Commissioned Portrait: “Guy”

"Guy", pastel, 11 x 14, 2016 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Guy”, pastel, 11 x 14, 2016 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Meet Guy, happy in his pool. I like portraits where the subjects are happy, even if that makes the portrait a little unconventional.

Guy’s portrait was commissioned by members of Hurry Home Hounds greyhound rescue as a wedding gift for a member. Well, yeah, maybe the dog in the pool isn’t elegant, but the sun, the grass, the blue pool, the relaxed Guy made me happy to look at them, and weddings are also about happiness. When I looked at the photos of Guy to visualize a portrait, this one caught me right away, made me smile, and I knew it was likely a good one for them too.

The original reference photo.
The original reference photo.

We didn’t need the hose and the leash though, so I did a composite where I took those out. I also looked at other photos of Guy taken outdoors and the average blue pool and realized it was all darkened a bit the camera’s compensation for bright sunlight, so I lightened the composite a bit.

Detail of Guy's face and chest.
Detail of Guy’s face and chest.

I always joke with dog owners and call their brindles “tortoiseshell dogs” because they often called my tortoiseshell cats “brindle cats”. In either case they both have lots of speckles and spots. I can get lost in the almost random spotting, following it across the animal, and it was very fun to track across Guy’s face and shoulders. I use pastel pencils for portraits where the subject has a lot of spotting or stripes or other patterns, and it’s pretty time-consuming but worth every stroke.

I also enjoyed painting the water in this portrait. The water is shallow and there isn’t much reflection, but just enough to make it exciting. The little bit of “edge” along his chest and the slight back-reflection from the surface is so subtle but just enough to show the change.

Detail of the water.
Detail of the water.

Even the pool itself and the grass were fun. Objects like the pool, which are so familiar, make a portrait interesting because they are familiar where they subject may not be—only a relatively few people know Guy, but everyone recognizes a kiddie pool. You might not believe someone would look at a pool and study the colors and shapes and highlights and shadows just as you might Guy or the trees or anything else that seems like a more exciting painting subject. But the pool was one of the things I looked forward to.

Detail of the pool and grass.
Detail of the pool and grass.

And the grass too—I didn’t want it to look too detailed and heavy, or call attention to itself. It’s more like an abstract pattern, and that leaves Guy and his pool to be the stars of the portrait.

I hope you enjoy reading about my portraits. I certainly enjoy writing about them.

Also read about other current Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair
Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski
Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs
Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski
Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table
After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.

Download a Brochure

cover of brochure
My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.

Purchase a Gift Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate
Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from Portraits of Animal if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

© 2016 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!



Inspire Me Monday
Inspire Me Monday

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

3 thoughts on “Commissioned Portrait: “Guy”

  • July 5, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hi Bernadette,
    I adore your pastel portraits, and this is another genius work. You make such intelligent and beautiful decisions.
    Thank you for sharing Guy with us.

    • July 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

      Thanks so much, Meg! I’m so glad I can finally get back to work now after I’ve worked out the issues with my vision. I miss working at my easel, but physically it’s much more comfortable to work on my tabletop, and I can still produce this.

      • July 9, 2016 at 9:36 am

        Goodness gracious, Bernadette, I missed your troubling news about vision problems. So sorry to hear. Please continue to improve and by all means be well. Hugs, Meg


Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers