Oil Paintings from Your Treasured Photograph
If you have ever wanted to produce a museum-quality oil painting from one our photographs from your photo shoot, I am now utilizing the services of a company providing these paintings to professional photographers all over the world. This company utilizes four highly qualified and vetted artists averaging 20 years of experience each, they were chosen from more than 5,000 professional artists in Xiamen, China, a world leader in the oil painting industry. Why only four? Because with these four painters, consistency in quality from one painting to the next is proven and predictable. Zhixing Zhang, Ivy Lin, George Wen and Thomas Linn comprise this team of resident painters.
There are no photomechanical processes in the oil paintings. The artists hand-paint on canvas coated with gesso, a blend of white paint and a binding agent that helps oil better adhere to the canvas. The first step is a rough sketch layer, to map out the major elements in your painting for proper size, location and proportion.
Next, the artist will create the base color layer. This step is a rough version of the subject that will establish a tonal and color palette. After allowing time for the base color layer to dry, the painter repeats the process with successive layers, each adding more depth and detail. An oil painting is not really two-dimensional. It can best be envisioned as many layers of pigment particles suspended in a transparent medium. Light reflects from all of the layers in the painting. The painter’s approach is time-consuming. But it ensures a rich, luminous result with translucent skin tones.
How Long Does It Take?
You should plan for four to five months. The artists generally can beat that time. But this allowance offers breathing room for external factors, such as complex subjects or Chinese New Year holiday periods, for instance.
Why do they take that long? We are oriented to quality, not speed. The multiple layers of oil need to partially dry between applications. Also, the finished painting needs to harden to allow safe shipping. (Oil paintings will continue to dry for up to a year, but your painting may safely be stretched and framed as soon as it is received.)
After the optimal level of detail has been reached, a photo of your painting will be sent for your approval. This jpeg is a pale representation of the in-person painting. It’s not possible to capture the depth and luminance of an oil painting in a digital photo.
The copy photo is primarily for judging content. If changes are required, they would be addressed at this time. Your painting will not be an exact, mechanical reproduction of your photo. It’s not like using an ICC-profiled printer; painting is a human-driven, organic process. Further, oil has a different gamut and greater depth of color than does digital photography and its various output media. Your painting is a collaborative process. Expect some color and tonal value shifts according to the oil painter’s experience and judgment.