Over the years I've painted many commissions, and most of them have turned out successfully. Often someone will like a painting that's already been sold, or want one in a different size or colors, and so forth. I make it clear there will not be any duplicates because my abstract painting style is improvisational. There is no way I can duplicate any of it. What I can do is paint in a similar style and colors.
Here is an original painting called Open Focus:
And here is the commissioned painting made in a similar style and colors:
Still, painting commissions is not my favorite thing. The pressure to achieve a particular result creates a barrier to the free exploration I like to use in the painting process. It is rare when I like the commissioned painting better than the original.
One time a client sent me a photograph of their hotel and its surroundings. In this case I made two paintings--one more realistic and one abstract in my usual style. Of course they preferred the abstract--that's why they hired me, after all, and not a realistic painter. But in a way, I needed to do the realistic version in order to get to the abstract one.
What doesn't work for me at all is when a gallery or dealer suggests something totally new rather than a version of what I'm already doing. These paintings often come out stilted and lifeless. It would have been better to save my materials and time.
Periodically I say I will never paint another commission. But then someone really wants me to do one, and I start to see it as a challenge. Sometimes painting a commission of a painting I've done years ago reminds me of what it was about that particular style that interested me. I get re-interested and end up exploring it further.
So, while painting on demand is not my favorite thing, I guess I won't shut the door on it altogether.