Friday, May 13, 2011

Sheltie Dog Pastel Study, and the difference between commissioned and not

Milton the Sheltie, 10 x 7" pastel on paper by Tracie Thompson
This is from a photo I took, and is a quick sketch -- about 40 minutes.  Which is something of a fluke, and I have learned -- at my own considerable expense -- that if I were doing this on commission as opposed to on a lark (as this was), it would be more finished and take much longer.

There are the consults with the client; the emailed photo exchanges, the photo-editing, format decisions, a much more careful measuring and layout of the composition, and way more time spent on making certain I get that exact dog, a true likeness, as opposed to just a dog of that breed. And then the trip to the framer's to get a mat for it and make sure the pastel is properly mounted and ready to frame. I can easily end up spending 6 hours on a drawing like this one by the time it's said and done.

I can sell a 40-minute sketch for $45 plus the mat cost, but I simply can't do a commission in 40 minutes. My commitment to making certain my clients are not just happy, but thrilled, always makes me put in hours instead.

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