Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Commissioned Portrait: “Guido”

"Guido", pastel, 11" x 14" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Guido”, pastel, 11″ x 14″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I recently finished a few portraits commissioned by people who’d won donated portrait certificates through benefit auctions for different shelters and organizations. All three were dogs and I’ll feature each of them as their family gets back to me.

Because these portraits are typically smaller and simpler, they don’t have the story attached to some of my larger and more elaborate portraits, but they are special to their person and to me nonetheless—no one pays a good sum of money for a portrait of their pet, whether they bid on it at an auction or purchase directly from me, without a lot of deep feeling involved.

Guido, above, is an older golden retriever mix, and he both loved to be out in his yard and in the kitchen, no doubt waiting for a treat. I looked over the photos his person had sent, and one of them was a nice side view of him standing on a picnic table in the sun that showed all of him and a nice profile, what a memory that would be!

But because the portrait was to be 11″ x 14″ maximum, that made Guido’s face fairly small though it would catch his manner and a happy memory. With dogs especially, for these smaller portraits, I usually suggest just the face and chest so you can see their expression and all the details of their face that you love so much.

There was also a photo of him in profile close up, and there was something that told me this was the portrait. Sometimes we don’t always get to see their face straight on as most portraits are, but sitting next to them we see that profile that we always remember, and sitting in the kitchen, probably waiting for treats, is likely something that happened every day.

Guido's reference photo.
Guido’s reference photo.

The side of his face for the portrait is in shadow, but I lightened it up enough to see details. Of course I took out the kitchen in the background but always like to use a color that completes the composition. He obviously also loved to be outdoors, I added a shade of blue that is reminiscent of the sky.

I’ve been having some issues with larger pieces of artwork, standing for periods of time working at my easel and part of this turned out to be from my current trifocal prescription for glasses, so it’s taken me a while to get this current batch of portraits done and be happy with them. I was so pleased that Guido’s person understood, and said it was worth the wait to get his portrait.

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
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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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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 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!




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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