I found the coolest gift site ever.

These guys will paint a portrait from a photograph you mail them, and let you review it and request changes to it until you’re satisfied before they mail the painting to you.

I don’t know anything about how much portraits like this should cost, though, and I’m not sure I want to hand over the couple of hundred bucks they want (cheapest is like 110, but what I want is 20" by 24", which is like 175 plus shipping) without getting some sort of feedback.

Has anyone ever heard of this site, or any others that offer a similar service? If someone has actually had one of these done for them, were you satisfied with it?

edit: damned typo

That is pretty cool. I wonder how they can promise the 10 day turnaround. Painting sweatshops?

Well, I’ve seen similar things.

The guys in your link look like they do a better job, though.

Are they actually hand painting it though? It looks as though they might be cheating (using digital image processing techniques, then printing it with a paintjet or something). I know the site has pictures of people using brushes, but a few things make me suspicious:

-They don’t really say an awful lot about the skill of their artists
-There’s something about many of the example pictures on the site that I can’t quite put my finger on, but they really do look like photographs that have been put through an oil painting filter in Photoshop or something.
-I dunno, the tone of their whole spiel makes me feel as if they’re dancing around the truth a bit.

-Oh yeah, the idea that you can keep on requesting modifications to the work? - I know that’s not impossible for a real painting, but it’s pretty inconvenient and expensive to accommodate, I should think.

The FAQ says “All our work is 100% hand-made” but I’m definitely skeptical for the reasons you mention.

Yeah, I suppose it depends how you define ‘hand made’, doesn’t it? This post was hand made - my hands typed it and my hands clicked the mouse on the ‘post reply’ button.

I saw something to this same effect at my local Sam’s Club recently. The finished product had a kind of creepy element- a strange, dreamy, slightly cartoonish…something…that I found very unappealing.

The photo/painting in the link was better than what I saw at Sam’s. It may be that the pictures displayed at Sam’s were mostly of children. Perhaps the technique or style is different for kids.

Upon viewing the children’s page at the website, I can see the kid pictures here are a little different than the Sams’s display.

The Sam’s pictures had added alot of “wing and halo” type effects to the finished product, similar to the (one) picture of the baby in the website presentation.

I’m a little bit baffled by this, because I can’t imagine they’d deliberately lie. But an oil painting, a real oil painting, takes months to dry! It just does.

This has got me really puzzled, because I know that when artists work straight from photographs, there’s still some individual interpretation. They’re not perfectly accurate. There are a few pencil and charcoal pieces signed “Brita” that I can believe, because they’re not perfect (but are quite accurate).

Maybe they use those those opaque projectors?. There’s some evidence that the artist Vermeer used a “camera obscura” to aid him in some of his paintings (not sure if that issue has been settled). I’ve never worked with one, so I don’t know anything about them.

I think those “oils” are computer-generated, with a couple of dabs of real paint on the top. Take a look at the detail on this one - there’s no evidence of how that paint was applied, no brush strokes at all. How did they get those tiny darks and lights for her arm? Working with a tiny, tiny brush would take forever!

The shots where a person is adding paint to a portrait that’s pinned to a messy, paint-spattered wall? Bwahahah! That’s goofy! Why would they untape a painting (notice the hard edges) only to pin it to a dirty wall? That really makes it look like they pulled it out of a printer and added a few dabs.

These people do some excellent portraits, and they are mondo expensive.

I dunno how they’re doing accurate, cheap portraits – but it’s GOOD NEWS as far as I’m concerned! Every time I do portraits at a show, someone will ask to work from photographs. I don’t do it. But I do tell them, there are plenty of people online who will!

I’m almost certain you’re right, fessie - I reckon they’re using a paintjet plotter onto canvas, then dabbing a little bit of extra paint on top here and there to create the illusion it’s all done by hand.

I just downloaded the photo and painting versions of that wedding photo you linked and superimposed one over the other with 50% transparency. everything lines up exactly - even insignificant little highlights on branches and leaves. No artist does that.

Those portraits are meh, bordering on creepy-fake-cheesy. (at least of human work) They are not genuine and lack any warmth.
Now, the Museum of Bad Art, that some good stuff. I think I might get my mom the book for her birthday. THANKS!

Pet Portraitists More art. And another artist

Human portraits

Overall, Etsy is a fantastic place to wander for all areas of handmade thingies.

And, because Dopers are a fun lot, I thought I would throw in : Porn By Numbers

Do your own naked lady portrait.

Possibly **NSFW. **

It is most definitely a combination of fancy ink-jet and a little hand painting. My workstudy student, who is graduating, interviewed at one of these operations only they did mostly landscaped. She was outraged at the “bad art”.

Re: the “bad art” museum – I think “Sunday on the Pot with George” is hysterical, and really not half bad.

Porn by numbers - Shirley!! Need a “smack you upside the head” smilie :smiley: .

Ugh. I’m with Shirley. Those paintings are tacky.

runs off to the porn-by-numbers site

Did you do the Mustang? I’m thinking that one looks hand painted to me.
You could, of course, distort and modify the original photo and then have the oil effects laid down. That would ensure a more handmade looking finish, but the Mustang doesn’t seem to be done this way.
The passenger side mirror doesn’t line up with the original, for instance.

Interesting – the passenger side of that car is a little goofy, isn’t it? Maybe because they had to crop and replace all those trees in Photoshop? Look at the license plate, though, “Shelby” - you can see the paint. How did they get the rest of the paint on the canvas? Those tiny, precise dots of grey alternating with white?

Fake, as far as I’m concerned - I haven’t tried superimposing the images, but it looks like the image has undergone a fairly simple (and subtle) trapezoid transform. There might be a touch more overpainting on that example than on the wedding shot, but the telltale signs of cheating are still there (too much detail in the headlights, glaringly unskilful painting in the bit that obviously has been done by hand - the license plate).

In fact, if you look carefully at the license plate, you can see where they painted over the ford logo!

Furthemore, an artist wouldn’t leave in details of the cropped background that are clearly visible through the windscreen. A photoshopper quite possibly would.