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A coworker asked me to make a piece of art from my series to hang over his sofa. I’m a bit nervous. He wants canvas. He wants paint. He wants color.

First things first; Size: I can’t seem to get a dimension out of him. So I invited myself over to his house to see where the artwork will go and measure some walls. That done, I researched canvases and found pre-made canvas at Dick Blick that will suit our purposes and present a nice finished product. No fuss, no muss – the canvas is pre-stretched and already has 3 coats of gesso.

Contract: I thought about bringing along a commissioned art contract just to keep everything clean and on the up and up should something go awry. I found a suitable art contract template on-line, but decided against that in the end. A verbal contract between friends should seal the deal. Our agreement is that he pays for all the supplies up front. If he decides he hates the art at the end of the day, I keep the work and he has no rights it. He set a top dollar amount which I’ve agreed to.

Selection: When I took measurements, I also brought along my catalog and the actual drawings. He looked through both the pencil and charcoal drawings. He likes the layout of a piece in MB series 1 but wants the style of MB series 2. Since I haven’t reached #50 in series 2, I made that pencil drawing into a charcoal drawing.


Communication: Good communication is key to a successful commission. Luckily, since we work together, I can keep my friend updated every step of the way. Most of the charcoal version of this image is finished, so I can bring in a printout of this version to work for his approval. Any changes he wants to the charcoal version can be worked out in the color version, which will be part of phase 3 of my Manhattan Bridge series. Below is #46 and #47 of phase 2 of my Manhattan Bridge series.

MBS-46 MBS-47