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What is reasonable when asking for a commission?

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Varg the wanderer:
I want to approach a few artists about doing a commission, but I'm not sure what would be reasonable to pay. I understand this depends a lot on what I want, but do things like style, detail, background and size all play into it?

What I'm wanting done is a military portrait, similar to this: http://www.1stmaw.marines.mil/portals/65/Site%20Images/Leaders/CO/VMFA121_CO_LtCol_Rusnok.jpg?ver=2017-02-06-182159-447

Only using the characters from my story, in the uniforms of their military, with their flags, etc... The uniforms are closer to flightsuits than anything else and the background is exactly the same picture to picture. For simplicity's sake, however, let's assume I only want the first one. (so the work the artist charges for to make the background is lumped in with the first picture only).

Does anyone here know what would be reasonable to offer for this? In the future, what should I consider when giving a price to barter from?

Are there any questions I should anticipate and try to answer in my listing (aside from character descriptions)?

A lot of artists have a pre-set price list. Ask if you can see that first. It will generally include prices for full colour shaded, flat colour, black and white, and headshot only.

Varg the wanderer:
Thank you!

Old Rabbit:
Some artists set prices based on how many characters there are, and
if you want a background. You might get a discount if your wanting
a number of drawings.

As Loc said ask the artist who's style you like. It's not like a portrait of
a human as animal characters follow a style unless your aiming for a
feral look.

I have seen prices range from $5 for a sketch to over a $100 for a full
color painting. It depends on the artist, and what you want.

I would suggest you require a sketch prior to offering  to pay for a ful
commision. That way you know the artist understands what you want.
This is what I always did when asked to do a drawing for someone.

I would offer to help at no cost, but my vision is too poor to do you any

I've had artists illustrate my stories on three occasions.
Prices have ranged from $80 to $100 per illustration.

You can probably get it cheaper than that, because I generally need complex drawings with multiple characters,
and many artists charge by the character. Also, color needs more work than b/w, and costs extra fur-hours.


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