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Commissioned Art Process

dragonfly paper cut collage process

If you’ve asked me to commission a piece of art, you can bet I am super excited!  (If you are interested in commissioning art for your nursery or any other room, please contact me to see if I can meet your deadline this year.)  Here is some information about the process of a commissioned artwork.

black and white dragonfly illustration with lily pads and lotus
Black and White Dragonfly Over Pond

Step One: Research (1 week)

-We’ll converse about your likes and dislikes, ideas for the piece.

-Please send any reference photo/s

-Please answer the following questions:

-Have you commissioned art before? If so, please let me know how many pieces and what you liked or didn’t like about the process.

-What size do you want the piece?

-What do you want to see in your art?

-What is the main emotion or attitude you would like to feel from the art?

-Is there anything you don’t like about my art or don’t want to see in your piece?

-Will you be the only one approving the art? If not, please let me know the email address or phone number of the others involved.

-Do you have any other questions or requests?

-If you have a preference on any of the following, please let me know:

-Color

-Animals

-Actions of the animals

-Scenery 

-Other

Contract and Payment:

-Once I know the scope of the project, we can arrange a contract

-We’ll agree on a timeline, deadline and budget.

-A portion (usually one third) of the total cost of the piece is due at the start for supplies, research and sketching. The vast majority of the creative work happens in the first few weeks of planning even though the art hasn’t even started yet. This is non-refundable.

Dragonfly Process - Rough Sketch
For example, the design chosen for the dragonfly collage was the one on the bottom right.

Step Two: Rough Sketches and Palette (3 days – 2 weeks)

-I’ll create 3-6 very rough sketches to figure out the placement of the design and objects (composition). This is very basic and doesn’t show color or detail.

-We’ll talk about any changes, if necessary.

-Please feel free to send me back to the drawing board if it’s not quite right yet, but remember this is just a very, very rough drawing.

-The color palette will be chosen

Step Three: Final Sketch

-We’ll pick the final sketch design

Step Four: The Finished Art

-After I start on the art, I will send you updates via text, or email frequently.

-Please give me input along the way.

My client, Alison, gave me a lot of autonomy for this piece.  I originally was going to make the background green, but then decided that the dark blue made the lily pads pop better.  Alison agreed.
Step Four Example: My client, Alison, gave me a lot of autonomy for this piece. I originally was going to make the background green, but then decided that the dark blue made the lily pads pop better. Alison agreed! A major change like this at the start of the process is easier than at the end.

-This is the time where I work out color and design on the paper.

Dragonfly Process - Research and Collage
You can see (very faintly on the sketchbook) that I did a more detailed study of the dragonfly when it was time to start paper cutting.
Wing details are added.
Wing details are added.
A lot of extra detail was added here - darker paper under the lily pads, for example.  At this point I was undecided about whether I should do the solid gold, the lilac, the sparkly gold, or a combination, under the wings.
A lot of extra detail was added here – darker paper under the lily pads, for example. At this point I was undecided about whether I should do the solid gold, the lilac, the sparkly gold, or a combination, under the wings.
Many more hours of work and it is almost done.  I decided to do a combination of lilac and sparkly gold under the wings, blue paper in parts of the body.  Details have been added to all the lily pads.  Note when using tissue paper (the blue/green in the water) it looks much different before it's glued.
Many more hours of work and it is almost done. I decided to do a combination of lilac and sparkly gold under the wings, blue paper in parts of the body. Details have been added to all the lily pads. Note: when using tissue paper (the blue/green in the water) it looks much different before it’s glued.

Step Five: Final Collage

-Before gluing, I’ll send a picture of the final artwork.

-This is the last call for any changes.

Step Six: Applying Acrylic Medium and Varnish

-All of the small pieces of the artwork are sealed with acrylic gloss medium and then coated with layers of acrylic medium and varnish. 

I dropped water on the tissue paper to create an effect.
I dropped water on the tissue paper to create an effect. The background is finished here.
Finished!
Done!

-Please note the final artwork may have some bumps and/or bubbles in the paper.

Step Seven: Caring for Your Art

-All new artworks are created on wood panel and coated with varnish so that they can be hung on the wall as is.  You may also frame the art as well.  Dust with a dry cloth, if necessary. 

*Copyright of the finished piece belongs to Laura Lynne of Laura Lynne Art.

Thank you so much for working with me.

Enjoy your art!

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About the Artist/Author: Laura Lynne is a mixed media hand cut paper artist and muralist living and working 40 miles west of Chicago in Aurora, IL. She uses her photographs, metallic paper, and painted papers to create boldly colored, whimsical artworks. To see more of Laura Lynne’s original art, pet portraits, illustrations and jewelry, please visit www.lauralynneart.com.

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