Portraiture has been around for many centuries. It is one of the things that are taught in school as a part of various art classes. Everyone knows that there are many art schools that teach people to paint portraits, so there must be a great number of gifted portrait artists around us. Portrait is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear "art". However, when a young family feels the need to get it (that usually happens when babies are born and people naturally want to get something that will remind them of such joyful moments), they turn to a regular photo studios around the corner. Somehow no one, or at least not too many people, even thinks about finding a real portrait artist and commissioning a portrait.
I was wondering why that is... And I really can not come up with an answer. I understand why everyone seems to think that getting a hand full of photos from a portrait studio is the way to go, it is easy, fast and not too expensive. And in many cases photographers create real art using their cameras. But why not commission a portrait?
There are many advantages that paintings have over the photos. Your photo is just a reflection of you. A portrait painter has an opportunity to add his/her own personality into the painting. Every painter has his/her own style and way of doing things. All that goes into a painting making it truly unique. What better gift could you find?
Some good photographers play with the setting, clothes and backgrounds to create a unique portrait, but they are still limited to what is there. I mean they can not create something completely fictional, at least not with the camera. Portrait artists on the other hand, are free to use their imagination. If you want, they can create a fantasy portrait which will have totally fictional setting. Just imagine all the possibilities.
In my humble opinion, a traditional painting is a great gift that you can give to yourself. You can easily find a good portrait artist and commission a portrait for a very reasonable price nowadays. You can get a nice watercolor portrait for about $200 - $400 dollars. A pencil drawing could cost you about the same. Oil portraits, however, can be more expensive in certain cases, mainly because the price of the materials is higher. In any case, if you manage to find a great artist, you will not regret the money spent. If the portraiture has existed for so many centuries, there must be something to it.
Here is where you can get some creative family portrait ideas. You will see that there are many gifted portrait artists around us, the only problem is to find the right one.