Shafaqna (International Shia News Agency) – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered some questions regarding painting. According to Shafaqna the questions and answers are as follows:
Question 1: Is it permissible to draw or produce a scene which shows the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), one of the past prophets or the infallible Imams (a.s.), or other luminaries and show it in cinema, on television or theatre?
Answer: If due deference and respect is observed, and the scene does not contain anything that would detract from their holy pictures in the minds [of the viewers], there is no problem.
Question 2: In some Western countries, artists sit on the kerb of public footpaths and paint pictures of those who wish to get their portraits drawn for a fee. They do so by asking their customers to pose for them, and then carefully observe their faces in order to paint their portraits. Is it permissible for a woman with hijãb to ask the artist to draw her picture?
Answer: She should not do so.
Source: Ayatollah Sistani