Our art designer on the design process

If your photograph needs a little extra umph to make the perfect painting, we’re here for you. Our graphic artists are highly trained in both classical and digital art techniques, and we work magic with a stylus.

The process

Your favorite photograph starts its voyage to a new piece of custom artwork at the Port of Photoshop. Everything from a simple background swap, to changing clothing, poses, or even going back in time is possible here. We have restored photographs damaged by water or time, colored old black and white portraits, and reunited beloved pets with their owners on canvas.

The client always gets the final word on the design. We don't give the artist vague directions and just hope for the best, we want it perfect from start to finish.

Artist Spotlight: Annalei Lake on the design process

I love creating artwork. I think anyone can appreciate art in some form, and I believe what drives my creativity is working with my customers to make something that creates a moving and lasting reaction in them. This can be a bit of a challenge and quite time consuming, but I always accept each individual project with anticipation and excitement. 

I'm the designer at Anything Painted on Canvas, where you can have anything that your mind can imagine painted or drawn into amazing, professional artwork to hang on your wall. Want a painted family portrait displayed above your fireplace?  How about a dynamic oil painting of yourself as a character in a scene of your favorite show or video game?  Maybe you prefer to own a replica of a famous Klimt painting. We do it all here at Anything Painted on Canvas, and it starts with design.

When a customer comes to me with an idea, it's my job to show them their vision made into a well-developed design. This design will then go to one of our talented artists to directly reference while they create the painting.

Many of my designs include head swaps.  Here is an example of a project done with a head swap.

Image of a US service member in front of a US flag


Young man with short hair smiling.

Here are the two images I was provided with a request to change the head and the name on the uniform. Notice how the head to be swapped in is in the same angle as the original head to be replaced; this is really important. If the angle is wrong, the whole thing will look wrong. It's also important that the images provided are high enough resolution for the painters to see details.  With some brightness adjustments and blending, the final design came out looking natural, as if the photograph had been this way from the beginning.

Altered design of service member with a different head and face

 The Finished Design

Once the client approves the design, it will be sent to the artist, and they are able to create the painting as directed by the client.

Painting of a service member in uniform

The Final Painting

Sometimes we have to rebuild an entire face due to the low quality of the photo provided.  Below is an image I was provided to create a portrait to hang up in a school.


Black and white image of an older man with glasses


This is an old photograph, and not quite up to par for using in a design.  I needed to find images of similar facial features and piece them together over the original photo to reconstruct the image.  I also needed to switch out the suit for solid color suit to create a professional portrait.


Older man with white hair and glasses in a suit and tie

 The Finished Design

The design holds great resemblance to the original photo, and has the color and detail needed for the artist to work with while painting.


oil portrait of old man with white hair and glasses

The Final Painting

This same process can be used for pets, environments, or anything else you may want painted, even if you don't have a photograph of it.  It's all about the references used to rebuild the subject, and taking the time in Photoshop to blend, adjust, and constantly flip back and fourth from original image to design to make sure there is consistency. I always offer 3 revision requests of my designs as well, because the client knows the subject better than I do.

I like to partner with my clients. With your vision and my expertise, let's see what we can create together!