Special Request Commission

Special Request Commission is a painting done by me at your request, using my own experiences, memories and reference material of the subject. An example of this may be that you want a bear painting, but in colours and size that are more suitable to your home.  This Special Request process allows you to be involved in the planning stage of the painting that you will be purchasing.

I do a lot of Special Request paintings each year, and I always enjoy the process.  In fact, one of the best paintings I have ever done in my entire career was created as a result of this process.  In fact, it was not even a specific commission it was just a request for a horse painting to match a travertine bathroom and positioned to look out the door.

The following is a guideline to help you understand how simple this can be. 

  1.  Start the Process with Contact and Deposit
  2. Clarify the details of your painting wishes
  3. The painting is created and is shipped to you on completion

Its basically that easy! 

If you would like to read more about the process… I am happy to provide this additional info:  


STEP ONE: Starting the Process

Contact:  If you have you have already purchased one of my paintings or have seen my artwork at a Gallery or Show,  send me an email and let me know which Gallery you saw my artwork at and I will introduce you to the Gallerists and request that the Gallery contact you.  The Galleries who represent me are very experienced and will make the process as seamless as possible, and they will make sure that your painting arrives safely and in perfect condition.

I am occasionally approached by individuals who want to bypass one of my Galleries, but this is not something I do.  To understand why, click here:

The most important part of all of this to me as an Artist,  is that the Art specialists at the Gallery handle all the details, and I get to focus on doing what I love … Painting! 

Commissions will require a Deposit:  Once you have decided to move forward,  providing your  deposit will start the process.  Commissions are painted in order of deposit, paintings are not started until a deposit is in place.



STEP TWO: Clarify the details of your painting

Questions to answer before I begin painting:

This is your opportunity to share your desires in the early stages of planning your painting.

Subject:   Think about how you would like your horse painted… do you want a portrait, looking into the distance, or into your eyes?   This is your chance to have the painting that you want in your home.

Composition:  Sometimes this depends on the wall it will be displayed on.  Do you want the subject looking into the room, or into another area? 

The best way to decide is by looking through the images on my website and to pick one or two favourites as a starting point for colour and composition.

Colours: Are there colours that you love most?  Colours you want to avoid?  Consider the background colours of the room when you work with me on determining an overall pallet.  As you already know my work is usually very bright, but I can and will tone down my work if it will best suit your home.

Size:  Take some large sheets of paper and use removable tape to place the paper onto your wall, adding or removing paper strips until it is the size you wish for.  Measure the size you want:  Height and Width.  Notice anything nearby that will affect the position (light switches, furniture, lamps, overhead lighting etc).  Remember that original art should not be hung in a place that receives direct sunlight. If possible, take a photo of the wall with the paper on it and another of the wall and surrounding area.

Minimum size: in this category of Special Request painting the minimum size is 288 square inches   Examples of paintings this size are  24 x 24 where the total square inches equals 288 square inches or more.  

Maximum size: My Studio has 11 foot ceilings and I can easily paint up to 20′ Across as long as we can source the canvas in that size.  Larger size paintings will obviously have to shipped in a large tube and restretched at your location.

Framing and Shipping: Framing is best considered before the artwork is begun in case the frame cuts into the composition.  As is always the case, framing and shipping are additional costs. 

Here is a checklist that will help you prepare for our first discussion about the painting

  • Subject of painting
  • Colour (colours to include or avoid)
  • Size of canvas (height X width X depth)
  • Frame (best considered at this stage)
  • Orientation of canvas (vertical, horizontal)
  • Date Needed (is there a special event this is wanted for)
  • Paintings that you like (which of my paintings has your attention?)
  • Do you have a wall in mind? (lighting etc to be considered)
  • Alternately, you can simply choose just the size and orientation of the canvas and then let me create!  



STEP THREE: I create your Painting

The Painting Begins: 

I will be using my own memories, experiences and reference materials of animals whom I have actually met to create your painting. All Special Request paintings are inspired by animals whom I have met and spent time with or spent time (sometimes years) watching and getting to know from a distance (ie: bears, deer, wolves, wild horses).

NOTE:  Time permitting, on most commissions, I will create a couple of paintings for you to choose from,  so in this case you will have a choice to make.  I usually request that decision be made within 48 hours.    Your painting will be shipped to you, or you can pick it up if you prefer.  Any paintings that are not chosen by you will be placed with one of the Galleries who represent me ~ or may also be entered into shows or competitions. 


Shannon Ford retains all copyright and rights on the artwork produced by this process.

I look forward to hearing from you and to welcoming you to my family of collectors!