Even if you aren’t an art lover or a creative by nature, you’d still appreciate a hand-painted oil portrait. It evokes emotions in you, especially if there’s a loved one or your whole family on it.

I just received my first ever oil painting and realized there are many things I could do with it now. So decided to create a post with ideas on how to use a portrait like that to make others happy or decorate your home.

This painting is from Portraits on Demand.

lidiya portrait

I chose that exact picture as it’s just me on a background that shares what I’m all about. That’s one of the canals in Amsterdam, Netherlands which is my favorite destination. Now it’s also my new home, and part of my lifestyle design project as I left my home country a year ago once I got my online business off the ground and became location independent.

So this is not just a portrait of a girl. It’s about freedom, independence and saying that everyone can live a lifestyle like that.

In addition, my mum took the picture while she was visiting with my dad. They are in the boat too. So that makes it extra special.

Now that I have it, I came up with some ideas on how to make the most of it (as I won’t be keeping it for myself). Maybe one of these will inspire you to turn your photo into a painting this year too.

Here’s a list of thoughtful ways to appreciate fine art:

How to Use a Hand-Painted Oil Portrait

1. A birthday gift.

If the birthday of a relative or friend is coming closer, why not surprise them with this? It could be a portrait of themselves or a picture of you two.

2. Style your home office.

If you’re working from home, like me, then this would be a nice addition to your home office. In fact, it could be the only decorative element you add to the walls while keeping the rest minimalist.

Make sure you turn a photo that inspires you into a painting, though. Researchers suggest that exposure to art in the office promotes creativity.

3. Give it to a loved one without an occasion.

Doing something like that every now and then can strengthen a relationship.

Sometimes people can have doubts about how important they are to us. And a thoughtful gift like that, doing something special together, or simply making time for them more often, can make a big difference.

4. Decorate your home.

Of course, one of the best uses for an oil painting is to place it somewhere around your or a friend’s home and let it make the atmosphere better.

What are the benefits of this?

For a start, you’re personalizing the place. It’s also one of the ways to make your home a happier place. If you choose a colorful oil painting, then you’re allowing the colors on it to affect your mood too. That’s backed by science.

Turns out we’re experiencing every color and the combination of them. They can affect not just our mood, but also brain and body.

5. A thoughtful gift for the art lover in your life.

If you have a creative person in your life, you know they think differently. It might seem hard to surprise them with a gift, but a hand-painted oil portrait might be just what they want to see.

Doesn’t matter if that person is an actual artist, or just appreciates fine art. A gift like that from you would be a nice addition to their collection.

6. Commemoration.

Another way to use an oil painting is for a memorial service. Instead of just printing one, this would be a little something you do for the person to pay respect one last time.

7. An idea for your next housewarming.

Now that’s an occasion people usually have a hard time choosing a present for. It’s best to give them something that’s both unique and which can also become part of the new home. So an oil painting is the ideal home decor contribution from you.

The person living there will then decide whether they want to put it in a visible place, or in a more private room.

8. Keep the memory of your pet alive.

We do appreciate our pets while they are around us, but that’s not gonna be forever. If you have a cat or dog that’s been with you for ages now, you can keep the memory alive by turning a picture of them into an oil painting that you’ll get to keep for yourself.

Here are examples of pet portraits by Portraits on Demand:

pet oil paintings

9. A wedding gift for a couple.

Last but not least, if you have a wedding to attend some time this year, or even the next one, you can order a portrait so you can make both the bride and groom happy.

Chances are, there won’t be another present like that on the event. What’s more, you can find a unique picture of them that they’ve forgotten about. Maybe one back from the days when they were just dating.

What will I do with my painting?

As you can see, there are many things you can do with a piece of art like that. As for mine, I will give it to my grandma after putting it into a nice frame.