How to Get a Great Commissioned Oil Painting from Your Photo


Artist oil painting dog commission karin press cohen

Click on the image to see more of my commissioned portraits.


If you are looking to have a Commissioned Oil Painting…

created from a photograph, you will find all the information below that you need to help you choose one that will work well as a composition.


Selecting Your Photo: 

This section contains some essential & helpful information needed for you to select the ‘right’ photo to have made into a commissioned oil painting that will have the greatest chance of success when it is painted.

artist the boys photoartist oil painting the boys






This is an EXAMPLE of how an original photo can be customized.


An easy way to choose an image…

is to look at what will NOT work as well as a painting…

    • An image that is too small, (i.e. what would be considered to be the main subject…the person, house or pet, etc. that is the focus of the painting). To a certain degree, enlarging the image would remedy this, however; images can only be enlarged to a certain size without losing the degree of detail (image resolution) that you would want to keep. The best way to do this would be to send either a scanned image of the photograph using the submission form here on my website, by email, or through the regular mail… & I would enlarge it to the appropriate size for the painting you desire. This is provided, as I mentioned earlier, that the image is large enough to not lose the necessary detail when it is enlarged.
    • Images that contain too many elements (for example: buildings, furniture, or people)..that will make it difficult for someone to figure out what the main subject is. By changing the background & other elements such as clothing when it is painted, ou can make a subject appear more ‘important’. Additionally, ‘cropping’ the area around it in the photo will also be less-distracting and make the person, pet, or other subject stand out more.


    • Images that don’t complement the main subject. I mention in my article on ‘Composition’, that with my style of painting I attempt to recreate your photograph in as realistic a manner as possible. Therefore choosing an image that doesn’t contain interesting elements such as texture, color, background, etc. will result in a less than desirable final painting.


    • Dull or unfocused images. This is true when considering the quality of the image… how sharp an image appears or how well focused it is, plays a major role in the quality of the outcome of a commissioned oil painting. Some enhancement can be achieved by scanning the image and adding more contrast or sharpening; however, this only can be done to a certain degree. (You will be familiar with this if you have tried to do this yourself in a photo program on your computer). That being said, with most commissioned oil paintings that I do; many of the elements can be changed/enhanced. (This of course is subject to a lot of different factors & would most likely require email or phone contact….& it would depend on how much of a change there would need to be from the original image).


    Keeping in mind the size of the original photograph…

    It is important when selecting a photo for a commissioned oil painting, that not all images will look good in all sizes if there is a big difference between the original ‘image’ & that size.

    Traditional sizes of Commissioned Oil Paintings are available as:

    9″ x 12″ –  11″ x 14″ – 14″ x 18″ – 16″ x 20″ –  20″ x 24″ –  24″ x 30″


    CUSTOM SIZES are available upon request, & are determined to be suitable for re-creation as an oil painting; depending on the size of the original… You can submit it either by uploading your image  or you can send it by regular mail.  (My mailing address can be viewed in the Contact section at the very bottom of this page).


    artist oil painting portrait

     By clicking on the link to my ‘Contact Me’ page, you can find out more information regarding this process.


    artist oil painting portfolio

    Click on the image to visit the Artistkarin  Cohen Oil Painting Gallery.