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Commissions FAQ

A brief overview of everything related to the commission process


If you would like to commission an original piece of work by Sydney M. Pertl, please read the following FAQ before you send your request and any questions, comments and concerns to



Commissions currently in progress: 1




What is a commission?

A commissioned piece of artwork is a piece that is created to match your specifications. One of my specialties is in portraiture, so, for example, if you like the work you see here, you could order a commissioned portrait of yourself or a loved one as drawn by me in any of the styles featured here. Basically, you are paying for the creation of a new piece of artwork that will be yours, but you are also enabling an artist to be paid for their work in art, and therefore perpetuating their ability to keep their career self sustaining. When you commission an artwork, everyone reaps the many benefits of its creation.


How does this work? Do you have to physically sit for a commission or can I just send you a photograph?

If you live nearby (or are willing to pay my travel costs), I would be happy to meet you and draw while you(/they) pose. Reserving a studio may or may not be necessary. However, if this is not a possibility, I can also draw from a photograph of your choosing. In order to ensure the best result, please contact me about tips and guidelines for choosing a photo that will translate well in to a piece of art.


How much does a commission cost?

Depending on what sort of work you want, prices could vary from as low as $150 to (generally speaking) $900. Prices depend on the medium used, the size of the piece, the number of people desired, and the complexity of the scene. For example, in order to create an oil painting to your specifications, I will be using my oil paints, which, to replace, would total far more than the replacement cost of materials like charcoal or ink. Also, the time each piece takes is another consideration, though that amount will be estimated before the portrait begins.


How long does a commission take?

The time a commission takes to complete depends on many of the same factors as the determined price, though it also depends on the number of commissions on which I have accepted, as well as the somewhat depressing but incredibly important question of whether or not I am dedicating forty hours a week to a job at the time of your request, and additionally, how exhausted I am after the normal work day. At this point in my career, I need a job in order to pay for my apartment, food, and personal art ventures,, something which vastly increases the time a commission takes from start to finish. However, an estimate on the amount of time will be given upon receiving your proposal for a commission, and you will be notified if there are any applicable changes throughout the course of your artwork's creation.


How does payment work?

I require half of the total in order to secure your commission. The other half plus the cost of the shipping method of your choice (so long as it is insured and requires a signature upon delivery) is due upon completion. You will also receive updates (unless you'd prefer to be surprised), and all the shipping details so that you can track the artwork's progress to you!


What if I can't afford it, but I really, really, really want to buy a piece of your work?

As I myself am incredibly broke, I both appreciate and empathize with those who, despite their financial circumstance, still support the arts in any way possible. Please, if you love my work to that extent, please send me an email at and we can discuss either a payment plan or possibly a trade of goods or services.


Also, for the very near future I am planning on opening a web based shop here, on my website, of life drawings, loose sketches, and any art of mine I am comfortable selling from before the year 2012. They will be appreciably cheaper than custom works, take only the time of shipping for as the turn-around, and they can be bought from the comfort of the internet. Stay tuned for its launch in the next week or two.


Can I pay you more in order for you to complete my commission faster?

Yes. If you make an offer I can't refuse in addition to the normal price of the commission for time I would usually spend sleeping in order to be alert and prepared for my next work day, I would certainly forgo sleep in order to spend that time on your commission.


Do you consider making art for collaborations if you don't get any payment? You'll get publicity...

While I do love contributing to the works of others, unfortunately, at this present time, my financial situation is bleak enough that not even the lure of more publicity, possibly fame, and therefore fortune are difficult when considering the incomparable luxury of having a roof over my head. That being said, I welcome any proposals or suggestions, and I would love to see, hear, or experience what you're making, though I cannot guarantee that I have the monetary means to cover the time it takes to complete said artwork, and may have to decline, even if it goes against what I wish as an artist. Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Feel free to email me at


But if I pay you for a commission, am I allowed to feature it on my album cover, book cover, or poster?

No. While I am happy to create anything you can dream up in terms of the commission itself, I (as almost every artist) retains the rights to the image itself. When you commission a work of art, you will receive the original work of art, but the distribution and the publication of said image by anyone other than the artist is not allowed, especially if you plan to use it to make a profit. If you would like to own either full or partial rights to the image, please be sure to mention that you would like to discuss the rights to the image in your request, as well as the reason why you're requesting such rights (the cost of the rights may vary depending on your specific needs - if you're a non-profit and it's for a good cause, it would be a completely different case than the cover of a book one plans to market and sell). We can discuss either a flat fee and/or a percentage of profit in addition to the cost of the commission in order to allow you the rights to publication and distribution of the work in question that can fit your specific needs.


Can I commission a portrait of my pet?

This is entirely dependent on how cute, endearing, or interesting your pet is... Just kidding. Of course you can! However, unless I know you personally, I create pet portraits from a photo reference you supply, and not from a live sitting with your pet.


What if I like the pieces that you imagined better than the ones that were drawn from life? Can I commission something like that instead?

Definitely. Just send me an email at with what you have in mind and we'll discuss it from there! 


What if I don't have any specific subject in mind, but I just want to see more new works on a somewhat regular basis instead of in bizarre two-week bursts every few months on your facebook page?

The output of works is directly dependent of the amount of time and the amount of art supplies my preseent financial situation allows me at any given time. I often post for a few weeks while I find myself between jobs, and must thow myself into my art in order to stave off depression and anxiety caused by financial inability to maintain normalcy in my life. If you would like to pay for a solid month of new art making, my rent is $780 per month. If that is paid while I have not made a committment to a job, I can guarantee you a solid month of new works. In fact, I am not at all lacking in ideas or inspiration, and I find they often tear me apart as they claw their way out of me - I often can't draw fast enough, especially since my circumstances so drastically changed as of December 2013. However, as previously stated, rent must be paid, and day jobs are incredibly draining both in energy and in drive, and I find I have trouble maintaining a standard level of production for both if I attempt to force myself to create after a grueling work day. You can always donate either money or art supplies, and trust me, there's nowhere else your donation will go except to calm the storm within through my artwork. If you cannot donate, but would like to help, sharing my site online, talking about or showing my work to others, and continuing to follow what I do is a donation one cannot put a price on, nor can one determine how much of a huge effect it will make in an artist's future. I thank you with all my heart for appreciating my work, visiting my site, and supporting what I do. This is both my dream and my life, and I thank you for being a part of it.


Click here to make a donation in support of the creation of new works by Sydney M. Pertl


Any other concerns, questions, or comments? Please email them to me directly at Thank you!


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