I was asked at the weekend to give a price for a commission for a client. I’m asked all the time to do that for clients so I am very used to working a price out relating to the complexity of the painting and how many hours it will take me. But this particular time there was a difference, because although it was one painting they wanted, it was to be on three canvas’s, and whilst two of the canvas’s were the same size, the main one in the middle was to be a different size. I felt that the best way of doing it was if possible to find three canvas’s that worked out as one unit width, by two units high for the smaller canvas’s, and three units high for the larger canvas. But of course, finding the canvas widths to match the two sizes was one part of the measurements. Another one was the depth of the canvas’s as well, because not all canvas’s are the same depth. Phew, tricky one!
I could see instantly that the idea the client wanted was very appealing to paint, and create as one image but painting it on three canvas’s meant the painting carried over to the side canvas’s from the main one, with a gap between them of say about one inch (maybe 3cm).
After searching through one of my artist materials catalogues I found three options for the client, that matched the sizes of the canvas to the depth, and width, and height (of the two times unit, and the three times unit of the width). Are you following this? Its complicated isn’t it!!
Not knowing the size of the wall the client has as the wall space for this painting meant that the best thing I could do would be to give them three options from the three choices I had, to see which suited them best.
The first option is a block canvas 7.5 cm deep (3 inches) the smaller 2 canvases are 20cm (8 inches) wide by 40 cm (16 inches) high, the large canvas is 20 cm (8 inches) by 60 cm (23.5 inches) high, and with a depth of 1 inch between the canvases that would make an overall width of 66cm (26inches) by 60cm (23.5 inches) high.
The second option is a 2cm (0.75 inches) depth canvas with the two smaller canvases 30 cm (12 inches) by 60 cm (24 inches) and the larger one 30 cm (12 inches) by 90cm (35.5 inches) with a gap of one inch between the canvases would make an overall width of 97cm (38inches) by 90cm (35.5 inches)high.
The third option is also 2 cm (0.75) deep canvas with the 2 smaller canvases 40cm (16 inches) by 80cm (31.5 inches) and the larger canvas 40cm (16 inches) by 120cm (47inches) and with a gap of one inch between them would make an overall width of 127cm (50 inches) by 120cm (47inches) high.
So the answer is which one of those best fits where they want the picture/s to hang?
And of course there is a difference on pricing for the canvas’s too.
But when the client has decided which size’s they want, then I can work out how long it will take me to do the painting for them.
But its certainly not a short answer to what should normally be a simple question!