mind. First, we have a dialog about the subject matter of the painting and what size they want. Based on that information, we discuss price and they provide a deposit of 50%. Sometimes, they know exactly what they want and give me a reference photo from which to work. Other times, they have an idea for what they want, but not a single image in mind so I work from several photos to come up with the best composition and layout. Occasionally, they are VERY general, e.g.”I’d like a river scene”. Always, I work up a sketch for the painting and get the client’s agreement before we proceed. Once we agree, I work out all the colors I plan to use and sometimes do a small scale color study to be sure it all works together. Then, the painting begins… I send text or email updates throughout the process to keep the client informed and included as well as to give them a chance to provide feedback for tweaks along the way. Once I think the piece is finished, I send one last update for final approval. (Hooray!) After the painting dries (which can take several weeks with oil paints), I put a light varnish coat on to seal and protect it and I add labeling on the back. Sometimes the client wants the piece framed so we’ll agree on a frame they like and I will add it before the piece is delivered. The remaining 50% balance is due when the completed piece is delivered. This process seems to work well for everyone!

Being at home so much these days provides time for creative pursuits - and that’s good! More painting time equals more skill building and completed works. Now, if I could just get myself to do a little better with my time management and not get so easily distracted… Can you relate?

If you ever find yourself interested in adding your name and painting to my commissions queue, just let me know! It might take a little time to get to it, but a painting that is personal to you is always worth the wait.


Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might enjoy this message or my art!

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