How to Commission an Original Work of Art

Buying an original work of art is an exciting personal experience and commissioning one is even more so: you are asking an artist whose work you feel a connection with to create something special just for you or a loved one.

Selecting a painting you want to own or offer to someone dear carries lots of emotion.

It’s a personal thing that shows care, attention and consideration.

That’s why commissioning a piece of artwork that takes you back to a particular place once visited, to visually represent something heartfelt or to mark a unique occasion such as a wedding, a significant birthday or an anniversary is so meaningful.

A painting is a one of a kind physical object, a memory made tangible you can look at time and time again, an artwork with an atmosphere that can transport you…

Atmospheric landscape of West of Ireland at dusk

The Silver Sea

This panoramic view of the ocean on the west coast of Ireland works as an original statement art work.

It’s about the fabulous view and unspoilt beauty of the coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Commission Process

Please Note:  A commission starts from €500 for a 15 x 12 inches original painting on canvas.

The commission process is straight forward.

This is how I work.


1. Contact me via the contact form. Tell me what you are looking for, what your time scale is and what is your budget. You can add photos if you have some.

This free service is to find out what you have in mind to help me understand what you want and decide if I can create a painting you’ll be delighted with. 

2. I formalise your request – by replying with a quote and a suggested completion date or I ask you a few more questions if I need a precision.

Once accepted, I email you an agreement stating what I’ll paint to what timescale and I email you the first of 3 Paypal requests for payment.

This first payment is non-refundable : it’s a third of the amount to order materials and confirm a commission slot in my working schedule to create your artwork.

3. You sign the agreement, return it to me and pay the first down payment which is non-refundable. 

4. I start your painting – receiving your signed agreement and down payment is my cue to start.

5. Half way through painting, I email you, for approval, photos showing progress along with a second Paypal request for payment.

6. Once your artwork is finished, I send you photos – for me as an artist, it’s very important that you are delighted with the finished piece.

7. You let me know you are happy with your painting.

8. I email you a request for the third and last Paypal payment.

9. Once payment is received, I send you the painting when it’s dry and varnished.

Congratulations, you now have a new, unique painting to cherish or offer to someone special.

John O'Grady Art - an atmospheric bogland paintingIreland

The Bank of Turf II

Deep, rich colours give this painting a quiet, warm glow.

Kind Words from Happy Clients

“My wife and I love going to Scotland and for her 60th, I thought it would be great to commission John to create a view of one of our favourite places.

I sent him a few photos, he showed me a couple of sketches. Et voilà. We are delighted with the result that takes pride of place above the chimney.”

Nick, England

“Jennifer and I are extremely pleased with your work and very proud to have a creation so beautiful grace the walls of our house.

We look forward to adding to our collection with more of your outstanding paintings. You have blown our minds.

Until next time,

Adieu and best wishes,”
Eoghain and Jennifer, Ireland


What Type of Commission Do I Take On

Before contacting me, if you do not know my work, please browse my blog Studio Notes or visit the page Art Works to get a feeling about what you’ll see.

A lot of my work is about capturing the essence and atmosphere of a place, typically in Ireland or Provence, through contrasts of light and dark.

Painting landscapes is what I do best.

View of Killiney Bay from Killiney Hill

Light on Water, Killiney Hill

Standing on Killiney Hill commands breathtaking views of Killiney Bay and Dalkey island.

This painting seeks to immortalize a bright day on Killiney Hill, when light played on water.

What Kind of Painting Are You Looking for

Here are a few questions to help you define what you are looking for:

  • What subject matter do you want in your painting?
  • Can you describe what you are looking for?
  • Can you point out two or three of my paintings you particularly like and what it is that appeals to you?
  • What size painting do you have in mind?
  • Where is the painting going to be displayed?
  • Do you prefer a landscape (horizontal), portrait (vertical) or square format?
  • Do you want to give me an open brief commission?
  • What is your budget (from a minimum of €500 for a 15 x 12 inches original painting on canvas)?
  • Do you require a frame (I don’t frame paintings)?
  • When do you need the painting completed by?


Moonlight over the Sugar Loaf - John O'Grady

Moonlight over the Sugar Loaf

Gorse in bloom looks even more vibrant than usual under a dark sky and reminds us the landscape in Ireland is varied and colourful.

It’s also dotted with iconic landmarks such as the Sugar Loaf mountains south of Dublin.

What Else to Consider

Please note: creating a painting takes time.

If you are thinking about commissioning a painting, please allow a minimum of 2 months before you can receive it.

Then it’s carefully packaged to travel from France to your destination safely.

Still interested?

Fill in the form to outline what you have in mind.

The initial conversation is without obligation.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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