BAHLSEN HEADQUARTERS Stammhaus, Hanover Germany by Cathy Read ©2018

How to Commission a Painting

Art is subjective and finding just the right artwork for your home or office can be time consuming. You may have an idea about what you want, but you can’t find it. Maybe, you dislike the style of what you’ve seen. Sometimes the piece may exist, but the perspective or the season is wrong. So many of these important details can be wrong, but with commissioned art YOU can choose exactly the size, composition and colouring you want. Commission a Painting does include an element of serendipity, but that is often the most exciting part. Plus you get to be invovled in the process and see the art emerge. Art that would not exist without you.

Do you love the style and want a specific subject? Then why not commission a painting?

It’s a simple process that begins with a converation where you share your ideas and we figure out what you want and how it will fit in your space. I’ll walk you through the process. Start by asking yourself a few questions, such as.

What are you looking for?

To finish off a room with a statement piece?

Room setting featuring Impossible Roots a London Abstract painting by Cathy Read

A painting to reflect your taste and personality, and work with a theme or the location of your home or business.

Sheldonian Theatre Reflections painting by Cathy Read in room setting.

A perfect piece of art to represent your relationship?​

Such as where you met the love of your life? Were you a student in Oxford? Did you wander down Broad Street past the Sheldonian Theatre and have a coffee at one of the cafes there?

Heading Home Past Central Library painting by Cathy Read in Room Setting

Looking for a painting of a particular place?

Maybe you passed Central Library on your commute to work?

©2014 - Cathy Read - Next Stop Paris - Watercolour and Acrylic - 38x28 cm

Are you looking for a perfect gift?

Or maybe you have a friend who loves St Pancras Station and has a major birthday coming up? Like Lindsey, who commossioned this painting for a good friend.

You can always Commission a Painting

From a unique gift for a loved one, to commemorate a special occasion. to statement pieces that will inspire in a workspace.

House Commission -©2018 - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - 50x40 cm
House Commission -©2018 - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - 50x40 cm

I welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop ideas and to see those ideas evolve into a very personal work of art.
Whether it is a gift or a special piece for your home, I would be happy to discuss your needs and where possible work to an agreed budget and time frame, all of which must be agreed before a commission is commenced to ensure both parties expectations are met. I do not undertake House portraits but will create an abstracted feature of a specific detail. Likewise I prefer to work in a more abstracted style than regular street views.

When commissioning a painting, it is important to understand that the final work will be the artists interpretation and may vary from your initial expectations. The way my work evolves means even I never know exactly how the finished piece will turn out. It is always a delightful surprise.

Terms and Conditions

Commissioning a Painting.

If you can’t find exactly what you want but like my style, then I can create something to commission. A bespoke piece of art which you will have been instrumental in creating. Like the piece I did for Bahlsen for their new headquarters in Chalfont St Peter. They wanted something that reflected the company and the connections they were forging with their local community. Drawing from photos and a map of the area, inverted for dramatic effect, some key phrases and product names and many discussions, this is the result.

BAHLSEN UK & IRELAND RANDALL HOUSE, CHALFONT ST PETER UNITED KINGDOM by - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - 80 x 130cm ©2018
BAHLSEN UK & IRELAND RANDALL HOUSE, CHALFONT ST PETER UNITED KINGDOM by - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - 80 x 130cm ©2018
Painting of the Oxford Wine Cafe on the junction of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street in Oxford. Commission pianting created by Cathy Read Artist
Oxford Wine Cafe - ©2020 - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - image 30 x 40 cm 1


Commissioned work is more expensive than buying a ready painted piece of art, due to the extra time required in identifying exactly what you want and allows for discussions, photographing and alterations. The advantage is that you will be getting exactly what you want., as you will be involved in the creation process.

There is a set commission charge of £500 independent of the painting cost. So for small pieces, are more expensive proportionately than larger pieces.

As a gauge, the following prices are for paintings in standard sizes. The price includes framing in my usual white square profile frame with a double mount (Off-white over dark grey). Other framing options are possible but may incur an extra charge.

These prices are accurate as of 31 July 2021 and are guaranteed for 3 months from this date.

Painting Size*


Price plus commission fee £500


30 x 40 cm



40 x 50 cm



42 x 59 cm



56 x 76 cm



61 x 89 cm



(*Most popular sizes.) If you require a quote for a specific size not listed, please email for a quote.

The Process

The process begins with an initial discussion.The things you may like to consider are:

  • The dimensions you wish your artwork to be.
  • The colours you would like to emphasize, or details of significance
  • The subject of the composition.

Once the initial details have been decided upon, a brief agreed to ensure both parties are happy with what has been discussed and you are happy to proceed,

A non returnable 50% deposit will be required before the commencement of the painting process. This will confirm your understanding of the commissioning process and my commitment to completing your artwork in a timely manner.

Painting of Bell Gate at Stowe - ©2019 - Cathy Read -Watercolour and Acrylic - 17.8x17.8cm
Bell Gate at Stowe - ©2019 - Cathy Read - Watercolour and Acrylic - 17.8 x17.8 cm
Painting of Sir John Betjemin on the platform at St Pancras Station©2014 - Cathy Read - Next Stop Paris - Watercolour and Acrylic - 38x28 cm
©2014 - Cathy Read - Next Stop Paris! - Watercolour and Acrylic - 38 x 28 cm

Stages of Creation

Initially, I visit the location and take photos. These will be edited and I will send a small selection to you so you can choose the composition that best suits your needs.

It’s important at this stage to ensure the composition works for you. A painting can take time from conception to completion, it’s best not to hurry the process. I am happy to visit the site a second time if necessary to ensure the right image is achieved.

Once the composition image is selected, I start with a pencil drawing or image transfer. When this is complete I will again send you an image for approval before the masking and painting is started.

When the painting is at the stage I deem ready for removal of the masking, I will again send you an image in case there are any aspects you wish further emphasise.

After this stage the masking will be removed and a photo of the final image will be sent to you. At this stage major changes to the work are not really possible although minor alterations may be made. You are welcome to visit me at the studio to view the final work if preferred.

Taxi-Marathon 2-©2014-Cathy Read-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-45-x-60
Fletcher Commission


I, Cathy Read, retain the copyright on any work created by me to commission, unless we have a contract that transfers copyright ownership. This means I am able to reproduce prints of any work I create without the need to seek your permission.

Copyright exceptions:
If you need reproduction rights or the commission is to contain personal elements which could be identified and/or linked to you or we will need to agree an individual contract to include specific details of reproduction rights and copyright ownership.

Framing and final Payment

The final payment will be expected on completion of the work to your satisfaction. I will make every effort to ensure you are 100% happy with the painting. In the unlikely event that are unhappy at this stage, you are under no obligation to complete the purchase. However, I will be unable to return your deposit.

Once you approve the work, I will then arrange an invoice to be sent to you. As well as finalising framing requirements, if you wish me to frame the piece.


All paintings are created using the highest quality watercolour paints and acrylic ink on acid free watercolour paper. I will create a work of art that you will love.

You are welcome to come and collect the painting from my studio, alternatively I can arrange a courier to deliver the work. I usually use DHL for deliveries.

©2015 - Oxford University Press - Illustration of St Catherine's College for Oxford Almanack - image created by Cathy Read in Watercolour and Acrylic ink

Want to commission a painting and create art that's perfect for your home?

To find out more and arrange an informal discussion of your needs, please email or use the form below.

Don't like email?

Ring 07818240116 if you would prefer to discuss your specific requirements in person, and I’ll be happy to help. There’s no obligation.

1 thought on “How to Commission a Painting”

  1. Pingback: The Cheesegrater Commission - Day 8– 30 Painting Tour of London - Cathy Read Art

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