The creation of custom portraits is one of the oldest art genres. Even nowadays, it is still famous to get an artist to create a portrait painting of their children to capture memorable moments. However, the most popular medium for art portrait paintings has always been oil on canvas.

The simple definition of “portrait” is that it is a “representation of a specific person”. But “art portrait painting” is much more. With art portrait painting, the artist aims to not only depict the physical likeness of the person but also to capture the expression and emotions of the person.

In this article, we’ll discuss personalized portraits of your child. But we’ll first have a brief look at the history of custom portraits. We’ll also provide some tips on how to manage the process.

The History Of Art Portrait Painting

The painting of portraits goes back to at least ancient Egypt, and the genre already flourished in the old civilizations about 5,000 years ago. The old painted portraits were the “photos” of the past. Just as with a camera nowadays, the portrait painter captured a specific moment in time of the person being painted.

‍During the Renaissance and Middle Ages, most custom portrait paintings lacked realism. Instead, the artists created stereotypical facial expressions and flat backgrounds rather than depicting realistic features of the subject. The most famous exception to this concept is Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Da Vinci used a different technique than most painters of his time. He utilized soft and blended brush strokes.

Until the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, artists normally created a custom portrait canvas for emperors and high-ranking people only. Since the Industrial Revolution, however, artists have started to depict the middle and working classes in their portraits.

In the middle 1900s, portrait painting became less popular, but in the 1960s, it revived again. Artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein revived the art of portrait painting by introducing pop art, and since then, people have started again to look for artists to create custom portraits of their families.

What Makes A Personalized Portrait Of Your Child So Special?

In our technological age, you might wonder why you have to commission a custom portrait drawing or painting to have a record of your child’s memorable moments. There are several reasons. Probably one of the most important reasons is that custom portraits will still be there for generations.

Photos will fade, and digital images and pictures can “disappear” with time, but a good oil painting will last for years. A good oil painting will last for generations, and the special moment depicted in the painting will become part of the family’s heritage. A painted portrait also conveys emotion and “feeling.” It is much more special than a photo.

What Is The Process Of “Transforming” Photos Into Paintings?

Before cameras were in use, art portrait artists requested sittings by the objects of the paintings. Nowadays, however, most art portrait painters prefer to work from pictures to paint. There is an easy procedure to follow when you want to commission a portrait painting to capture special moments in your child’s life. In short:

  • Decide on what you want to capture and what “feeling” you want to convey in the painting.
  • Get relevant photos and digital images ready.
  • Find a reputable custom portrait painter and commission a portrait painting.
  • Enjoy the completed painting

Decide On What You Want To Capture

Every parent will instinctively know what the special moments to be captured are. To give you some ideas, let’s look at a few possibilities.

Your Baby’s First Step

You may have an inferior and out-of-focus photo of your child’s first step, but it will always be one of your memorable moments because you were there. With this “poor” photo and other better photos of your child at the same age, a portrait painter can create a beautiful depiction of that first step. If you want to, and you have a photo of yourself dating from the same period, you can be included in the painting.

Your Child’s First School Day

If you have a photo of your child in his school uniform on his first day, it is an ideal subject for painting. And always remember, the portrait painter can add the school as a background or put you in the painting if you want to.

A Day In The Park

You might have a few photos of a fun-loaded picnic in the park. Take all the relevant photos to the artist and explain what you want him to picture painting, and a unique portrait can be yours. Remember, the artist can put into the painting whatever you want to be there.

Get Photos Ready

After you’ve decided on the theme of your painting, the first thing to do is to find relevant photos or digital images of your child. The more photos and images of your child at that specific stage of his life you have, the easier you make it for the artist to get the “feeling” you want to convey with the painting.

Remember, you don’t want a “photoshop” version of a specific photo – you want a unique artwork depicting your child in a specific situation. And the painter can add or delete any detail when painting the portrait.

Find A Reputable Custom Portrait Painter

If you don’t know a specific individual artist, it is recommended that you contact a studio specializing in the creation of custom portraits. You’ll find many art studios online. When you order your portrait painting, you have to arrange detail regarding at least the following six questions with the artist/studio:

  • What must be in the portrait, and what “feeling” must the painting convey to the receiver of the painting?
  • What composition do you want in the portrait?
  • Do you need only the custom portrait canvas or the artist or studio to provide it as a framed painting?
  • What medium must be used – oil, watercolor, or pencil?
  • What size should the canvas be?
  • What type of frame do you want if you order it as a framed painting?

The studio artist will create a digital mock-up and send it to you for approval. If you are not satisfied with anything in the mock-up, you can request an image edit. After you approve the final digital version, the artist will paint your portrait.


If you create personalized portraits of your child to capture memorable moments, you are preserving the memories for generations to come. Even in our technological age, unique custom portraits from photos are still seen as an investment – as a “memory investment” and as a financial investment.

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