How to get a bespoke painting from your photo (or idea)

December 30, 2021

Commissioning art, also known as hiring an artist to create a custom piece of artwork for you, creates a special and unique memory that is usually cherished for lifetime. Often times, commissioned artwork is often passed down to future generations.

Fun fact: did you know that the Mona Lisa was a commissioned portrait painting?

To turn your photo (or idea) into a custom painting or drawing, there are 3 simple things you need to do:

  1. Find an artist
  2. Describe your request
  3. Review & approve

Finding an artist

Although there are thousands of professional & talented artists, you want to commission an artist that specializes in what your request is. For example, you should not waste your time talking to a landscape artist if you are looking for a custom portrait painting. Fortunately, you can follow the example below to get matched to the right artist for your specific request.

Step 1: Choosing art | Start a request

Step 2: Choosing the form (traditional vs. digital art)

Step 3: Choosing the subject type (what the custom painting will be of)

Step 4: Choosing the size of the made-to-order painting

Step 5: Choosing how many people or pets are in the painting (portraits only)

Once you have indicated these answers (and described your request - see below), you will get access to qualified artists based on your request answers.

Comparing and choosing an artist on MadeMay

Describing your request

The beauty of personalization and bespoke artwork and paintings is that it can be anything you would like it to be. Simply tell the artist what you have in mind, and try to be as specific as possible about your request. We also recommend adding a touch of personalization; for example, if it is a portrait painting of your dog, you could as the artist to include a dog tag with the name engraved.

When you describe your request, this is the part where you should also upload a photo for the artist to use as reference. The more photos you include, the better. For instance, many artists like to receive multiple angles of a subjects' face and pose.

Example of describing your request & uploading a photo

Reviewing & approving your custom art

Once you have provided the artist with the details and chosen the right one for you, it is time to place an order and watch your soon-to-be masterpiece of artwork come to life!

Example of payment structure for bespoke & commissioned art

Typically, you will be required to put 25% as a down payment so the artist can get started on turning your photo into a painting. As the painting comes to life, you will be asked to provide the next 25% once it's halfway finished, and the final 50% once you approve the artwork so it can get shipped to you!

Real examples from real people

Curious to know what the end result might look like? Here are some real examples

Example of custom portrait painting with dog and person

Example of a nurse with a custom portrait painting

Example of football player with custom portrait painting

Example of group family custom portrait painting