The Mural Process — Commissioning a Custom Mural
Commissioning a Mural: What to expect at each stage of the mural painting project.
- Discovery Conversation
- Contract Agreement and Design Deposit
- Design Process and Sketch
- Mural Deposit
- Final Payment
Give me a call or shoot me an email with a description of your project, including the size of the wall and brief description of the space and creative direction for the artwork. If you are able to e-mail me photos or architectural renderings of the space before our first phone call, that is ideal.
For a cost estimate, please contact me for a free consultation regarding your mural project. After an in-depth discovery conversation (see above) either via phone call or onsite, I will provide you with a written work estimate. If you are interested in learning how I arrive at my price quote, see my page on mural pricing.
Signed Contract Agreement and Design Deposit
In my proposal for work I will include a contract. If you would like to move forward with the design phase for the work, please send the signed contract along with the design deposit back to me. The design deposit can vary based on the size of the project, but typically the deposit is about $1,000. Once I receive the design deposit and signed contract I will begin work on designs for your wall and schedule the project.
Design Process and Sketch
We begin the design process with a clear description of the "feel" or "mood" of the piece. This is typically achieved through a collaborative brainstorming session, and by sharing visual ideas and images that might inspire the artwork.
From our initial design conversation, I will create at least two distinct designs. Depending on the subject and style of the project, the sketch might be a watercolor on paper, a digital rendering or collage, or a pen and ink drawing.
We then have a follow up conversation to integrate your feedback on the designs, and if necessary, I will come up with a completely revised design. In either case, the design that we settle on becomes a roadmap, not an exact literal representation of what the finished work of art will look like. In my experience, knowing the “signposts” — having a clear design direction — is imperative for a successful project. However, in order to create my best works of art, it is important to let a more intuitive creative process take over when I am onsite. When I am working in the space where the artwork will be, interacting with the people who use the space, I have more sources of inspiration than I do when I am coming up with a design in my quiet, controlled studio. I might tweak the colors, scale and composition relative to the immediate environment. Either way, the ideas I come up with onsite, "elbow deep" in paint are what make the artwork truly site-specific and integrated with the immediate environment.
A deposit, typically 50% of my total fee, is due two weeks prior to the first day of onsite painting. This allows for ordering of supplies and confirms the scheduling dates. At this time, we will review the mural design concept again and see if either of us have had any new thoughts or ideas on the mural design. We will confirm the start date and time, and confirm any preparation of the space as necessary.
I typically paint for about 6 hours each day, usually starting around 9 am. On outdoor projects, I may start as early as 6 am or as late as noon, depending on the sun exposure of the wall. You are welcome to watch the process unfold. I like to touch base regularly as the work progresses to ensure that expectations are being met and everything is on the right track.
Clients usually comment on how quickly the work progresses. My focus is on getting things right, and I work until we are both satisfied with the results. At some point, I see that I have expressed what I set out to create. I identify this moment as the point where further attempts at embellishment diminish the flow and energy of the piece. I let you know when I am close to completion and we review the work together to see if there is anything was missed or doesn't feel right. We create a list of final tweaks that are needed, and, assuming it is within the original scope, I make the final adjustments. Then the mural is complete.
A final payment of the full remaining balance is due upon completion of the mural.
Trusting a mural artist with your wall is a leap of faith. I feel extremely privileged to do this work and feel incredibly grateful to each and every client who has trusted me with their walls over my 16 years as a professional mural artist. I encourage you to read about the experiences of past clients to learn how their walls turned out.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR Mural Project
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Mural pricing is determined by:
- Size of Mural
- Complexity of Design
- Travel Fee
- Minimum Project Fee
The cost per square foot (PSF) will vary depending on the size and complexity of the mural. The price per square foot will range between $15 to $50 PSF for wall murals.
Size of Mural
Size is the most obvious factor that goes into pricing a mural project. The larger the area to be painted, the higher the cost. In order to determine the total area to be painted, simply multiply the width times the height, in feet — this gives you the total area in square feet of your mural project.
Although the total project cost increases as the mural size increases, the cost per square foot (PSF) will go down as size increases. In retail, this is equivalent to giving a volume discount to customers who place larger bulk orders. I have several tiers in my pricing structure which give increasingly larger discounts as the total area increases.
Complexity of Mural Design
Complexity of design is the second factor which goes into pricing a mural. Simply put, the lower the level of detail and intricacy in the mural design, the lower the price per square foot. Figures, lettering and trompe l'oeil details take time to paint well, and including these elements in the artwork increases the cost.
If the project is outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, a travel surcharge will be incurred.
Minimum Project Fee
There is a minimum mural project fee of $5,000.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?
Custom, hand-painted artwork and murals. Every piece we do is designed from scratch to meet your color scheme, subject matter, size and style. Have your mural painted directly on the wall, or painted on canvas in our studio, and then installed like wallpaper. Canvas murals are removable and shippable. So no matter where the wall, we've got you covered!
We offer the following services:
- live painting for parties
- live painting trade shows or business meetings
- painting on furniture
- painted floors, ceilings, glass and metal
- donor walls with painted naming options
- painted backdrops
- memorial art & dedications
- public, commercial & residential murals
- murals on canvas or on-site
- can ship murals or travel
- painted portraits
- faux finishing & gilding
- painting for tv and video
- painted business signage
WHAT’S THE PROCESS OF GETTING CUSTOM ART & MURALS?
1. Free Consultation
We start with a free consultation. During your consultation, we'll do the following
- discuss the area you'd like enhanced
- talk about any possible ideas you might have
- look around at your decor and the room's style and color palette
- take a few measurements and photos.
2. Sketch & Estimate
We'll set up a second consultation to present a sketch/composition of your mural, along with an estimate.
At this point, we'll discuss any changes you might have to the design or personalizations you might like to add.
3. Timeline And Paint
Once you've approved a design, we'll establish a timeline to get started on your custom work of art.
HOW MUCH DOES A MURAL COST?
Our murals are completely custom. The cost of your mural depends on the following factors:
- amount of detail
- wall texture
- scaffolding needs
- and other variables, such as ceilings and stairs
- materials needed
- shipping costs
The cost is usually discussed at the first consultation so we can ensure a design that fits your budget. Generally speaking, an average 12' x 9' wall might cost anywhere from $2000 to $10000, depending on the aforementioned variables.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE A MURAL
The amount of time it takes to complete a mural depends on the mural. We know your schedule is important; so we provide a time estimate before paint ever touches the wall. A typical 12’x9’ wall could take anywhere from 1-4 days, depending on the amount of detail.
DO YOU PAINT ON WALLS OR CANVAS? HOW ABOUT OTHER SURFACES?
We can paint your mural either directly on your wall, or on durable, synthetic canvas.
1. Murals Painted On Canvas
Canvas murals are painted in the Hattas Public Murals studio and then delivered to your home/business. They are installed like giant pieces of wallpaper. Since the mural is painted off site, it's very convenient for you. It takes only a few hours to hang the finished canvas. If you'd like to see the progress of the mural, we'll email you photos to keep you updated. The other advantage to having your mural painted on canvas is that you can have the mural taken down from the wall, should you decide to relocate, and reinstalled in your new space.
All that is required is that your walls be prepped with a pre-wall covering primer, for premium adhesion. "Roman Pro-977 Ultra Prime Acrylic Primer/Sealer" (sold at Home Depot) is ideal. We are happy to recommend a prep painter, should you need one.
2. Murals Painted Directly On The Wall
Some murals, on the other hand, are best painted onsite. This would be best for some exterior murals, strangely shaped niches or walls, or simple "spot" murals (such as a few flowers or lettering painted throughout a room).
WHAT TYPE OF PAINT DO YOU USE?
For most murals, a high-quality acrylic paint is used and guaranteed to last for many years without chipping or fading. This paint is very durable and can be washed with soap and water without being removed. If a mural is in a space with extreme temperature or humidity elements (such as kitchens, bathrooms and exteriors), a clear protective coat is recommended as a final step. In some cases, an oil paint or exterior paint may be used. This will depend on the project's needs.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MY WALLS FOR A MURAL?
In order to ensure a beautiful final work of art, the walls need to be free from holes, dents, dirt or residue. If a mural or faux finish is being painted directly on the wall, the wall should have a clean coat of latex wall paint (the color can be determined before starting.) If a canvas mural is to be hung on the wall, the wall must first receive a coat of Pre-Wallcovering Primer (such as "Roman Pro-977 Ultra Prime Acrylic Primer/Sealer" sold at Home Depot.) We are happy to recommend a prep painter, should you need one.
WILL YOU TRAVEL?
We are happy to travel. While Los Angeles, CA; Orange County, CA, Seattle, WA Oakland, CA, San Fransisco, CA, Brooklyn, NY, Miami, FL are the basis of our operation, we will go almost anywhere. In some cases, we'll meet you at your location for an in-person consultation. Otherwise, we can do an on-phone or email consultation. We'll compile a sketch and estimate, we just ask that you email photos and measurements of your space.
Your artwork can be painted in our studio and then shipped to your location. We'll contact an installer to hang your mural. Otherwise, we'd be happy to paint your mural onsite with added travel costs.
CAN YOU PAINT ANY SUBJECT AND ANY STYLE?
Yes! Vivache Designs specialized in 100% custom work, from portraits to animals, landscapes to cityscapes, mythological scenes to religious images. If you can dream it, we can do it. We can also paint in any style - from realism to impressionism, abstract to modern, cubism to trompe l'oeil. If you have a favorite artist or style, we can make your artwork resemble your unique taste.
HOW DO I COMMISSION A PORTRAIT? WHAT'S THE COST?
Selfies come and go, but a portrait will be cherished for generations. Your oil-painted portrait is more than just a likeness; it's developed to draw the viewer in and truly capture the essence of the subject. Lead Artist, Jeanine Hattas Wilson, will collaborate with you to accommodate your vision and tell your story.
Portrait fees start at $2000. The price is based on the size of the painting, how much of the subject is depicted, number of people or pets in the piece, and the complexity of the clothing, props and background.
Travel expenses, framing costs and shipping are additional costs. A one third, non-refundable deposit is required upon the signing of the contract. A second payment of one third is due upon approval of the preliminary design and color study. The balance is due upon approval of the final portrait.
Vivache Designs specializes in the following:
New Baby Portrait
- To begin, send a message to Jeanine Hattas Wilson and let her know you're interested in having a portrait painted. Mention the size of the painting you want, how much of the subject is to be depicted (head & shoulders, half length, three-quarter length, full length), the number of people or pets in the piece, and the complexity of the clothing, props and background.
- Vivache Designs will respond with an estimate for your portrait. Upon approval, Jeanine will schedule a meeting with you.
- During your meeting, Vivache Designs will compose the design for the portrait, do some renderings and take photos. This session typically takes between one to three hours, depending. Once approved, a one third, non-refundable deposit is required upon the signing of the contract.
- Next, Vivache Designs will compose a preliminary design and color scheme for the portrait. A second payment of one third is due upon approval.
- The final painting will take anywhere from one week to a couple months, depending on the size, detail and availability. Jeanine is happy to work with your schedule.
- Once completed, Vivache Designs will send images of the portrait for your approval. Minor adjustments are no extra charge. Larger changes that require more than five hours will incur an added cost at $100/hour.
- Once approved, Vivache Designs will personally deliver the portrait within 50 miles of Los Angeles. The balance will be due upon arrival. For long distance clients, Jeanine will have the artwork sent through an insured carrier. The client is responsible for the delivery costs. The balance and delivery cost are due before shipping. Paypal is accepted.
Head, or Head & Shoulders
(Plain or loose background,
8" x 10" = call
9" x 12" = call
11" x 14" = call
12" x 16" = call
16" x 20" = call
18" x 24" = call
20" x 24" = call
24" x 30" = call
1/2 or 3/4 Figure
(plain or loose background,
20" x 24" = call
22" x 28" = call
24" x 30" = call
24" x 36" = call
26" x 32" = call
30" x 36" = call
36" x 48" = call
48" x 60" = call
(plain or loose background)
30" x 36" = call
36" x 48" = call
48" x 60" = call
Each additional portrait or figure on the same canvas is an additional 50%.
Backgrounds are typically less detailed than the portrait. For a more highly detailed background, add 50% to the portrait cost.
Any possible travel costs are added for projects 50 miles outside Los Angeles.
Shipping charges for projects 50 miles outside Los Angeles are not included, and will be added accordingly.
Framing is not included. However, Vivache Designs is happy to take care of framing for an additional $200 fee, plus the cost of the frame.
WHAT TYPES OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
We can accept checks, cash, and major credit cards (Visa and MasterCard).
Once you are happy with your mural's preliminary sketch/design, we will need a 50% non-refundable deposit to schedule your job. Once your artwork is completed and you're 100% happy, we will collect the remaining 50%.
A one third, non-refundable deposit for your portrait is required upon the signing of the contract. A second payment of one third is due upon approval of the preliminary design and color study. The balance is due upon approval of the final portrait.
ARE YOU INSURED, LICENSED AND BONDED?
Yes, all three.