Commission FAQs

How To Commission My Art:

It's easy  to commission an original piece of art through me! Commissioned work can include both fine art oil paintings and/or finished, detailed drawings in graphite/charcoal.

We first determine what you want: a pet, person, etc.; simple with a plain background, or more complex. And also the size. If you're thinking of a particular price range, please let me know that too.

Just click on the Contact Me button above. Let me know the size you have in mind (my smallest is 11x14), the subject matter, and amount of detail if you have ideas – and also how you heard about me and/or who may have referred you. I'll get back to you soon and we'll discuss via email or phone to define what you want and the cost.

Art can also be commissioned long-distance and shipped.

Commissioned art is perfect ...
for gifts and to memorialize people, pets, special occasions!

A Bit About Me

I am a seasoned artist in oils, acrylics and most other media. My training includes  a B.A. degree in art and education with further post-grad studies.  I've also studied art history around the world such as in Mexico, Peru, Europe/Iceland, Kuwait, Canada. In addition, I have 7+ years of classroom teaching in art, and over 25 years of professional experience.

My popular subjects:

Fine Art Portraits
Pet portraits
Home and cabin "portraits"
Florals for your memories, including memorials, wedding, anniversary, special occasions
Favorite scenes and vacation places

What Medium Do You Work In?

I currently work in oils on quality wrapped canvas with a finished back. The sides of the canvas will also be painted, so it is ready to hang without a frame.

Drawings are done in graphite  and charcoal.
Any project can be done in either oils or charcoal. Many clients request both.

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use standard size canvases (i.e., 12x16, 16x20, 18x24, 20x24, 22x28, 24x30, 24x36, etc.).

What Are the Processes/Steps?

Getting Started:

• A project begins with detailed communication between the Artist (Mary S. Schulte) and Client -- via  personal consultation, or email, text, and phone.

• You can complete the Contact Me Form to inquire.

• Client gives description of what is wanted, and Artist provides an estimated rate.

• Client provides 2 to 4 clear photos of the subject matter. But I have worked from all types of photos. The painting of a client's mother at 2 years old on the farm, was derived from a very small 3x4 black and white photo. The client wanted the painting in color highlighting certain features, so we had a very detailed discussion.

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...Another example - a client provided a cute photo of the dog in the bathtub, but wanted her with paws on a blue ottoman, and plain background, instead.

• After review of the photos and description given by Client, Artist Mary S. Schulte will give a final Proposal with detailed price quote -- via email, text, or mail to Client.

• This Proposal must be Approved by Client in writing during the consultation.

The Painting:

• After Approval of the Proposal with details and quote, a non-refundable down payment is made.

•  Artist then creates a basic sketch of the project, which is  shown  to Client for review. This will show the composition, proportion and basic look. Client can give feedback at this time.

(See more finished portrait and pet samples on this Mary Schulte Art site -  under the Commissions link.

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• When the Art has been sketched onto the canvas and preliminary background coat painted in, Artist will forward a photo to the Client. The sketch on the canvas is very basic and preliminary, and the final painting of course will look very finished. Some changes could be made at this stage.

• The actual oil painting will then begin. A painting usually involves 3 layers, sometimes 4. Each layer must dry in between, taking 3 to 4 days for each layer. Artist will be in touch with Client at each stage of the process.

• Artist will forward the Client a beginning photo, usually of the face, which is typically done first. This will not be the finished face, as there will be 2 to 3 more layers. But it will give a basic idea. Some minor changes could be made at this time.

• Another interim photo(s) may also be provided to the Client, depending on the scope of the project. A minimum of photos is sent until the Art is far along, because it is often difficult for a Client to visualize and understand what else will be done. And he/she may misinterpret the outcome of the painting.

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• At the end, Artist will provide a photo of the finished Art to the Client. It may be possible for minor changes to be done at this time.

• When all finished, Artist provides the final photo of the finished Art for Client to review. Client gives Approval in writing.

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• The Art must have a final drying time of 1 to 2  weeks. Then a "breathable" quick-drying coat of varnish is applied. This will help protect the painting's surface.

• When the varnish is dry and ready , it's time for the final remittance, if there is a balance due. Then the final art is shipped or picked up.

What Is the Cost of Commissioned Art?

This varies by project, be it a pet portrait, people portrait, floral, landscape, etc. Cost can depend on complexity of the project. Example: from the shoulders up with a plain background; vs. more body/garments/jewelry etc., and/or a detailed background like a landscape. Rate information is provided to the Client before and during project discussion. After consultation with the Artist, the price is finalized.

How Is Payment Made?

A non-refundable down payment is collected prior to starting. The balance is remitted after final Approval of the Art before or at the time of pick-up or shipping. I do take credit card payments (via PayPal, for which you do not need an actual account). I will also do a 2 payment option.


The Art may also be displayed as a sample online or on this Mary Schulte Art web site, as well as in social media, brochures, or for other marketing purposes -  unless specifically indicated otherwise, in writing, by the Client.

Custom art by Mary S. Schulte can also be commissioned through Grande Gallery at the Galleria, Edina MN. I specialize in fine art portraits, pets, home/cabin "portraits", florals, favorite scenes and vacation spots, and more. You can call Grande Gallery at 612-900-5639. And if you're in the area, do visit the gallery and see my display!

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