The Commission Process with Kevin Chupik

If you’ve never been through the process of commissioning a piece of artwork before, it can be hard to know what to expect. The idea of helping create a new work of art from scratch can seem intimidating or downright mystifying. Fortunately, we have a number of artists who do amazing commission work, and we picked the brains of one of our favorites, painter Kevin Chupik, to break down his process for you.

Read on to learn how the spectacular diptych above came to be, from start to finish.

“[My] paintings are inspired by any number of combinations of references. Specific places, spaces, moods, figures, color palettes are all potential references to consider. Frequently, and in this case, it is another painting.”

This particular commission was sparked by elements of Kevin’s “Vacancy,” pictured at left, particularly the soft color palette and striking subject matter. However, as is frequently the impetus for commissions, the piece wasn’t quite right for the space our client had in mind.

…And instead of one painting, our client needed two.

“[I] learned that the paintings were to hang over 2 beds, which were spaced about 6 feet apart. There were some pre existing color considerations in the room that influenced the outcome. Knowing these bits of information, I could begin to illicit potential solutions before I even talked the client, [which was my next step.]

“Information is key to a successful commission. I want to hear the specific things that a client would like to see appear in a painting. Based on that initial conversation, I felt that it would be interesting to set up a dialogue between the 2 paintings. The idea of a lone rider, on two separate buttes seemed an appropriate solution, which was confirmed by the client as a good concept.”

Once the concept has been fine tuned and finalized with the client, the final step before creating the actual painting is putting together sketches or digital mockups for them to review. Some of our artists work with physical sketches, but many of them, like Kevin, prefer digital sketches, which are quick and easy to edit based on client input.

“I work exclusively from photos, so my selected resources must be specific as possible. The needs of a specific concept always drive the traits of a photo resource. Point of view, scale, context, color and lighting are but a few considerations that are weighed. As of late, I enjoy using Procreate to make a composition out of my source photos, which are hand manipulated for custom color and context outcomes. Upon several mock-up submissions, the client approves one, then the painting can commence.”

One of our favorite parts of this line of work is watching commissions come together. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect our clients more closely with our artists, and we love seeing how thrilled our clients are to receive a unique piece of artwork that expresses their vision and perfectly complements their space.

From the client perspective, it can also be a fun peek behind the scenes of the artistic process, which adds another layer of personal investment and a deeper knowledge of the artwork itself. If you’ve ever been on the fence about commissioning a piece of artwork, we hope we’ve been able to de-mystify the process for you. We love talking about our artists’ work, so if you’re ever curious about a custom piece of artwork for your home or business, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Click the link below to view more of Kevin’s work on Artsy, and scroll to the bottom for progress shots of another recent commission.