Are they “real” paintings?
Yes, the digital painting process is identical to painting on a physical canvas. Each image is carefully considered before any painting begins. Then I work in layers beginning with a base underpainting of light and dark shapes. Once those areas are blocked in, I work everything through step by step to the final details. The result is a beautifully textured image in digital format. Check out these tight crops and see for yourself.
tight crop of girl playing in water portrait showing texture and detail
tight crop of black cat with gold eyes portrait showing texture and detail
The digital format opens up a world of printing possibilities beyond traditional wall art. It’s ready to go for a variety of custom print-on-demand products including tote bags, coffee mugs, t-shirts, note cards, stickers, and a myriad of home decor products.. You can even get socks!
And the overhead is lower. I don’t need to keep paints, pigments, solvents and canvases on hand, or lease a large studio space. That translates to an affordable painted portrait that might otherwise be inaccessible to everyday folk like you and me.
It’s also more immediate. There’s no time spent setting up, waiting for stuff to dry before moving on, or cleaning up. I can do a painting in several days instead of several weeks.
Isn’t there an app for that?
There are dozens of them, in fact. But an app can’t selectively focus on detail vs. background areas, manually accommodate extreme highlights and shadows or pay special attention to facial features. It’s all or nothing with an app; even the premium ones. Then there’s the resolution issue. Smart phones only have so much computing power and that limits print size and image quality.
Check out these comparisons of a premium app vs. my hand paintings.
l-r: purchased mobile app, smart phone original, hand painted portrait
l-r: purchased mobile app, point-and-shoot original, hand painted portrait
So why is your way better?
First, I optimize the original photograph to bring out detail and contrast, retouch minor spots, and neutralize any busy, distracting backgrounds.
Here’s a before and after of an optimized and cropped image of my boycat, Lazlo. The original is a .jpg file taken with a point-and-shoot camera.
Then, in Photoshop using a graphics tablet and stylus, I hand paint a rough underpainting and work my way up layer by layer through shape refinements and pulling out identifying features, highlights and shadows. The final painting step selectively reintroduces a hint of the original snapshot to emphasize the nuances that make each person or pet unique.
When the painting is finished I perform a series of enhancements to bring out texture and detail, and give it an authentic painted appearance. The final file can have anywhere between 20 and 40 layers.
Can I use any photo?
You can use any photo taken by you, a friend or family member; assuming the friend and family member are okay with it.
If you want to use a more formal photo you paid someone to take, including a senior, engagement or wedding picture shot by a professional photographer, you will need to contact them for a release form.
Can I make changes?
Yes. That’s another benefit of painting digitally. It’s more forgiving. You will receive a low-res proof for review and one round of touch-ups is included in the base price.
How long does it take?
Your finished file will be available for downloading in 7-10 business days.
Can I get a refund?
A big part of why I love doing this is … well … love. I want people to have something that brings them joy. So yes. If the portrait doesn’t make you happy you will receive a refund.
But please remember, you are commissioning a unique work of art, created in the style and manner of the samples you see here, from a photograph you provide. Due to the highly personal nature of the subject matter, I cannot repurpose the work. Therefore, please be sure you are comfortable with the painting style represented so I don’t end up with a lot of unusable paintings instead of dinner on the table :-).
Okay, so tell me again how it works?
You upload a digital pic of your favorite moment from that best day ever; and that’s pretty much it on your end. I optimize the snappy, crop it, touch up a few spots, do my artistic vision thing, and send a seriously wall-worthy painted portrait back in 7-10 days. And remember, you get the actual file, so you can make unlimited prints
just a few of the fun things you can have your painting printed on! l-r: tote bag, t-shirt, phone case and throw pillow
Hand Painted Digital Portrait $79.00
What you get:
A high res, print-ready, digital file in .jpg and .png formats
The optimized version of your original photo in .jpg and .png formats
After checkout you will receive an email with a link to upload your image.