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As an avid miniature painter, I've always wondered if my skills are good enough to turn my hobby into a source of income through commission painting. The idea of getting paid to paint someone else's items is both exciting and daunting.

In this article, I'll explore the world of commission painting and discuss the factors that determine if you're ready to take on paid projects. Join me as we navigate the challenges and rewards of turning our passion for painting into a profitable venture.

Key Takeaways

  • Commission painting can be a viable way to make money, either as a full-time job or as a side income for hobbyists.
  • Proper time and cost analysis is crucial to ensure profitability and attract future clients.
  • Different painting techniques are required for different miniatures, and it is important to follow specific steps for each type.
  • Basing and finishing touches, such as using AK pots and texture pots, adding mossy effects, dry brushing with pale sand, and rimming the bases, enhance the overall appearance of the miniatures and make them more appealing to clients.

Understanding Commission Painting

In my experience as a commission painter, I've come to understand the ins and outs of this paid service. Commission painting isn't just about creating beautiful artwork; it's also about finding clients and implementing effective marketing strategies.

To attract clients, it's essential to showcase your skills and unique style through a professional portfolio. Utilizing social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, can help reach a wider audience and engage potential clients. Additionally, collaborating with other artists or participating in online communities can expand your network and increase visibility.

Offering competitive pricing and delivering high-quality work within agreed-upon deadlines are key factors in building a strong reputation as a commission painter. By effectively marketing your services and consistently delivering exceptional results, you can position yourself as a top choice for clients seeking innovative and captivating artwork.

Selecting and Preparing Miniatures

As a commission painter, my first step in the process is selecting and preparing the miniatures for painting. This is a crucial step to ensure that the final result meets the client's expectations and my own high standards.

Here are four important things I consider when choosing and preparing miniatures for commission painting:

  1. Assessing the condition: Before starting any project, I carefully examine the miniatures to determine if they need any repairs or cleaning. If I receive old miniatures, I may need to strip and repaint them to remove any previous paint jobs.
  2. Choosing the right materials: Selecting the appropriate materials for commission painting is essential for achieving professional results. I make sure to use high-quality paints, brushes, and primers that will provide a smooth and even finish.
  3. Priming the miniatures: Properly priming the miniatures is crucial for ensuring that the paint adheres well and lasts longer. I use a primer that's compatible with the type of material the miniatures are made of, such as metal or plastic.
  4. Cleaning and prepping: Before I start painting, I clean the miniatures to remove any dust or debris. I also prepare the surfaces by sanding or filling any imperfections to create a smooth canvas for painting.

Calculating Time and Costs

When it comes to commission painting, one of the most important factors to consider is calculating the time and costs involved.

This includes determining whether to charge an hourly rate or a flat fee, as well as considering the profit margin.

Efficiency and time management are also crucial in order to maximize profitability and attract future clients.

Hourly Rate Vs. Flat Fee

How should I determine whether to charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for my commission painting services?

Here are the pros and cons of each option and some tips on how to determine the appropriate pricing for your commission painting services:

  1. Hourly Rate:
  • Pros: You're compensated for every hour worked, which can be beneficial if you're efficient and fast. It allows for flexibility in pricing based on the complexity of the project.
  • Cons: Clients may be hesitant to pay an hourly rate if they're unsure of how long the project will take. It can also put pressure on you to work quickly.
  1. Flat Fee:
  • Pros: Provides clarity for both you and the client on the cost of the project upfront. It allows you to set a fixed price based on your expertise and the estimated time required.
  • Cons: If the project ends up taking longer than expected, you may end up working for less than your desired hourly rate. It may also be challenging to accurately estimate the time required for a project.

To determine the appropriate pricing for your commission painting services, consider factors such as your skill level, the complexity of the project, your desired income, and the market rates. It's important to find a balance that's fair to both you and your clients while ensuring you're adequately compensated for your time and expertise.

Profit Margin Considerations

Calculating the time and costs involved is crucial for determining the profit margin in commission painting. When setting prices for commission work, it's important to consider both the time it will take to complete the project and the costs involved. By accurately calculating these factors, you can ensure that you're charging a fair price for your services while also making a profit.

Additionally, pricing strategies play a key role in attracting clients. Offering competitive rates, providing transparent pricing information, and showcasing your skills through marketing efforts can help you attract potential clients and stand out in a competitive market.

Efficiency and Time Management

I need to efficiently manage my time and costs to ensure profitability in commission painting. Effective time management and maximizing productivity are crucial in this endeavor. Here are four strategies to achieve this:

  1. Set clear goals and prioritize tasks:
  • Define what needs to be accomplished and determine the order of importance.
  • This helps in staying focused and minimizing time wasted on non-essential activities.
  1. Break down the project into manageable chunks:
  • Divide the painting process into smaller tasks with specific deadlines.
  • This allows for better time allocation and prevents feeling overwhelmed.
  1. Streamline workflows and utilize tools:
  • Identify areas where efficiency can be improved, such as using color palettes and templates for repetitive tasks.
  • Utilize technology tools like project management software to stay organized and track progress.
  1. Continuous improvement and learning:
  • Invest time in developing skills and techniques that can speed up the painting process without compromising quality.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and explore innovative approaches to increase productivity.

Mastering Painting Techniques

When it comes to commission painting, mastering painting techniques is essential. Brush control allows for precision and detail, while layering techniques create depth and dimension in the miniatures.

Additionally, washes can be used to add shading and enhance the overall appearance of the painted models. By honing these techniques, painters can elevate their skills and produce high-quality work that's in demand for commission projects.

Brush Control for Precision

To achieve precise brush control and master painting techniques, it's essential to develop a steady hand and practice proper brush handling. Here are four tips to help you achieve clean lines and improve your brush control skills:

  1. Hold the brush correctly: Grip the brush near the base of the handle with a relaxed but firm grip. This will give you better control and prevent your hand from shaking.
  2. Use the right brush size: Choose a brush size that suits the details you want to paint. A smaller brush will give you more control for fine lines and intricate details, while a larger brush is better for broader strokes.
  3. Practice controlled strokes: Start by practicing straight lines and curves on a scrap piece of paper. Focus on maintaining a consistent pressure and speed to achieve clean and smooth strokes.
  4. Experiment with different brush techniques: Try different techniques like dry brushing, glazing, and stippling to expand your repertoire and improve your brush control. These techniques will help you achieve different textures and effects in your paintings.

Layering for Depth

To achieve depth and enhance the overall quality of your commissioned paintings, layering techniques are essential. By layering multiple colors on top of each other, you can create a sense of depth and dimension in your artwork. This technique involves applying thin coats of paint and gradually building up the colors to achieve the desired effect.

One effective way to layer colors is by using a glazing technique. Glazes are transparent layers of paint that can be used to modify the colors underneath. By applying thin glazes of different colors, you can create subtle variations and blend them together to achieve a smooth transition.

Another technique is wet-on-wet blending, where you apply wet paint onto a wet surface. This allows the colors to mix and blend naturally, creating a seamless transition between different shades.

Incorporating layering techniques into your commissioned paintings will add depth and realism to your artwork, making it more captivating and appealing to potential clients. By mastering these techniques, you can take your painting skills to the next level and set yourself apart as an innovative and skilled artist.

Washes for Shading

I love using washes for shading in my commissioned paintings. They're a fantastic tool for adding depth and dimension to the miniatures, creating realistic shadows and highlights.

Here are some tips for choosing the right washes for shading and achieving smooth blends:

  1. Consider the color: Different washes have different tones, so choose one that complements the base color of the miniature. For example, a dark brown wash works well with warm tones, while a black wash is great for cooler tones.
  2. Thin it down: To achieve smooth blends, it's important to thin down the wash with a bit of water. This allows the wash to flow more easily and prevents it from pooling in unwanted areas.
  3. Layering technique: Apply multiple thin layers of wash, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. This helps build up the shading gradually, creating a smooth transition from dark to light.
  4. Clean up excess: If you accidentally apply too much wash or if it pools in unwanted areas, use a clean brush dampened with water to gently remove the excess.

Perfecting Basing and Finishing Touches

Using the provided AK pots and texture pots, I achieved a cohesive and visually appealing basing scheme for the miniatures. The AK pots and texture pots are perfect for basing mass troops, as they provide a nice texture effect and are easy to apply. They enhance the overall appearance of the miniatures and are cost-effective for commission painting projects.

To create a mossy effect on the bases, I applied green skin soil and thinned it down with thinners. This combination created a clean look with a varied visual effect.

To add texture and warmth, I dry brushed pale sand onto the bases. This technique drew out the details of the miniatures and complemented the overall look.

Balancing Hobby and Commission Work

When balancing hobby and commission work, it's important to prioritize efficiency and time management. Here are four key considerations to help achieve a healthy work-life balance and meet client expectations:

  1. Set clear boundaries: Establish specific work hours and stick to them. This will help you maintain a separation between your personal hobby time and your commission work, ensuring that you have time for both.
  2. Streamline your processes: Look for ways to optimize your painting techniques and workflows. This could involve using time-saving tools, developing efficient painting methods, and organizing your workspace for maximum productivity.
  3. Communicate effectively with clients: Clear communication is crucial for managing client expectations. Make sure to establish project timelines, discuss any limitations or preferences, and provide regular updates on progress. This will help you build trust and avoid misunderstandings.
  4. Take breaks and recharge: It's important to take regular breaks to avoid burnout. Schedule time for self-care, relaxation, and pursuing personal hobby projects. This will help you maintain creativity and enthusiasm in your commission work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find Clients for Commission Painting?

Finding potential clients for commission painting involves building a strong portfolio. Showcase your skills through high-quality photos, social media, and online marketplaces. Engage with the community, offer competitive rates, and provide excellent customer service to attract clients.

What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Commission Painting?

Common mistakes to avoid when commission painting include underpricing your work, not properly assessing the time and effort required, and failing to communicate effectively with clients. Take the time to determine fair pricing and maintain clear communication for a successful commission painting business.

How Do I Determine the Pricing for My Commission Painting Services?

Determining pricing for commission painting services involves considering factors like time, materials, and desired profit. Setting competitive rates that reflect your skill level and market demand is crucial for success in this business.

What Are Some Tips for Effectively Communicating With Clients During the Commission Process?

Effective client communication is crucial in managing expectations during the commission process. Regular updates, clear and prompt responses, and active listening are key to ensuring a smooth and successful collaboration with clients.

How Can I Market and Promote My Commission Painting Services to Attract More Clients?

To market and promote my commission painting services, I utilize social media advertising and attend networking events. These strategies allow me to reach a wider audience and showcase my skills, attracting potential clients who value innovation and quality work.


In conclusion, commission painting offers an exciting opportunity to turn your hobby into a source of income. By assessing your skill level, understanding the time and cost analysis, and honing your painting techniques, you can become a successful commission painter.

Remember to perfect your basing and finishing touches, and find a balance between your hobby and commission work. With dedication and professionalism, you can confidently embark on the journey of making money through your passion for painting.

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