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CNN  — 

From the 17th century all the way up to the late 19th century, having your family portrait painted was commonplace for middle-class European families. But as photography became popular and affordable in the 20th century, portraiture moved to the realm of fine art and the family photo became the norm. Now technology is bringing things full circle: The family portrait is back, thanks to Paint Your Life.

Started in 2006, Paint Your Life takes your photographs and works with some 300 artists around the world to create portrait paintings. Perhaps the best part is that Paint Your Life offers a service for Compilation Portraits, which gives you the option of stitching together multiple photographs into one portrait, making for a completely personalized gift. So, for example, if your grandparents couldn’t make your destination wedding, you can still add them seamlessly to the portrait. Paint Your Life’s artists can even take badly damaged, faded, folded or torn photos and bring the images back to life with a hand-painted, memory-filled masterpiece.

The Paint Your Life site has a pretty vast gallery of Compilation Portraits of all kinds and all occasions. Some examples include:

  • Family compilations
  • Birthdays
  • Mother’s Day
  • Pets (living or departed)
  • Wedding anniversary
  • Graduation
  • Lifetime (compiling multiple images of a person throughout their life to honor their accomplishments)

There are some touching stories behind the Compilation Portraits in the gallery, from bringing together family members who never had a chance to meet to house portraits of childhood homes. For example, a customer named Kristle from Groveland, New Jersey, wrote about her custom portrait that she gifted to her fiancé:

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“This painting was done for my fiancé for his birthday/anniversary present, of his grandmother who passed away a few years ago and all three of our girls (two of which she never met) as well as me; unfortunately, I never had the pleasure to meet her. … I just wanted to capture a moment we thought was impossible: a picture of her and all our girls. … It melted my heart to know I gave him something to cherish for the rest of his life!!”

You begin the process by uploading your photos and choosing a theme, medium (oil, acrylic, watercolor, etc.) and portrait size. You can then select a painter whose style you prefer after reviewing the gallery of artists. From there you choose the type of frame, then put down a 20% deposit. A digital artist/designer uses photo software to compose the portrait from the photos, including choosing a background. Then the image is sent to the painter, and the hand-painting process begins! The pricing is based on the size, subject and number of people in the portrait, ranging from $199 for a one-person 8-by-11-inch portrait all the way up to $729 for a large 48-by-72-inch portrait with multiple people. The typical turnaround time is 14 to 21 days, but like most other things in the world of e-commerce, the pandemic can make the timeline a bit longer.

And at any point during this process, customers can review the painting and request unlimited revisions, as Paint Your Life is committed to perfecting your vision.

Paint Your Life offers free worldwide shipping and totes a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your portrait. Even better, Paint Your Life is currently offering $60 off your portrait through June 2021 with the exclusive code CNN60.

With Mother’s and Father’s Day just around the corner, Paint Your Life could be a truly memorable gift after a tough year that prevented many of us from spending important time with our family and friends. A Compilation Portrait on a loved one’s wall is an artistically rendered daily reminder of what’s important in life.