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Commissioned artwork makes a unique gift

Watercolor Painting Commissions

Hello! Thank you for considering me for your custom painting. I am currently offering a limited number of commissions, and am only working with requests that fit my style and artistic voice. I would be more than happy however to discuss any ideas you might have, and open to exploring possibilities – so please do reach out if you’re interested in working with me. But! Before you do, I ask that you kindly review all of the information below prior to contacting me for an estimate.

Below is a general pricing guide but please see the ‘How it Works’ section below for more details.


Starting at $250 for a single subject on 11”x14” high-quality archival watercolour paper


Starting at $325 for a single subject on 11”x14” high-quality archival watercolour paper


Starting at $200 for a simple image on 11”x14” high-quality archival watercolour paper


Commission pricing is based on an estimate of the number of hours needed to complete the requested painting, as well as the expected cost of materials to achieve the desired results. While size does play a role, the complexity of the image and number of details is mainly what determines the price. So, for example, if you want a painting of a cat’s face only, that will be less expensive than if you wanted a painting of the entire cat with other contextualizing details (e.g., a collar, toys, etc.). Another good example would be if you wanted a painting of a woman’s face – that would be less expensive than a painting of her fully clad in a lace wedding dress, holding flowers, etc. The more details there are, the more hours are required to complete the painting, and therefore the higher the estimate will be.


Because of the nature of watercolour, and because I am not a micro-painter, all of my commission work needs to be on minimum of an 11”x14” paper or larger. I can also create larger pieces, but the maximum size paper I can get is 22”x30”. These are some standard sizes you can request for your painting:


You may however also request non-standard sizes, as I am able to adjust the paper to your desired size. If you are trying to get a painting to work in a very specific frame or mat, please let me know in advance so I can properly prepare the paper size and “bleed” area (a white margin around the painting).

Finishing Options

Depending on what you would like to do with your painting (i.e., have it framed behind glass, or have it mounted to a gallery board without glass, etc.), you may want to consider a varnish coating. I offer two types of varnish (or “finishing” coat) for a small fee. Here are some considerations for each option:

Wax - starting at $25
• Helps protect the paper and paint from light damage; colours will fade less over time
• More environmentally friendly; doesn’t emit any aerosols during application
• Seals surface of paper to be almost completely waterproof
• Dries to a smooth, matte to soft-sheen finish

Acrylic UV Spray - starting at $35
• Fully archival; colours won’t fade over time
• Not environmentally friendly; aerosols are emitted during application
• Seals surface of paper to be quite water-resistant
• Dries to a semi-gloss finish, and appears textured (as it keeps to the paper’s form)

• Enhances colour saturation (looks like the vibrancy of wet paint)

Framing Options

While I do not offer framing per se, I do have two options for my clients! You can either choose to have your painting mounted to a wood gallery panel (I do this process – please see the ‘Mounting’ section below), or you can choose to have your painting professionally framed by an Ottawa-based artisanal framer who I work with closely: Gesso and Bole

I would make arrangements to have the painting brought to him, and even picked up if you require this extra service (for example if you then needed it shipped somewhere). The cost for this will depend on your frame selection (you will need to work this out with the framer), and with the type of service you need from me (i.e., pick-up, delivery, etc.). I work with this framer because he delivers a very high-quality product, that is hand-crafted and professionally made. This is the framer I use for my own works.

Mounting Options

Maybe you’re looking for a creative way to display your painting that isn’t behind glass, or not in a frame. If that’s the case, then I can help you out! I offer wood mounting of my watercolour pieces as an additional service. This process involves adhering the painting (it is therefore not reversible) to a treated wooden board called a ‘cradled gallery panel’; it is basically a wooden canvas.

What’s nice about this option is that the watercolour painting can exist on a firm substrate which makes it much less delicate, but is also very easy to hang. Watercolour paintings that are wood mounted also need to be varnished (see the ‘varnish’ section above for more info).

Starting at $150


Do you want to turn your painting into prints? Or maybe you want to have a time-lapse video capturing the ‘making of’ of your painting. These are both possible through digitization services. Here are some considerations for each:


High resolution images of your painting can be done through my colleague, Sam Hopkins, owner and operator of Shoebox Studios in Ottawa. The images are provided to you as digital files, and can be printed on archival quality paper at your request in a wide variety of sizes. The fees for this depend on your needs, but approximately start at $70+ for digitization, plus the cost of printing. Alternatively, I can capture the image for you and convert it to a digital file. You will however still need to send it for printing (to your printer of choice). Depending on the types of copyrights or licensing you need the cost for this will vary.

I offer the option to video record the painting process of your painting. The footage is formatted for your needs, and can be shot as either landscape or vertical orientation. This service is currently complimentary, and is a courtesy service depending on mutually beneficial conditions. I reserve the right to reuse the footage for promotional purposes.

Securing a Commission
Next Steps

Now that you've read through the above information, what's next?

First, send me an email with 5-7 high-resolution images of the subject you want painted, along with your commission request, letting me know what you would like done (please be specific, e.g. size, finish, etc.). Together we will select an image that will best translate to a watercolour painting.

Not sure what types of photos to send? Or you have only one photo of the subject you want painted? No problem! Email me with what you have, and we can take it from there.

Once we have selected a photo for the reference image, I will prepare an invoice. You will need to pay a 50% deposit in order to officially schedule the commission.

We will need to agree on a reasonable time-frame for the completion of the work, but it is typically about 2-3 weeks (provided that there is not already another commission scheduled ahead of you).

You will receive progress photos before the painting is completed so you can weigh-in and provide any necessary feedback.

Shipping Info

I do offer shipping at an additional cost. All shipping is done through UPS and includes insurance and tracking. Please let me know in advance if you will require shipping so we can: a) properly gauge the timelines to ensure your painting arrives on time, and b ) obtain the shipping estimate in advance of proceeding with the commission.

If you have any additional questions, please get in touch!

i n f o @ a n d r e a e l e n a . c o m

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Leaf Demo

By Canadian watercolour artist Andrea Elena