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Why Turning Your Photo Into A Painting (Oil Painting By Hand) Is An Excellent Way To Preserve Memories

Why Turning Your Photo Into A Painting (Oil Painting By Hand) Is An Excellent Way To Preserve Memories
photo to painting

Turning a valuable photo into a painting is a one-of-a-kind way to immortalise a special moment or person—your picture is recreated carefully by hand by a skilled artist for you to enjoy for years to come.

This picture could be one of your old printed photos, a photo of a loved one, an image saved on your devices, photos in your social media account and more. A picture can be hand-painted for various purposes—to give as a valuable and personalised gift, to capture and preserve the memory of a loved one, to turn your photo into an artwork, or to beautify your home or space.

Oil painting is an excellent medium for turning a photo into an art form. The oil painting process suspends the pigments in slow-drying oil; as it is exposed to air while slowly drying, the next stage reveals a tough coloured film. Oil colours result from the blending of dry pigments with refined linseed oil using steel roller mills.

According to Britannica, the oil painting medium dates back to the seventh century. Artists used oils extracted from walnut or poppies to add paintings to the ancient cave complex Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Oil painting began to rise to popularity in the 15th century, especially in Europe, where Renaissance artists created masterpieces that remain famous to this day.

A Few Famous Oil-Painted Artworks

Different artists have been using the painting medium for many centuries, and this medium continues to stand the test of time. Famous artists who have used oil painting include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Edvard Munch. In fact, when looking back in history, artists almost always trained in classical oil painting, and it’s still taught in foundation art programs in schools across the globe today.

photo to painting

Two famous oil paintings by Leonardo da Vinci that remain iconic today are the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. In Mona Lisa, da Vinci achieves a stunning luminous visual effect to her skin, adding to the life-like mystery that has captivated viewers for centuries.

photo to painting

The ceiling of The Sistine Chapel paintings, done by Michelangelo, is another well-known oil painting that pictures simply don’t do justice. Michelangelo was famously a sculptor, but in this absolutely massive work of art, he paints dimensional human bodies in oil paint throughout the 500 square meters.

Countless more artworks display the powers of oil paint. Really, if you just think of a famous masterpiece, there’s a very good chance that it was painted with oil paint.

Why Choose The Oil Painting Medium For Preserving Memories?

It Offers the Best Flexibility And Depth Of Colour

Are you looking for a more flexible painting medium that is adjustable and allows for creativity through colour mixing and blending techniques? The oil painting process offers a unique flexibility. There are several oil painting techniques that an artist can use which sets it apart from other media.

Artists apply oil paints in various ways; they can control colour density by either thinning out the colours through mixing or using dense colours in many layers. Artists can make their paintings more opaque or create colour-rich artwork, and they can mattify and add gloss to an oil painting by using different varnishes at the end of the process. Additionally, artists can more freely mix and modify colours in oil painting compared to other painting mediums. So an artist can preserve memories of a photo depending on the client's needs using these techniques.

Furthermore, oil paints dry slowly, allowing for additional changes during the painting, even before the artist completes the artwork. So, when a client has a new idea for an artwork that an artist is already working on, the slow-drying nature of oil painting makes it possible to include that idea and correct errors. The oil painting medium gives that extra time to add any valuable ideas needed to create that photo painting that holds special memories.

Many artists working today use many different media in their practice, such as acrylic and watercolor. If you ask an artist why they use oil paint in their practice, they’ll tell you it simply offers beautiful colour blending and a rich, luminous appearance that only oil paint offers. 

To Support Talented Artists Working in the Traditional Media

As we mentioned, oil painting dates back to ancient times and was developed as a more widespread art technique in the 15th century in Europe when Belgian painter Jan Van Eyck experimented with mixing linseed oil with various colors. Oil painting has stood the test of time for good reason.

 With the rise of many modern art making media, such as digital painting, there are countless ways to reproduce a memory to enjoy for years to come. What makes oil painting different, in addition to the many techniques that make it beautiful, is the character of the medium. The hand of the artist is irreplaceable and something that sets it apart from more modern digital techniques. Investing in this beautiful ancient technique is a great way to add character to your home.

Finding and commissioning an artist working in oil painting is a great way to support a talented artist who is keeping this art form vibrant in today’s world. Additionally, and this goes into the flexibility and depth of color, artists can apply much more varied techniques throughout the composition—some areas can appear matte whereas others can be shinier—which is something the printed image can’t do.


We’ve all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So, why not consider an oil painting to preserve a precious memory from your photograph? Having a beautiful commissioned oil painting lets you be a part of the process by interacting with a skilled artist. Oil painting undeniably lives up to its reputation with its ability to recreate subjects on paper with one-of-a-kind realisticness, luminosity, and vivid colors.



Encyclopedia Britannica. 2021. oil painting | Description, History, & Facts. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 29 October 2021].


Tate. 2021. Oil paint – Art Term | Tate. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 29 October 2021].


Artst. 2021. 20 Most Famous Paintings in the World - Artst. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 29 October 2021].


My Modern Met. 2021. Top 8 Oil Painting Techniques All Beginners and Professionals Should Know. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 29 October 2021].







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