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I feel your pain bro. I learned very early that portraits are the most wanted but also the most criticized areas of art to do. You will never please everyone but if you feel you've done your best then that's what you should present to them regardless. To remedy the payment problem you should ask for half the money up front. That way the customer is already invested. You should also make it clear that there are no refunds and the 2nd half of the payment is due on delivery. This way u can weed out all the non-serious customers. As for your current problem, I would make the changes but I would also ask for half in order to secure supplies and work already done. If not then I would make it sweet and sell it as an original. The art buisness is rough so you have to approach it with a strong buisness mind. No what you will and will not tolerate and don't be afraid to be vocal about it. Trust me you will get more respect and less bs.
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