Unique and Weird Ideas for Custom Portrait Paintings

Straightjacket, hyperrealistic portrait paintings of people can sometimes get boring. No matter how realistic the image looks, it wouldn’t spark a feeling of awe or admirable beauty after a while.

To infuse some creativity into your custom portrait paintings, we’ve come up with a list of five unique and weird ideas to make your work shine and compel your audience to stare at your paintings for longer. Are you ready?

Become the Mona Lisa

It’s the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, and the world’s most parodied artwork, according to The Independent. You can get a piece of that action with some paint and brush strokes.

The Mona Lisa is a 77 cm × 53 cm Italian Renaissance painting of Lisa Gherardini painted by the one and only Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1500s. Francesco del Giocondo, Lisa’s husband, hired Leonardo to create the painting.

The artist never actually gave the painting to the family, and it is believed that he willed it to his apprentice, Salai. Later, King Francis, I of France acquired the painting, and to this day, it is a property of the French Republic and has been on display at the Louvre in France since 1797.

Given the history and popularity of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa painting, it’s no wonder that lots of people have painted or edited their faces onto one of the iconic custom portraits. It’s a unique idea that shows off your weird side. You could even try it on other famous paintings!

Paint Yourself Into Movie Sets, Become The Star

We’ve all been there. First, you watched a hard-hitting, heart-wrenching film with impressive sets and locations on Netflix, and now you wish you were there. But the problem is that you can’t afford to travel there, or the pandemic won’t let you.

What if you didn’t have to travel there and could paint yourself as if you were a part of the movie?! The good news is that you don’t need to ask, “what if?”. Instead, you could simply start a new portrait project and creatively paint yourself like you were a paid star.

Fans inserting themselves into their favorite films isn’t a new thing. Entire social media accounts are dedicated to editing and digitally manipulating images to include fans in films like Harry Potter and the blockbuster movie, Avatar.

But you’re an artist, so you don’t need to rely on computer-generated images and Adobe Photoshop to do the work. Instead, take your phone or movie viewing device, locate your favorite scene from a movie and paint it with yourself as a natural cast of the show.

Sentimental But Timeless

Sentimental value is one of the most common reasons people give for commissioning a painting. And it’s not shameful if you fall into this category of sentimental art lovers. The problem is that plain, straight-to-the-point, sentimental portraits can often become boring. Simply painting your dog or lovely grandma that passed away might not cut it. So how can you spice it up?

Think of an event or family hangout where your loved one didn’t attend, but you wished they did. For example, if it’s a family picnic, mirror The Last Supper, line everyone along the sides of a picnic table like the disciples, and paint your loved one into it.

Also, you might not have all your best people around the globe present in a single photo, but you have pictures of them in individual pictures. If you want them together, paint everyone with happy faces in your happiest place, including yourself.

Your Face But With Real Objects For Facial Features

Combining painting with solid objects has always been a different route artists use to express their craft. Most artworks that utilize this style often use the object’s natural color. That means, if they used a red bowl, it meant wherever the artist placed that bowl would be red.

So, incorporating colored solid objects into your painting isn’t an outlandish concept to consider for your next project. And no, you’re not going to put the objects into a paint bucket or bowl, but you could use the object’s natural colors.

For instance, you could paint your usual portrait of a face and then attach objects to the painting to give it a solid 3D look. For example, you could use multicolored buttons for eyes, a small plastic carrot for a nose, and a bunch of buttons arranged in the shape of an ear for the ears.

Another idea is to take solid objects like office pins, spoons, old shoes, anything at all, and arrange them in the shape of the object you want to paint. But, of course, you won’t leave it at that. Instead, paint over these objects with the colors you intended to use for the plain portrait painting.

People of All Shapes and All Sizes

There are moments in an artist’s life when they may feel like conventional straight or curved lines just don’t cut it for them anymore. In that case, why not try using shapes or different sizes to paint your subject.

The number and type of shapes you have at your disposal are enough to spark your imagination and create a unique and crazy painting that shows off your creativity as an artist. Why not start with curved circles, angled triangles, or a cornered shape like a square.

A perfect example is using squares to draw a curved subject like the human face. The human face, particularly a woman’s face, is usually characterized by curves and soft edges. Imagine you paint a woman’s face using little squares of different colors, putting corners and angles where curves should be. You’ll have a juxtaposition of small squares and the larger circles of the facial outline, making for a pleasing, artistic expression. Now, that’s unique creativity!


It’s every artist’s dream to wow their viewer, exceed client expectations and be able to dish out creative paintings at the stroke of a brush. With these unique and quirky ideas for painting a custom portrait, we hope you’re inspired to pick up a brush and start creating marvelously weird magic.

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