Are you thinking about turning your favorite photos into hand-painted portraits? You can turn an ordinary photo into a masterpiece. Chances are, you’re not a skilled portrait painter—but don’t worry, you’re not the only one lacking artistic talent.

Since your artistic skills are pretty much non-existent, it can be tempting to turn to an app to get the job done. Creating hand-painted portraits of your photos using an app is quick, easy, and affordable, the only downside is the finished product. You’re not getting a painting, only a print of one, which kind of defeats the purpose of turning a photograph into a painted portrait.

Your best option is to work with a professional artist—yes, it can be a little pricey, but the end result is well worth the cost. You get a professionally painted portrait you’ll be proud to hang on your walls. The only question is how to find the right artist.

Tips on Finding the Right Artist for Your Photographs

Finding an artist is easy: a simple online search will bring up an extensive list of names. Some of the listed artists may be in your area, while others may be across the country or even overseas.

The hard part is narrowing down the list to the perfect artist. You want one that can realize your dream of turning a cherished photo into a stunning portrait painting. Whether it’s your first time hiring an artist or you’re an old pro, here are some things to consider before handing over your photograph.

Decide on a Budget

Something to keep in mind is while you’re hiring a professional artist, you’re also not paying for a master painter. Prices will vary based on the artist’s skill and level of experience. If the artist works for a company specializing in turning photos into painted portraits, this can also affect the price.

Sometimes, artists working for companies are less expensive. Other times, the opposite is true. You also want to think about whether you want a copy of the artist’s sketch along with the finished painting. This can also affect the final cost.

Other factors to consider include shipping and handling fees. Are these charges included in the price, or are they extra? Once you have a set budget in mind, it’s easier to find an artist in your price range.

Experience Makes a Difference

There’s nothing wrong with giving someone a chance, like an artist just starting out. However, you’re probably planning on displaying the portrait, which means you only want the best art to display in your home, or at least the best that your budget allows.

You may even want to pass the portrait down to future generations, as oil paintings can last for years with the right care. Some paintings in museums are hundreds of years old. For example, the Virgin and Child by Tuscan artist Margarito d’Arezzo dates back to around 1263.

Even if your painting doesn’t last 600 years, you still want it to look professional, so make sure to ask if the artist has previous experience with portrait painting. This type of art is vastly different from painting nature or landscape scenes, so try to find out if the artist has a portfolio of similar work. Doing so will give you an idea of their level of skill and if their style matches your tastes.

You may also want to browse through the artist’s online reviews. If you’re using a painting service, find out if you can request a specific artist.

Find Out About Delivery Times and Costs

If the artist or service is close by, you can probably skip delivery; however, it’s a different story when the artist is located hundreds of miles or more away. This is when you want to ask about delivery rates and any other additional charges. Sometimes, there are costs associated with packing the portrait painting.

Don’t forget to ask about delivery times: this can be especially important if you’re planning on giving the portrait as a gift or want it hanging in your home by a specific date. A good tip is to start working with the artist early to ensure the painting arrives on time.

Tips on Caring For Your Portrait Painting

You don’t want to wrap the painting up and store it in a safe location. You want it displayed in your home. Go ahead and hang the painting on the wall, however, pay attention to placement. Try to avoid hanging the painting in direct sunlight. This can cause the paint colour to fade prematurely.

Here are a few other tips to help keep your portrait painting looking like new for years.

Avoid Placing the Painting Under the Glass

Your painting needs to breathe, so try to avoid using the glass cover that’s a part of most frames. Glass can damage painted surfaces, which is the last thing you want, especially if you’re shelling out for a proper piece. If you’re worried about the paint cracking and chipping, you can cover the artwork in a protective varnish.

Don’t grab just any can of varnish off of the store shelves. Instead, take the time to talk to an art professional to get recommendations. Oil portrait paintings will use a different type of varnish than other mediums, and using the wrong type of varnish can ultimately ruin the artwork instead of protecting it.

Dust Your Painting Carefully

Put away the furniture polish and damp cloths, as these items should never be used on your painting. Instead, grab a soft, clean cloth or even a feather duster, then lightly wipe away any dust and cobwebs from the painting’s surface.

You also want to refrain from using cleaning liquids on the frame. They can easily run into the painting. If possible, remove the artwork from the wall. This way, you can dust behind the painting.

Don’t Make Any Fixes a DIY Project

If the unthinkable happens and your painting is damaged, it’s not a DIY project! Always call the professionals to repair any damage, ideally, the original artist. The professionals can repair the painting without leaving any noticeable marks.

Enjoy Your Favorite Portrait Photos In a New Way

Transforming your favorite photographs into hand-painted portraits is a unique and rewarding experience that creates a custom, lasting, and deeply personal piece of art. While using an app for convenience and cost may be tempting, the result is a mere print and not an authentic painting.

When you opt for the services of a professional artist, though potentially more costly, it ensures a genuinely handcrafted portrait that can become a cherished heirloom that lasts for generations. So make sure you take your time when choosing an artist, and remember never to make repairs alone.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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