Featured Artwork: My Sample Feline Portrait

Tigger, Simba and Tribecca, the sample portrait cats.
Tigger, Simba and Tribecca, the sample portrait cats.

Sometime in 2001 I was commissioned by someone who had won a portrait certificate in a benefit auction to paint two portraits, one of her cats and one of her dog. She didn’t have any photos she liked so I would visit her home to photograph her pets. I met Tigger, a torbie, Simba, a Siamese mix, and Tribecca, a dilute tortie, all rescues. I loved them right away. They were quite friendly and I love a tortie of any sort, and I loved to paint Siamese cats.

I also photographed her dog, whose name I never caught, and when I did the composites for the two portraits I loved the one of him on the floor, wagging his tail back and forth. That made for a horizontal portrait and painting the three girls in a horizontal grouping wouldn’t be a problem. Tigger and Simba were friends, but Tribecca, who was permitted outdoors, was apparently considering moving in with a neighbor.

The composite from my photos.
The composite from my photos.

I painted the portraits, adding a background that matched the color scheme in her home. Below are closeups of the girls’ faces. Tigger had so many warm torbie tones, and Simba that plushy patina of a Siamese mix.

Tigger and Simba.
Tigger and Simba.

So much fun to capture all Tribecca’s speckles. Did I ever say how much I love those dilute kitties?


I had planned to frame both portraits in the same materials and at the same size. Here is the dog’s portrait, which probably looks familiar since I’ve included him in photos of my display. I named the dog “Buckwheat” so he actually had a name. He was being very good and very pretty, but his tail never stopped, and I tried to catch that.

pastel portrait of dog
“Buckwheat”, pastel, 22″ x 16″, 2001 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The woman and I had a difficult time connecting for the framing, and it was a difficult time for me—that was when my brother was moving to the nursing home, and my mother was on a ventilator in intensive care and I had been appointed her court-ordered guardian. In time the erratic nature of what was happening calmed down though I still had a lot of visiting and transportation to do. I wrote her several times over the next few years but I ended up with the portraits.

When I started doing shows and vendor events again I decided the two portraits would be great samples. I wanted to put one of them in a poster frame so I could take it apart and show people the actual finish of a portrait and they could look at it up close, and even feel the sanded drawing paper I use. I decided the cats’ portrait was a better choice for that because there were three of them. People love to look at both portraits, and many dog lovers enjoy the secret tail wag, and cat lovers can relate to the three cats, either one or all three. I matted and framed Buckwheat’s portrait to have an example of my matting and framing.

The sample portrait in my display.
The sample portrait in my display.

Mother’s and Father’s Day Commissioned Portrait Special

I’m offering 25% off the purchase of a portrait certificate or a commissioned portrait that is booked between now and June 30, 2018, whether it’s for mother, father, grandparents or any of those special persons who encouraged your love of animals, even for yourself. Use the coupon code MOTHERSFATHERSDAY25. Read more here.

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 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 $50.00, which is the basic cost of a small monochromatic portrait.

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.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

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

I prefer to look over the work and price the portrait according to how much work will go into it, as described above, but you can either set a budget or get started by purchasing a certificate for yourself or as a gift.

How to Order

  • “Certificate A” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 black and white or monochromatic portrait with one subject.
  • “Certificate B” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 color portrait with one subject.
  • Choose “A” or “B” depending on whether your portrait is black and white or color.
  • If your portrait will be larger or have more subjects, add $50 or $100 or more to your certificate value with the drop-down below.


  • Size: 8 x 10
  • Subjects: One
  • Color: black and white media such as charcoal, pencil, ink, or monochromatic media such as one color of pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
  • Background or objects: none but shading or colored paper


  • Size: 8 x 10
  • Subjects: One
  • Color: full color media such as pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
  • Background or objects: none but a color or colored paper

Add to your certificate purchase

You can use the second drop down to add $50.00 or $100.00. For amounts over this we’d probably have a conversation and I can set up a custom certificate for your purchase.

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

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book

day book with cat portraits
Great Rescues Day Book

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

Read more and order.


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.

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© 2020 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | 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!




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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.

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