Last Updated 23 December, 2003
Aviation paintings range from relatively straight-forward representations of particular aircraft against pleasant, generalized backgrounds to the highly exacting and precise depictions of complex historic scenarios. Overall my work covers the whole range, although it tends to be heavily weighted towards the latter. But whichever part of the spectrum they lie on the combination of high accuracy , technical and otherwise, with artistic imagination and excellence is always my top concern in my work. The following outline of steps reflects this concern:
(1) Think carefully about what you want in your painting .Note down any special details you wish shown or emphasized. It may be a fairly generalized scene, in which case you may leave much of the decisions to the artist. If, on the other hand, it is a highly specific kind of scene, then it is important that every circumstance is taken into account: time of day, weather, altitude, terrain, heading, etc.and etc. Everything.
(2) Draw a sketch or diagram if necessary—it tends to save a lot of words. It doesn’t matter if it’s not very artistic ( although I’m often surprised)—that’s MY job. Get together photographic and other necessary references and send them to me with the sketch.
(3) When I have the information from you, I will quote you a price for the work. At the present time this is usually in the range £ 800 to £1,800 ( £1.0 =US$ 1.5) for a 20 x 30 in. canvas ( approx 25 x 35 in. framed), which is the most common size I use while other sizes are, of course, possible. Send along at least 25% of the price as down payment, in pounds sterling if possible.
(4) I will prepare detailed sketches based on your ideas and data and send them to you for approval, asking you to note any corrections you feel are necessary. I may offer alternative compositions for your consideration in order to arrive at the best possible solution. Once the concept is clarified and finalized I will be ready to commence with the canvas.
(5) When the work is near completion I can send you a photo for your final approval. This is where e-mail is especially useful if you have access to a computer. The remaining payment is due at completion.
(6) Delivery or collection of the finished painting by special arrangement.
Prints are not only a good way of quickly making back whatever money you’ve paid the artist ( and a fair bit besides), but if you are an organization such as a Wing or Squadron there is no better way to put yourselves “on the map” everywhere than with a good quality print. They are also convenient for awards, presentations, etc. I have organized more than 130 prints so far and the number of repeat customers proves the point.
Once the painting is complete and you decide to proceed with prints, the following procedure comes in:
(1) I will send you a final photo of the finished painting for you to check out every detail.
(2) Think of the graphics—the title for the print, and any text and logos (wing/ squadron badges) you want on the print. Make sure I have everything.
(3) Write and fax a letter of intent to the printer ASAP, ordering x number of prints to be produced under the direction of the artist, using high quality 340gsm acid-neutral, chlorine-free art matt paper and using light-fast (" permanent") inks, and confirming the costs. The company needs this order before they start any work. Presently the printer is :
Unit 3 Wedgewood Court
Stevenage, Herts SG1 4QR
Tel: 01438-724891/ Fax: 01438-720512
His prices now are:
500 ,, --------------------£790
750 ,, --------------------£830
1000 ,, -------------------£870
Logos are £25 extra each.
(4) Once the painting is approved, it will go to the photolab for a high-quality transparency to be taken. This costs approx £70 at present, and will be useful for future publication in magazines, books, cards, etc.
(5) The transparency, together with the painting and the graphics, will go to the scanner for colour separations. These will provide the plates for the printer, and on the day that the prints are run I will be there with the original painting for the final adjustments and checks to the process. I find that this is often critical.
(7) My own costs for organizing and monitoring the process from beginning to end, the copyright fee, and signing and numbering up to 250 copies is presently £500. Additional signing is usually £50 per 250. If I have to organize packing and delivery as well this is another £50, not counting the actual cost of the delivery by air or land. Remember that 1000 prints will form a pile a foot high and weigh about 200 pounds(100 kgs)!
There is usually an excess or overrun of at least 100 copies during printing….I will retain 50 copies as “artist’s proofs”.
(8) Please allow at least 2 weeks between the completion of the painting and the prints. Delivery will require still more time.
(8) I, the printer and the photographer (and the packer/exporter) will each send you our separate bills, and please proceed to pay us separately if possible. Make sure you know if you should pay VAT( not included in the above figures) or not. It would be best to pay in GB£ sterling, but if paying in US$ checks please add $15 for bank charges here, to keep everybody happy.
My own details are as follows:
88 Windmill Avenue
St Albans, Herts AL4 9SN
Do feel free to contact me if I can be of further help.
Ronald Wong, BSC(Hons), GavA, ASAA
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