Frequently asked questions

  • Turnaround/Shipping

  • Can I order by phone?

    Absolutely. If you’d prefer to speak with someone, give us a call on (+61) 424 231 529 (international) or 0424 231 529 (Australia). We’re based in Sydney, Australia and happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • What is the turnaround time?

    We’ll email you a photo of the first draft generally within 14 days of placing your order. If you approve the painting straightaway, it will be couriered for arrival within 7 – 10 days. If you request touch-ups, each round of alterations will add another 3 – 4 business days onto the turnaround time.

    Delivery time altogether is usually 4 – 5 weeks. If you need a speedier turnaround, please leave a note with your order in the comments section of the checkout page. Alternatively, drop us an email or call us on (+61) 424 231 529 (international) or 0424 231 529 (Australia) and we’ll do what we can to help.

  • I am buying my painting as a gift for a birthday or Christmas and need it painted fast – what can you do?

    We get asked this all the time so don’t stress because we have a solution which works every time. So long as the painting is ordered at least 10 days before the special day, that gives us enough time to prepare a draft painting or sketch. We then take a photo of that draft and email it to you, which you (the gift giver) can show to the gift recipient on the special day. The completed painting or sketch then arrives shortly after the special day which some of our customers has said is even better as it’s like getting an extra present :-)

  • Which countries do you deliver to?

    We deliver paintings worldwide.

  • How much does delivery cost?

    We offer FREE DELIVERY – whether you order one artwork or many!

  • Do you offer an express delivery service?

    All paintings are sent via express delivery.

  • Photo Options / Editing

  • Can I edit my photo before painting?

    Yes. It’s easy! Simply upload your photo as usual. After you select your size and medium, a pop-up will appear asking whether you need professional photo editing. Select ‘Yes’ and $50 AUD will be added to your total. On the checkout page, use the comments section to add instructions for how you’d like us to edit the photo. Once your order has been processed, we’ll contact you by email or phone to discuss the exact editing you require.

  • Can you edit out my ex-boyfriend?

    Probably! We’ve had requests to add people into photos, delete ex-partners, change background scenery – even to superimpose faces onto historical figures’ bodies! We’re creative and happy to help. So if you’re unsure, just ask. Email us on or call (+61) 424 231 529 (international) or 0424 231 529 (Australia).

  • What format photos can I send?

    Basically, all the main ones – TIFF, GIF, JPEG. If your image upload doesn’t work, try converting it to a JPEG. If that doesn’t work, drop us a line on our contact page – we’ll do whatever we can to help.

  • Do my photos need to be a certain resolution?

    The higher the resolution the better, because it helps us identify the colours in your photo and accurately portray the image. 700KB is generally the minimum size that we work from. That said, don’t let questions about the resolution stop you from getting your picture painted – we’re pretty clever people, us artists, and can often work out a solution (like editing the photo in Photoshop before painting). If you’re really unsure about the quality of your photo then drop us a line on our contact page – we’re happy to help.

  • What if I upload a photo that can’t be painted because the photo quality is poor?

    We’ll refund your paid amount, no questions asked or help you find a solution.

  • Why do prices vary according to the medium and size of the painting?

    Because of the varied levels of skill, time and complexity required to produce the different pieces.

  • What if there are people or things in the photo that I don’t want in the painting?

    This is a pretty common issue so don’t stress! We don’t expect you to be able to edit the photos yourself. After you have selected your size and medium, a pop-up will appear asking whether you require professional photo editing. Select ‘Yes’ and $50 AUD will be added to your total. On the checkout page, use the comments section to add instructions for how you’d like us to edit the photo. Once your order has been processed, we’ll contact you by email or phone to discuss the exact editing you require.

  • How many characters can I have in my painting?

    By ‘characters’ we mean faces – either human or animal. A face is a really detailed image to accurately paint and each face takes several hours to complete. The prices vary a bit between the sizes. As a rule of thumb, we recommend the following number of characters per size:

    • 16×20 inch (40x50cm) – up to 4 characters
    • 20×24 inch (50x60cm) – up to 6 characters
    • 30×40 inch (75x100cm) – up to 10 characters
    • 48×72 inch (100x180cm) – up to 15 characters

    If you have any questions or need a hand, just get in touch via our contact page.

  • What if my photo is of a crowded scene with lots of people?

    If you have a photo with a lot of people in it (such as of a concert or public gathering), it’ll need to be done in one of the 3 larger sizes. The expressions of the faces in the crowd won’t be as detailed as in a close-up portrait, but the quality will nevertheless be top-notch. See our gallery for examples of our artworks that feature lots of characters.

  • Do your artworks come framed?

    No they don’t, sorry – it’s just too difficult with the postage. But we love to see artwork framed because it looks fantastic! So we do encourage you to get your Picarto artwork framed by your local framer.

  • Returns/Refunds

  • What if I need to return an artwork?

    We closely inspect all of our artworks before sending, and use the most trusted courier services to deliver them to your house. However, if a painting does arrive in anything less than immaculate condition, we do encourage you to contact us without delay so that we can resolve this for you. Simply take a photo of any damage that has occurred and send this along with a brief description of the issue to We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. Should the painting be faulty, we’ll ask you to return the damaged product and happily fix it or produce a replacement artwork at no extra cost.

  • What if I change my mind and want to cancel my order?

    Because we begin working on orders as soon as they come through, we do not refund or exchange if you change your mind. Where possible (based on the circumstance) we may provide a partial refund but please note there is a minimum cancellation fee of 50% of your final deposit if you cancel your order once artistry has begun.

  • Gift vouchers/Discount codes

  • Do you do gift vouchers?

    Sure do – simply email stating the gift voucher amount and who it is for. We’ll do the rest and you can just pay via credit card or Paypal. Oh, and if you’d prefer to speak with someone simply give us a call – 0424 231 529 within Australia or +61 424 231 529 international.

  • Privacy

  • Will you use my photo and painting on your website?

    We’re proud of our work! So sometimes we do use photos and finished paintings on our Facebook page, website, newsletter and other marketing. However, if you’d rather we didn’t use your photo/artwork, simply notify us and we won’t use it. You can do this by emailing us at or including a note on the checkout page in the Special Requests box.

  • General/Website issues

  • Are these real hand paintings?

    Yes. 100% authentic original artworks, hand-painted and sketched by our team of artists. To keep our prices affordable and to produce the most accurate painting possible with a fast turnaround for our customers, our artists will generally use a projector which projects the photo on to their canvas thus precluding the need to go through a detailed sketching process to begin which can be time consuming, and can lead to irregularities between photo and painting. The painting is still done by hand, on canvas, by dedicated talented artists.

    For the purist we also provide paintings which have been sketched first. This is a more expensive custom option and can take a little longer to produce, but it’s certainly something we can facilitate and we’re happy to provide photos of the sketching process to give our fabulous customers an inside glimpse in to the work which went in to creating their artwork. To enquire about a custom artwork which has been sketched first, contact us on

    Our pencil sketches are of course all 100% from scratch.

  • I’m having trouble while uploading my photo

    Firstly if you are experiencing difficulties with our website then we certainly apologise and would encourage you to report the issue you’re having to us. There are certain issues which do cause a few headaches at times such as photos being uploaded which are too large, or thumbnails not displaying correctly on certain devices like ipads. Fortunately it’s really easy to get around them by simply contacting us direct and letting us assist. Email us anytime or alternately just give us a call 0424 231 529 within Australia, or +61 424 231 529 international.

  • Who does the paintings?

    Currently (June, 2015) Picarto has a staff of 24, including 21 full-time artists. Our artists and staff are based in Hong Kong, Australia, Sweden and Fujian Province (China), where they work from home in their own studio. Each of our artists specialises in different mediums (oils and sketches), subjects (animals, landscapes, people) and styles (Impressionism, Realism, etc.). So when an order comes through, we match the order with the artist who will do the best job.

  • What is the quality of the paintings like?

    Exceptional. Our artists are highly experienced and paint for a living – they balance speed with quality at the highest standard. You will be seriously impressed by the quality of our authentic artworks on canvas.