Commission a Painting

Here's a look at the process of how a photograph is turned into a painting.

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hand-painted portraits

Karen Sperling paints commissioned people and pet portraits, landscapes and abstracts based on photos that she takes for you, photos that you supply or photos submitted by photographers for their clients.

Karen Sperling specializes in mixed media creations that combine the best of today's cutting edge art creation tools with time-honored traditional oils. She can also paint from scratch in traditional oils or pastels.

Your painting is created by hand from start to finish.


Mixed media paintings start with a photo either taken by Karen Sperling or provided by the client or submitted by a photographer for his or her client.

hand-painted portraits

You and Karen discuss the style and colors that you desire for your commissioned painting.

Then, using the photo for reference, Karen hand paints the painting in Corel Painter brushstroke by brushstroke using a Wacom stylus and tablet. There are no buttons, actions or filters to apply to get the look of Karen's paintings. They are all painted by hand with the same skill and talent that go into traditional painting. Paintings on the computer take as long or longer than paintings with traditional materials.

Karen can paint in any style with any colors to fit any decor. You can see some examples of styles in the Commissioned Paintings link at the top of this page. These are just examples—you and Karen discuss the look of your commissioned painting that will delight and excite you and future generations.

hand-painted portraits

Next, the painting is printed to canvas or paper.

Then Karen hand paints brushstrokes with traditional oils on the printed canvas, adding layers of texture and color in the manner of the Renaissance artists, who used glazes to build up luxurious tones in their paintings.

The final painting is a truly unique, hand-painted work of art!

Karen follows a similar process for painting from scratch with traditional oils or pastels. She uses a photo as the basis for the painting, you and she discuss your style and color preferences and then she paints based on the submitted photo.

Paintings can be of any subject--families, children, pets, cars, travel destinations--anyone or anything near and dear to you.

hand-painted portraits Paintings can also be based on treasured snapshots capturing past and present family moments, including special events like weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, dance recitals and sports competitions--even selfies!--just to name a few examples. Paintings can also be for official and corporate events and subjects, including political, military, executive and clerical portraits, etc. Or they can be of your home or favorite vacation destinations. Just as long as you have the photographer's permission for copyrighted photos, just about any photos you have or that Karen takes for you can be turned into exquisite cherished keepsake paintings. And the paintings can be in any style, either those that you see here at this website or pretty much anything else!

Write to Karen Sperling or call her at 818-941-9739 to commission your beautiful hand-painted cherished keepsake portrait today!