When a painting has been designated as "original", is it ethical to paint exact copies or different versions of the same piece? I recently received the following message from a long time reader and featured artist, Shana Stern.
When I sell an original painting -- and then I get requests to do a commission of the same piece -- am I allowed to paint additional ones? or if I've sold one can I not then paint similar ones?
I don't want to upset my clients who bought the first piece - but I would like to do a few versions on commission - and I don't know what to do!
Shana Stern www.shanasternstudio.com
I've faced this issue in the past. When asked to paint a smaller version of a larger (and more expensive) painting, I replied that I would do a similar painting, but it would be unique, and based on only a section of the composition - and have a slightly different palette.
Below is the original "Capelin Run" (48x60") followed by a commissioned piece "Capelin in a Fishtub" (16x20"):
I realize that my way of dealing with this issue is not the only solution, and artists have varying opinions.
What would you do in this situation?
Please reread Shana's message above and post your responses below.