Friday, December 1, 2023
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Commissioned Portrait: Betts

pastel portrait of german short-haired pointer dog
“Betts”, pastel, 9″ x 11″, 1999 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I wanted to get at least one more autumn-themed portrait in here before all the leaves are gone, so here is Betts, a friendly German short-haired pointer whose portrait I’d painted in 1999.

Betts’s person just wanted a nice smallish portrait of her best buddy. Several of her friends had commissioned me to do portraits of their dogs and cats and though Betts was fairly young she wanted to be sure to record her at that age. For all the photos she had of Betts being the best dog in the world, though, none of them were ones she wanted to use when she looked them over. She said she’d try to take some more, and I told her that I could take a few for an extra fee, and then she could have copies of those when we were done as well as the portrait.

So she stopped over with Betts, who was very excited about her modeling debut as German short-haired pointers tend to be. Getting her to stop wiggling after a car ride was the first order of business, but after some treats and play and belly rubs…

dog on her back
Betts shows how friendly she is.

Betts was ready for her glamor shots. We actually took surprisingly few photos for such a happy dog, though remember that these were on film and I would have no idea if they were clear or even appropriate until I got the prints back; often, for portraits where I’d taken all the reference photos, I used one-day or even one-hour developing so we didn’t have to come back to it a few weeks later.

First, the pose we wanted. This was the angle and pose in which she chose to sit, because it was the one in which she sat still enough to get a clear photo. That’s a clear indication to me that this is what she wanted—and while you take a look at this photo, also note that I even used the leaves around her, just because I liked them.

portrait of german short-haired pointer dog
Photo of Betts’s pose.

And then Betts was ready for her closeup…with her human keeping a good grip on her collar.

photo of portrait of german short-haired pointer dog
Reference photo for Betts’s face.

And here’s a closeup of her face in the portrait, though I wish I’d taken a better photo of it.

detail of pastel portrait of portrait of german short-haired pointer dog
Detail of Betts’s face.

Her person decided she wanted an autumn scene in the background, so I used some photos I’d taken of Star and Pepe’s back yard for their portrait, below, but that will be another story once I find the reference photos for those two.

pastel portrait of german shepherd and terrier
“Pepe and Star”, pastel portrait of two dogs.

Again, I wish I’d taken better photos of the artwork, though as 4″ x 6″ prints they look great. I’m glad I’m able to get back to some of the people who commissioned me to paint these and rephotograph them. Someday I hope to catch up with Betts’s human and see what she’s up to.

For a couple of other autumn portraits see also “Sophie and Ellie, Being Very Good” and Cassie and Tyler, Rescued Rescue Dogs.


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 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 my Etsy shop 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.

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If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In October I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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.

© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski



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

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