Eye portraits


The eyes are the window to the soul, and I offer unique and personal portraits based on a single eye. They are inspired by 18th century ‘Lover’s Eye’ tokens, created to keep loved ones close, even when apart.

Family groups can be painted together in a grid (like the example above), set out as a family tree formation (in a triangular formation of child/children, parents, grandparent etc), or individually framed in small glass frames to hang from a shelf or use as a decoration. I can also make bespoke, hand-painted/decorated frames on request.

Size and medium: Each eye image is approximately 50 mm (2 inches) square and I work in acrylic on heavy, acid-free paper.

How I work: I work from photographs, supplied by you, so the eye portraits can be painted remotely. I can paint your pet’s eye too, if you want them in your family group! Ideally, you should supply two photographs for each person – one showing a single eye and surrounding area only, close up and in good light so I can clearly see the colour of the iris. The other should show the whole face, so I can get a feel for your facial expression. All photos supplied need to be sharp and as high resolution as you can manage – a blurred or dark photo won’t give me enough visual information to paint with subtlety.

Click here to see an example – this is a large personal piece I’m working on called ‘Family and Friends’, and shows a number of the eye portraits set in a grid. Yours may just be one or two, or a larger family group.

Pricing: Each 50 mm square eye portrait (unframed) takes at least two hours of careful study to paint, and costs £75. If you would like it in a hanging ‘antique zinc’- or ‘antique brass’-edged frame with colourful recycled sari hanging ribbon, it is an additional £10 for the frame (so one bespoke painting individually mounted in a small zinc frame is £85 / two paintings in a single frame, mounted back-to-back, is £160, a family of four mounted back-to-back in two frames is £320).

Bespoke frames (style/size of your choice, or a hand decorated frame), frames for works painted in a grid/other formation, will be costed according to requirement and will be charged in addition to the painting cost. You may prefer to frame the work yourself and just pay for the unmounted painting. We can talk through your options.

Payment: You will be invoiced for the work, and payment is in two stages for a typical piece – 50% deposit before work commences, and 50% on completion. For larger commissions with over six eye portraits, the 50% balance may be spread over more, smaller payments, at intervals to be agreed with you.

Please note that this item cannot be purchased via the shop as it is bespoke.

Contact Kate

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