Step by step commission process

This is the typical process for a digital commission, but traditional commissions work the same way except adjustments are much more difficult after the colours are laid down.

Initial Consultation/ Quote process

  1. You send me a request for a commission quote via my contact page. This request can be as long or as short as you want. The more information you provide, the quicker I can work out a quote. As a rough guide, check out my Commissions page for general rates.

  2. I send you a quote, a rough timeframe for how long the work will take, and when I can likely start. Sometimes I have other commitments that will prevent me from starting straight away.

  3. Once the quote and any details have been agreed to, I send a contract which basically is a document with all the details that we have discussed. I put this in place so that you know what you will be getting, how much it’s going to cost, and when you are going to get it. This is attached to a PayPal invoice.

  4. You pay a deposit (or the full amount if under $100) if you are happy to commission me. By paying me, you are agreeing to all the terms and conditions in the contract.



Thumbnailing process for a complex design

Thumbnailing process for a complex design

The first step is thumbnailing. I generally do a couple of quick scribbles to work out the rough composition – normally around 3 to 6. Most of the time these don’t contain much detail, just enough to discuss what the client is really after. For some commissions, this step is skipped if the brief is really specific. Typically this takes a week or two. During this time I gather references, research related topics and work through how the commission will look when finished.

As an additional step I may do some costume designs/ armour designs or other details before working up the line work. If the character is from a game such as WoW or GW2 I'll gather references (screenshots of armour, official concept art).



Line art

Depending on the complexity of the commission and the medium, this may be a black and white sketch, or be a nearly completely rendered greyscale painting. Again this takes between 1 and 2 weeks. I can make minor adjustments like making the hair longer, but major changes such as changing the background may incur further costs. After the lineart is approved, no major changes to the contents of the painting may be made. 

Line art version

Line art version

Colour concepts

Generally I do one or two colour sketches to work out details such as costumes, skies, foliage, general mood of the painting. These are never detailed, and often a quick paint over of the line art. This is delivered, if required, at the same time as the lineart. Please note, only minor colour changes are allowed after this is approved.


The final colour painting takes between 2 and 6 weeks. I try to give some updates along the way, but quite often things are built up over a long period so there’s not much to show. Because I have a day job, commission work tends to be done over the weekend. A final preview image is sent (heavily watermarked), and final minor adjustments are made.

The final payment is received, and the painting is sent to it’s new home!

The final painting (watermark is only for web display - client gets the file without the watermark)

A file without a background may be requested for character sheets (this needs to be identified up front!)