I do the same that Linda describes, Lore; be sure to include a "kill 
fee" in the contract language as well, so you get paid what you have 
into it if they pull the job.

If you have to shell out a lot up front to start, you could ask for a 
percentage right at the start to cover those expenses, or at least 
stipulate that you will be reimbursed immediately when you submit invoices.


On 12/11/13 11:30 AM, Linda Feltner wrote:
> Hi Lore:
> For a project of this size, requiring several submittals for review, I 
> would definitely ask for partial payments per submittal. A percentage 
> of the project might be established for the (1) Draft Rendering and 
> (2) final art. So much labor goes into the Draft, that it may deserve 
> a larger percentage.  (80% of my work is done before I do the final 
> art) Plus the client may want revisions after the draft rendering.
> I usually divide the submittals into three: 1. Pencil draft with loose 
> drawings of specific species place in the composition. Then the client 
> reviews and makes comments. 2. Final Draft, a detailed rendering 
> incorporating their previous comments. I specify that any changes in 
> concept after this review might incur extra time and materials.  When 
> all is approved, then I do the 3. Final Art.  That allows the client 
> of make changes in the drafts so not so much detailed work is wasted.
> I ask for percentages of the contract amount at each of those 
> submittals, with the largest percentage at the "Final Draft" stage.
> I know of other illustrators who get to the Final Draft stage and the 
> client pulls the job, and even gets another, cheaper artist to do the 
> final art. This has not happened to me, but when percentages of work 
> are in place, clients will get the message that you will be paid for 
> the amount of work you do.
> Just a thought.
> _____________________
> Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
> P.O. Box 325
> Hereford, AZ 85615
> (520) 803-0538
> <>
> On Dec 11, 2013, at 9:14 AM, Lore Ruttan wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I usually do smallish jobs and just ask for payment upon delivery. 
>> However, I've been commissioned to make a large painting 
>> commemorating a capital campaign and it will take me quite some time 
>> and involve a good chunk of money. Stages in the project are to 
>> finalize the list of species that will be painted, complete a 
>> detailed rendering of the composition that they can make a banner 
>> with, and then the final piece. Should I ask for a portion of the 
>> payment at each of those stages? Just the banner and final piece 
>> stages? What do others do?
>> Thanks! Lore
>> -- 
>> /Lore Ruttan, /Ph.D.
>> Lore Ruttan Illustration <>
>> Visit my Etsy shop at
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Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
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