Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Commissioned Portrait: Coco

Coco, 11 x 14, pastel, 2022 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Coco, 11 x 14, pastel, 2022 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Coco’s family was local, and he was loved by the whole family. Coco belonged to the mom and brother and sister went in together for the portrait as a gift to her.

I didn’t get a chance to meet Coco, but they chose a number of photos, then from them chose their favorite, so I had plenty of information about the color of his fur and eyes and his build and demeanor. I can work with that. When we first talked he had mentioned the portraits of Annie and Paige as having the background he would like to have, and I had a good visual for how I would work.

Coco wasn’t feeling well when we began and the person who commissioned me felt it was just a matter of time, so I wanted to work as quickly as possible. It was busy vendor show season and before I reorganized my upstairs studio so I could work at my easel again, and I was working outdoors for the natural light and sometimes in the basement if it was night. Sadly, they did lose Coco pretty quickly, so presenting the portrait to their mother was a memorial. He let me know afterward that his mother was very pleased to have the portrait and she went around and showed all her neighbors. Thinking of how it was a gift and Coco a recent loss, I hope it helped her feel like she could look at the portrait and feel him in it.

A Commissioned Portrait Video

Here’s the short video I created about my commissioned portraits, and a gallery of samples below.


A Gallery of Samples

You can click through this gallery of 25 samples of portraits over the years to see composition, arrangement, medium, size and more. You don’t need to have the exact photo for your portrait—in fact, I’ve created the custom image for nearly every portrait I’ve painted out of multiple photos.


Purchase a certificate

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.

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $50.00, which is the basic cost of an 8″ x 10″ black and white portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over the amount you’ve paid.

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, but I’ll usually honor them whenever they come along. It just makes my accounting easier if it’s within the same year.

Certificate Prices


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 I’m working out the easiest way to give options so it’s not too confusing..

Purchase a Commissioned Portrait Gift Certificate


Mimi is not pleased that she is not the subject.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Marketplace is a feature on The Creative Cat to share the latest coming out of my studio with my readers. Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork



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.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

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© 2022 | | 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!



Friendship Friday.



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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