Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Commissioned Portrait: Hania and Gracja

Hania and Gracje, pencil, 8 x 10 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Hania and Gracje, pencil, 8 x 10 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The reference photo a friend showed me for a portrait he had in mind was in black and white, and immediately I saw the sketch in silvery pencil of lovely Hania and her horse Gracja, just as you see here. It’s just a small portrait, 8 x 10, but captures a moment between the girl who is working very hard on her career training horses and her favorite horse.

They are in Poland, hence their names: Hania is a dimunitive of Hana (also Hannah, Anna, etc.) and means “flower blossom”, Gracja means “Grace”.

Hania has a degree in design and is an artist and photographer as well, but she has wanted to work with horses all her life and has put her energy into this goal. In any country training horses is demanding physical work along with intuitive handling. In her mid-twenties Hania has already achieved success in training horses and is known for her work.

This portrait was a gift for Hania. At this early time in her career I hope it follows her success all through her life.

I love to work in pencil. It was my first medium and I still say I can “think” in pencil, much as you would speak a foreign language without the conscious effort of thinking of words and grammar. I can and have worked in a photorealistic style so that the work ends up looking like a black and white photo, but I wanted a softer, looser feel for this, a little simpler than extreme details.

Also being known for animals, especially cats and dogs, I enjoy adding a human here and there, and I’ve been trying to work horses into my portfolio but keep running out of time. This portrait was a nice change for me.


This portrait was commissioned by a long-time friend I’ve known since college. We’ve remained friends through the years and he’s a major patron of my artwork, having purchased most of my waterscape artwork as well as commissioned me to paint a portrait of his daughter over 20 years ago, and another one coming up soon after her recent wedding.

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.

[ss_product id=’ee6d37ec-349a-11e6-a43c-0cc47a075d76′ ]Commissioned Portrait Certificate[/ss_product]

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.

Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals



Give the gift of art, and a portrait of a beloved pet

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

Is there an animal lover on your list who has every cat or dog-themed t-shirt and handbag, and even their pets have every toy they can use for the rest of their natural lives? Consider a Commissioned Portrait Gift Certificate. Whether it’s for someone else or yourself, a custom portrait is different from a professional photograph because we can create the scene that you remember even if you never had the chance to photograph it. Your household of animal companions can be grouped in a natural setting even if their lives didn’t overlap. Purchase a certificate here or on Portraits of Animals.


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

Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.

© 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.

5 thoughts on “Commissioned Portrait: Hania and Gracja

  • Beautiful !!!

  • B; OMC ~~~~~~ this sketch is AMAZING ~~~~~ absolute amazing ….. !!!! I hope you are MORE than happy with this commission 🙂 ♥♥ L

    • Thank you, Tabbies, I had to let it sit for a while, but I am. Sometimes keeping it simple backfires and I want to keep working.


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