Thursday, December 29, 2011

Old Cowhand

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)
Here's a job that I would have loved to do the entire picture -- horse and all! But the client could only afford the basic portrait. The photo was old and small; his head was about 1/2" high. But though the contrast was strong, the highlights were perfectly exposed and the shadows retained just enough detail to be intriguing.

Visit to commission a pencil portrait from your old photo!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Portrait Commission

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

A family honors their veteran father's proud service to our country!

See to commission a portrait in pencil.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Pet Cat Memorial Portrait

Their family cat had passed away shortly before Christmas this year. A memorial portrait from an excellent reference photo as this one was never fails to touch something deep inside me.
I have has several cats come and go through my life...

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)
Visit to commission a portrait in pencil.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Pet Portrait

A recent pet portrait commission (conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches.) The adorable ones like this are the most enjoyable jobs!
See my drawings website at for info on how to commission a pencil portrait.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Pet Portrait Commission

A recent pet portrait commission  (conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)
See my drawings website for information on how to commission a portrait in pencil.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Portrait Commission

Another Holiday portrait commission. I'm half-way through the craft show at Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio. With more portraits than time to post them!
See my Drawings website on how to commission a pencil portrait! RitaKirkmanDrawings.com

Monday, December 5, 2011


"Nellie"  (oil, 6x6 inches) 

Nellie is the 'identical twin' of Hugo (wink) a handsome cow of whom I have so many great pics to choose from, that I had to paint another. I especially enjoyed the distinctive pink pattern on the muzzle, and the trepidatious look in her eye!
I believe I'm making steady improvements with my oil painting skills!

(Now available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, as of Jan 2012)

"Cows, etc." The Book, Now Available!

My new art book "Cows, etc. -100 Miniature Portraits-" celebrates the beauty of the bovine and other animals, in 100 miniature pastel portraits, reproduced in full color images! Available here:
Just in time for  Christmas gift giving! (Order soon to allow time for printing and shipping)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


"Guardian"  (pastel, 16x12 inches)

This is my answer to several requests for another "Bodyguard", which won first place recently at the ASBA, and sold immediately! "Guardian" will be available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas after Dec 5.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cold Shoulder

"Cold Shoulder"  (oil, 6x6 inches)  

Here's a new play on the profile view, after so many front-on portraits. And I just couldn't resist the fluffy ear!

(Now available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, as of Jan 2012.)

Monday, November 28, 2011


"Valentina"  (pastel, 8x6 inches)

"Valentina" had the privilege of representing my artwork for the honor of being a juror for the 2011 IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) exhibition in Albuquerque earlier this year. She was displayed on the juror's wall during the exhibit, right between paintings by Desmond O'Hagan and Liz Haywood-Sullivan (and is also behind me in my Facebook profile pic!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saving George

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)  This is my donation to a silent auction for the saving of George, a Great Pyrenees puppy with a genetic birth defect. See the details and how you can help here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Cows, etc." The Poster is Here!

"Cows, etc. - 99 Miniature Portraits -" (24x18 inches) is my poster celebrating the completion of 100 cows and other animals in this series of small portraits. I'm also working on a book (which will be ready any week now...) and the poster was my quick gift to myself as soon as I knew the book would be delayed...
Order a poster here!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Brothers

This is an 8x10 pencil portrait commission. Visit my drawings site at to order a portrait drawing from your photo!

Friday, November 18, 2011


"Max" (pastel pencil, 10x8 inches) is a recent commission. The client wanted a black & white pencil drawing originally, but when I saw the photo of Max, I HAD to talk him into getting color! It was easy!
See my Pencil Portrait site for information on commissioning a portrait, at

Thursday, November 17, 2011


"Cinnamon"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

This warm, friendly fellow is recently available after not hearing from a client I was saving him for. He's available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas until through January 2012. He's also included in my book and poster!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"Louie"   (pastel, 7x5 inches)

"Louie" is on page 97 of my book "Cows, etc. - 100 Miniature Portraits -" and the original painting will is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.
The book is still waiting for the second proof, but hopefully I'll have the poster in time for Friday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


"Noble"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

How could I forget Noble? Noble is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, through January 2012!

Friday, November 11, 2011


"Jasper"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

I like Jasper. He's got attitude!
He's also my last post for the current batch of bovines included in my new "Cow's etc." book (in progress!)
Jasper is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


"Butterscotch"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

This little calf had the most unique coloring I think I've ever seen. Made me think of warm butterscotch swirled into white cake batter...(yep - been thinking of food lately!)
This one will also be available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.

Monday, November 7, 2011


"Sam"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

I believe this is my first llama in this series - I don't know why that is; I love the look of llamas. I think this one may have been from the first good photo of a llama in sunlight. My other shots are mostly from indoor petting zoos... That's probably why.
"Sam" will be available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


"Whitecap"  (pastel, 7x5 inches) 

Believe it or not, "Whitecap" is a name I reused from an older cow portrait that I 'rejected' as not up to my exacting standards. I like this Whitecap much better.
(The old Whitecap was a different cow with a white 'cap', on a different surface, and will never be seen or heard from again!)
Whitecap is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


"Shye"   (pastel, 7x5 inches)   sold

I loved the gentle expression on this one, and the turn of her head suggests shyness...

Friday, November 4, 2011


"Shaggy"   (pastel, 7x5 inches)  sold

This huggable fellow can be found at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas for the next 10 days!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


"Ginger"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  sold

Yes, I've had a run on flavor-names with this last batch... guess I've been hungry lately!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"Coffee"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)    click here to bid  

Not quite coffee colored? He is to me, who must have 2 packets of International coffee creamers in my cup each morning!
Available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


"Trouble"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

"Trouble" is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, through January 2012. ("Trouble" will also be the 'cover cow' for my new Blurb book - in progress!)

Friday, October 28, 2011


"Sly"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   sold

Here's another one I got started on at Cactus Jack's last Sunday and finally finished. I named her for the look in her eye...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


"Clementine"  (Pastel, 7x5 inches)   sold

Here's another of the cows leading up to 100 from earlier this month. Her orangy glow reminded me of the sweet fruit I named her for.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


"Hugo"  (oil, 6x6 inches)  sold

Well, after the marathon of 5x7 pastel cows last week (most still to be posted) I had a hankerin' to use a paintbrush and give my dry, cracked fingertips a rest (pastel artists, you know what I'm talking about!) So this past Sunday at the bovine paint-out at Cactus Jack's I took along my oils and a photo of this handsome fella'.
Sometimes I really love oil paint  ...when I can manage to make it do what I want!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


"Flekk"   (pastel, 7x5 inches)

"Flekk" is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, through January 2012.

"Prince of Thieves"

"Prince of Thieves" (pastel, 8x6in.)   click here to inquire
Such a noble face for such an ignoble profession; I knew he must have been a prince among thieves.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hazelnut - my 100th miniature cow portrait!

"Hazelnut"  (Pastel, 7x5 inches)    available at Cactus Jack's

Well, here it is! My 100th miniature cow portrait! Admittedly all have not been cows, about a dozen have been other miscellaneous animals; goats, donkeys, bison, even a camel, and a few others. I'm so excited to have gotten to 100 without getting BORED!! I'm amazed that I'm actually still pumped to do some more! (Ok, probably because it took me 2 years and several wanderings into other genre...)

I have some here at home leading up to this one, that I will post in the next few days. I debated holding off on posting this one until the end, but I don't believe this will be the end.... so... I wanted to commemorate the moment!

Next I'll make a blurb book like everyone else! Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Washing Up

"Washing Up"  (pastel, 8x10 inches)   sold

Here's a painting I did as a request from an admirer who saw my first duckling painting "Safety Net"  at the IAPS convention silent auction and missed bidding on it.  This painting now happily has a home in Canada!

I was looking for a posting of "Safety Net" to link to it, and realized I had never posted it! So here it is below. This was a part of the "Pastel Pics" Silent Auction at the International Association of Pastel Societies biannual convention in Albuquerque last May.

"Safety Net"  (pastel, 8x8 inches)   sold

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Red Robin - New Award!

"Red Robin"  (pastel, 8x6 inches)

I'm excited to announce that my painting "Red Robin" has won the CPS Founders Award at the Connecticut Pastel Society "Renaissance in Pastel" National Juried Exhibition.  The show, at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT, continues through November 13, 2011.

Monday, October 17, 2011


"Bodyguard"  (pastel, 17x10 inches)   sold

Here is my third and final painting for the ASBA Show at Cactus Jack's, coming up this weekend! I think this one's my favorite.
(10/21/11 Update! This one Won First Place! ...AND sold! Woo hoo!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grazing Oreos

"Grazing Oreos"  (pastel, 10x20 inches)

These adorably fluffy cows are frustratingly shy of roadsides. This composition was created from two long zoom shots very far from the fence line. But I do like how the back-light almost completely obscured the center cow's face. I think it helps with the impression of incredible furry-ness.

This will be one of my paintings in the American Society of Bovine Artists third annual show, at Cactus Jack's from Oct 22 through the end of the year.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Aunts

"The Aunts"  (pastel, 24x24 inches)

Here's my newest medium square in my cow series. This will be for the upcoming show of the American Society of Bovine Artists at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, Oct 22- Jan 1.
I couldn't resist these ladies when I saw them. Their expressions have such personality! The title came at me right away.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Almost a Teeneger

"Almost a Teenager"  (pastel, 30x18 inches)

(My daughter, at 11.) This painting just won the Sponsor Award at the New Braunfels Art League ARToberfest Regional Juried Exhibit. The show continues through November 12.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Leader of the Pack

"Leader of the Pack"  (pastel, 32x32 inches)

I'm happy to announce that these cute fellas won First Place in Pastel at the New Braunfels Art League annual ARToberfest Regional Juried Exhibit this month. The Show continues through November 12, at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery, 239 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, Texas.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


"Lucille"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)    sold

OK, here's another one I managed to sneak in this week...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


 "Amber"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)   

This is the last of my most recent batch of miniature animal portraits that are not sold or out at galleries. She's a beautiful female deer of some sort, from a wildlife ranch. I loved the golden glow of her coat backlit by the afternoon sun.
Amber is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas through January 2012.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wood Ducks

"Wood Ducks"  (pastel, 12x12 inches)

This is a painting that was lost for 2 years, then found! It's still just as fresh as the day it was painted!