Historical Oil Painting of my Roommates and I?
July 24, 2008 7:19 AM   Subscribe

My roommates and I would like to get a oil painting (pretty big, 4 feet by 3 feet or so) done of us. We'd like to get our faces painted onto soldiers on horses going into battle (something like this, although I'm having trouble finding examples. Questions inside

Questions for the hive:
-Would this be doable under $1,000? What would be the best way to get this done? Through an art school? Craigslist ad? (Live in Chicago)
-What do we need to provide the artist? I was going to create a photoshopped concept.
-My roommates are persistent on oil paintings... but I figure the material costs for that are high... any way to "simulate" an oil painting that looks like something from the 1700s?
-Whats normal for a up-front advance?
-Anything else we should think about? We've already discussed what happens after we move out.
posted by sandmanwv to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Use a Chinese oil painting workshop like Temple of Art. I'd imagine they'd be very amenable to working with a combination of photographs of your friends and some art historical source material, providing you can get a decent-sized digital image for them to work from. You tend to pay by the size of canvas, so $1000 should easily be enough. The result will be competent but slightly cheesy, but I suspect that's what you're going for.
posted by jonathanbell at 7:32 AM on July 24, 2008

I just googled cavalry paintings and got a good lot of results. As for your other questions -
1) Yes, use an Chinese Oil Painting Workshop like jonathanbell suggested, or contact a local art school (high school would be even better) and ask if you can put up an ad.
2) Large-ish detailed print off of a photoshop would be okay.
3) If you can get a photoshop to look decent enough, I would suggest printing it yourself at Kinkos, or a poster maker (WinkFlash, CanvasOnDemand - my favorite, or Simply Canvas) and then just smear some Modge Podge on it to make it look like brush strokes. I think CanvasOnDemand even offers that as an option with printing.
4) If you commission an artist, expect to pay 25% - 50% upfront. Demand a time table, especially if they're pushy about the 50%. Also ask if you can get updates of progress.
5) What else? Prepare for awesomeness.
posted by banannafish at 7:48 AM on July 24, 2008

My artist friend once told me a couple years ago that the going rate for custom paintings was $3/square inch. I don't know how accurate that is (it's not like I went out to find a better quote -- we were just chatting), but I have no reason to believe she'd be lying. Using that figure, 4'x3' is 48"x36", or 1728 sqft. Multiply by $3/sqft, and you get $5184. Ouch. At that rate, I'd definitely try to find a poor starving art student...
posted by cgg at 8:22 AM on July 24, 2008

sqft==square inch. D'oh!
posted by cgg at 8:24 AM on July 24, 2008

Just to add to cgg's data point. I paid $75, including postage, for a painting from China (purely out of curiosity). The result was interesting, if not mind-blowing, but worked out to around $0.15/square inch.
posted by jonathanbell at 9:02 AM on July 24, 2008

There is a guy in San Diego, you can find him at the flea market on Sat&Sun who can do this work for you for less than 600$
The guy is unreal and I am pretty sure he's Chinese - the name of the swap meet is called Kobe and the place is off of Sports Arena Blvd...
posted by TeachTheDead at 9:31 AM on July 24, 2008

"Scotland Forever!" by Lady Butler
posted by Dr.Pill at 11:26 AM on July 24, 2008

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