Different take on Commissions

So, as many patrons to art and artists would know, the typical commission structure would be for the artist to offer a menu of sizes and mediums for a price. The client says, “gee, I would like an oil portrait of my son in a 16″ by 20″ canvas.” The price would be sitting right there on the menu, letting you know that your decision will run you x amount of dollars.

Many folks are cash-strapped and may get scared off by a high priced menu and may not know what exactly they are getting for their money up front. What I would propose is a backwards way of doing commission work. The client approaches the artist and says, “I want an oil portrait of my son and I want to pay $50.” The artist would then come back and agree on a specific size for the piece, depending on how much time and the cost of materials would be involved to justify the price. If the client agrees, deposit is taken and the piece is created.

Are there any artists out there who have worked in this manner? How has it worked for you and would you recommend it being a better work-flow than doing commissions the traditional way?