Commissioning Artwork

I’ve been known to indulge myself from time to time. One example is getting dressed up in steampunk and having a friend do a photo shoot. This time, I decided to commission artwork. (That sounds so much cooler than “paying someone to draw me a picture”)

My sketch of MaTisha

My sketch of MaTisha

I like to peruse DeviantArt and gape at all of the amazing images. There are some fantastic artists out there. I enjoy sketching from time to time, but I don’t put enough practice in to get anywhere with it.

For a long time, I’ve wanted gorgeous pictures of my main characters, but I’ve been debating between drawing them myself (which never turn out as good as I’d like) or finding an artist to do it for me. I came across Ellrano’s page and was impressed by the glowing nature of her digital paintings. My first thought was, “Wow, that’d work well for my elementals.” I checked out her commissions page, and finally decided to take the plunge.

Many of you know of Cera, my character from This World Bites. I wondered how an artist would render her if told about her appearance. This is the result:

Cera - копия

I am pleased. I love the glow to her eyes, the light behind her, and the utter detail clear down to her pendant. What do you think?

Have you ever commissioned artwork? Do you ever have the desire to see an artist’s rendering of your characters? Do you like to create art?

Oh, and don’t you think today’s Google Doodle is adorable? Squirrel!

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

32 thoughts on “Commissioning Artwork

  1. That turned out really well!
    Fortunately, through my book trailers, I do get to see what my characters look like.

  2. The only artwork I’ve ever commissioned is the cover for my first book, and I’m not sure that counts. I love the rendering of Cera. It looks great!

    Also, your sketch of MaTisha is so good. If I did sketches of my characters, they’d be nothing but badly-drawn stick figures.

  3. That is awesome! I do love the glow too. And the sass! I had my cover for Of Blood and Sorrow made by a graphic artist, and she did an amazing job.

  4. Very nice! You picked a great artist methinks. I have commissioned art before, and it took a couple emails back and forth to get one of the characters right, but the results? Heaven!

  5. Artists amaze me! She did an awesome job bringing Cera to life (the old ending…the one few liked, but twisted me…fits that sassy look so very well)

    I think you did a great job on your drawing too, though your rendition lacks the sass and looks like a sweeter Cera.

  6. That is some great artwork. I’ve thought about commissioning artwork for my book, or blog, but I’ve been to chicken to do it. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. Your sketch looks good to me as well.

  7. Cool! I haven’t hired artwork to that level yet. Although a friend did a painting of Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge for me. It’s on the website.

  8. I adore artwork. But I had no idea I could commission someone to draw a character. I am so going to do that later with Avrianna Heavenborn. 😉

    Cera looks so cool and sexy. Just how I always pictures her. 🙂

  9. I do it all the time as kids books need it and I can’t draw lol

  10. I think your drawing turned out pretty good!! I stick to stick people. Haha! But the digital one done is pretty cool too!

  11. Beautiful! I used to be on Deviant Art as both a writer and a photographer. There are some talented people there.

  12. I can’t draw a straight line so artists amaze me. It’s like they’re another species or something. Needless to say (so I will anyway) that picture is brilliant. It’s not how I imagined Cera, interestingly enough, but it’s gorgeous. I’ll have to reread now. 😉 BTW, your “sketch” is amazing. Talented *mumbles under breath* !!!

    • 🙂 Thank you for the compliment.

      My internal vision of Cera differs too, but this was my first experiment of seeing how an artist would render her when given a description.

      Whenever I think of Cera, I typically picture her smiling with teeth showing–wide and confident. She’d probably have her chin raised with a touch of arrogance, and a look that said, “Bring it. I dare you.” But I do love the glowing nature of the painting Ellrano did.

  13. That’s an awesome image. ^_^ I spent years thinking that I should be able to draw my own characters, but I seriously have neither talent nor skill in that area. I do hope to someday see artists’ renditions of my characters, though; I even have a few people whose work I really like bookmarked so I can see if they’re available if that day every comes.

  14. I imagined Cera as a little rounder in the face, and without the amazing glowing eyes.

    I’ve a few “commissioned” works…
    I found the artist who did the cover for The Rogue King via DeviantArt. I’ve also won a few contests on Tumblr where the prize was a portrait of whatever I wanted. So… three characters who adorn my wall, my desktop and my phone. I want more. I think I’ll always want more. It’s fun, and a little eerie, to have someone do what you see in a picture. The things that get me are the speedpaints. Knocking out this amazing drawing in ten/twenty minutes and I’m sitting there just gobsmacked because when it comes to me doing art… I can draw snakes on paper (not even realistic snakes) and maps/planets in photoshop.

    • Yeah, I pictured her with a fuller face too, but when I’d described the elementals, I’d said thinner and smaller than humans. I didn’t specify otherwise with the face. In my mind’s eye, I see her more of a cross between Chanel Iman and Emma Stone.

      Technically, her eyes only glow when she’s using her elemental power, but I wanted the glow in the picture. 😀

  15. Never commissioned an artist for my writing. Publisher did it for my debut novel, but no people in it. However, commissioned a film poster once and that was by a very talented guy. DeviantArt is great place to go looking… and other writers’ covers.

    Oh and I’m a stick figure scribbler, so always impressed by drawings like yours.

  16. Wow, it looks great! The colors are so beautiful. I’d like to one day have some neat drawings done. *adds to writer bucket list*

  17. Both of those images are great. You are quite an artist!

  18. It’s beautiful! I really like the glow to it. I have commissioned artwork for the covers of Reborn and People of Fowick and Their Neighbors. It’s amazing what artists can do. I like drawing bookworms and maps, but that’s about the limit of my drawing talents.

  19. Whoa… that is GORGEOUS.

    And pretty spot on! Cool idea with the visual representation. I’ve never thought about getting actual pictures/paintings of my characters… but now I kind of want to! Thanks for sharing, Loni.

    Are you planning on commissioning for any other character portraits??

    • I’d like to find someone to do the stages of Derek someday, with three versions of him in the same image, like three men standing back-to-back. I would also like to have each of my POV characters together in a paneled image per niniers book, just their faces with varying background colors like /Kaio-Green/Derek-Red/MaTisha-Blue/Cameron-Gray. I’d want a harder, slightly more realistic, and darker look to them. Like the art of AnotherWanderer.

      Unfortunately, that’s out of my price range for now.

      The Cera chronicles are different though. They’re supposed to be fun and silly. If I got commissioned a group shot of them, I’d probably look for more of a comic style. Like the art of John Seamas Gallagher. I don’t think I’d do individuals of her gang, but if I did, I think I’d do them in the comic style too.

  20. The eyes are pretty darn cool. I love the detail in the backlighting too.

  21. I’ve not commissioned art work, but have thought of doing so. Though it would be for wall paintings and not book-related stuff. The image you’ve featured her is very arresting and invites repeated glances.

  22. I just had to point out that your sketch of MaTisha kinda looks like you. Purposeful or coincidence?

    It’s awesome, either way, as is the commissioned portrait. Reminds me of some portraits of A Game of Thrones characters that came out a few years before the TV show (they were done a very similar style). Then the show came out and now those actors have become the quintessential look for those characters.

    Who knows? Maybe Emma Stone will play her in the movie version some day. 😉

    • You think my sketch of MaTisha looks like me? Interesting…

      No, that wasn’t intentional, but it goes to show I can’t draw a character the same way twice. I had drawn MaTisha before, and she looked different. I can’t seem to draw the same face more than once. *grimace*

  23. I love deviantart, too. You made a great decision to go there to find an artist – it’s awesome!!

  24. Amazing portrait! It’s so vibrant. I was at a GenCon many years ago where they had a fantasy art show, and I ran across a painting by Clyde Caldwell of a swordswoman that perfectly matched the image in my head of Tara, the main character of my book. It stopped me in my tracks, and I’ve had a print of it on my wall ever since.
    And I loved that Google squirrel! So cute!

  25. SO cool. ha, I love art but I’m not very good!! I wish I could draw better, as I find it so relaxing 🙂

  26. Wow! That’s some excellent artwork! I do love to peruse deviantart, but I’ve only commissioned my niece and on fiverr artist to create artwork for me. I haven’t indulged a lot of moola into the process. Maybe someday I will. I like to create collages, but my drawing skills could make a cat laugh.

  27. C. Lee McKenzie

    That had to be a lot of fun for you! Glad the art turned out the way you wanted. She does have some compelling eyes!

  28. My daughter has been pushing me to check out DeviantArt for cover artists. I’ll definitely be checking them out when I’m closer to publishing.

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