How to choose the perfect photo for your oil portrait

4 Quick Tips on How to Choose the Perfect Photo to Base Your Oil Painting on.

 Photos to Portraits    Commission a Portrait

1. Are your photos high res?

portrait artist

I’ve found that the best oil portraits come from high-resolution photographs. Anything over 1 MB is excellent. It just means that when your artist studies your photograph, he’ll be able to see all the small details that he needs in order to paint you an exquisite oil portrait. Lesser quality photos are still ok to work from, we’ve hand-painted oil paintings based on photos taken from mobile phones but the higher quality and clearer the image the better.

2. How sharp is your photo?

Your artist can only paint what he sees. Therefore your photo needs to clearly show the artist the colours and details you want to have painted into your portrait. The more in focus your photo is, (as opposed to a blurry photo) the better your oil portrait will be.  Sharpness of photo is actually a key factor in what differentiates a good oil portrait from a great oil portrait.

3. Lighting

Try and avoid photos that show your subjects in strong sunlight or dark shadows as it doesn’t come across well in an oil painting.  Having subjects squint if they are looking directly in the sun or are covered by shadows so you can barely see their faces is again not ideal.

4. Background

portrait artist

The great news is, your artist can change and alter the background of your portrait to however you want it. However, if you want the artist to copy the background as seen in your photo, it helps if your ideal background shows slight variations in colour and tones as this will give your oil portrait greater colour weight. Remember though, if the background in your photograph is very colourful and busy it will probably detract from the main subjects. Let us know when placing an order if you have any concerns about the background of your photo or if you would like any advice or alterations to be made.

Have a question?

We’d love to hear from you! If you would like to add something,  or ask a question concerning our oil portraits please leave a comment.

Bye for now x

Fabulous Masterpieces is the Premier UK Portrait Company. Curious to learn more about us? Then please visit the About Fabulous Masterpieces page. 

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One response to “How to choose the perfect photo for your oil portrait”

  1. karen says:

    Your websites states the best photos to paint from are high quality and detailed. Yet, the very reason I’m looking to have a portrait painted is that the photo is not clear enough. Here is a link to the facebook copy:!/photo.php?fbid=10200549824970399&set=a.1381707825023.2053592.1301782821&type=1&theater
    I could send a second photo to clarify hair color / skin tone, etc…. but this snapshot was so amazing I’d like a copy for our walls.
    Can you make it better?
    Also, I didn’t notice the cost estimates… what would it cost?

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