Susan Kerrigan-Harris Pastel Portrait Artist

Portraits from Photos in exquisite soft pastel – Pet Portraits & Child Portraits

Hello and welcome – I’m an award winning international professional portrait artist based on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire.  I specialise in commissions of pets and children using the finest – light fast and handmade soft pastels.  I will create a stunning pastel portrait from your photos – I’m passionate about capturing the spirit and the character of your loved ones and create a lasting memory for you to cherish forever.

I’d like to give you a virtual guided tour. You’ve made the decision to commission a portrait artist and you would like to find out a bit more about me – the artist, read some testimonials, see my animal portrait gallery and find out how to commission a portrait.

I was given a portrait of my dog Bobby as a 21st birthday present from my family. I knew straight away as I was opening it that Sue had painted it as her work is very unique. Considering I hadn’t seen the photo that was used for Sue to draw Bobby she did an amazing… “Bobby the Labrador Portrait”

dog portrait in soft pastel

I have been admiring Sue’s work for a while now and when my mother and father-in-laws beloved dog Roly passed away last November, I thought it was the perfect way to honour him with a memorial portrait.  Roly was 16 years old and very much part of our family. This particular picture of him was… “Memorial Dog Portrait”

We lost our dog Moss last year, and when Susan started sending us “progress photos” they brought tears to my eyes. We didn’t have very many photos of Moss, and this was taken by a friend and only available in black and white. Sue successfully added colour to the photo bringing out our friends real… “Moss”

My daughter’s dog Mick, a King Charles Spaniel is getting very old now and I wanted to get a painted portrait for her for Christmas to remember him when he goes. I took a few photos specifically for the painting – the one we chose was perfect – just how we want to remember him.… “King Charles Spaniel Portrait”

King charles Spaniel Pastel Painting

I commissioned Susan to paint a wedding portrait in soft pastel from a photo as a gift for my friend’s wedding.  The photo I decided upon was one that represented them in the most natural way possible, the one that represented best both their personalities. The finished portrait felt like time had stopped, it’ll be… “Wedding Portrait”

wedding portrait in soft pastel

I today received the portraits of my grandchildren in excellent condition.  You did such a great job and they were packed so well that a bomb couldn’t have disrupted them (All the way to Canada).  I really love them.  I know it was a long journey on my end getting the photos but I’m totally thrilled… “Painting of Grandchildren”

Child portraits in soft pastel

My customer asked me to paint a cat portrait of her gorgeous cat Gracie, a British cream and blue short hair cat. My husband adores our cat and so, when I was thinking about his birthday, I knew immediately that I Sue could create for him a perfect portrait of our darling little Gracie. I… “Gracie Cat Portrait Painting”

Gracie a custom cat portrait in soft pastel

We chose a photo from when we first had Ginny to show her puppyish features, the main enduring one we wanted to capture was her long tongue.  We did take some more photos especially for the pastel portrait but because Ginny had had an operation she wasn’t running around and therefore her tongue was not hanging… “Ginny dog Portrait”


I asked Sue to paint a portrait of my daughter’s cat Holly for a Christmas present. The photos were taken when Holly was a kitten and I wanted something to remind my daughter of when she was small. I took some extra ones to allow Sue to capture the detailed colouring of Holly’s eyes which… “Portrait of Holly the Kitten”

Pastel portrait of a tortoise shell kitten

I wanted to get a portrait of my boyfriend’s dog for a Christmas or birthday present,  his birthday is really close to Christmas! As I didn’t have any quality photographs and it wasn’t easy to get a photograph with out my boyfriend being suspicious I took Hugo to Sue’s house to photograph whilst she was… “Chihuahua Portrait”

Framed portrait of Hugo Chihuahua

I wanted a portrait painted of my two boys together as I have lots of professional photos of my older son but very few of them together. The picture I chose was from a photo shoot – I wasn’t too pleased with the lighting but it was the best shot I had of them together… “Sara’s Children”

Feeling time march by, as my children are mostly grown up and wanting to capture some precious moments from their childhoods, I decided to commission Susan to paint portraits of my children.  Seeing Susan’s other portrait paintings in progress next to the original photo made me realise I was making a good decision. I thought… “Julie’s 4 Children”

Siblings Portraits

I have followed Sue’s career as a portrait artist with interest and admiration for the past year. Knowing how talented she is, I needed a good reason to commission a piece myself. A portrait of my nephew at one year old on the occasion of my sister’s 35th birthday seemed like the ideal opportunity. Finding… “Baby Portrait”

baby boy portrait

I recently commissioned a portrait of my two children from Susan, from my favourite photograph. I really wanted Susan to capture a very special moment in time, rather than a posed studio picture, and that’s exactly what she did. it really was all about capturing the moment for me. I was in the garden hanging… “Joanna’s Children”

Portrait of brother and sister

It was my mum’s 70th Birthday this year and I really wanted to get her something special. When I realised that Sue can paint horses as well as people and dogs, I knew immediately what would be perfect for my mum. Tamara has been her joy for a number of years and although she’s getting older now… “Tamara the Orkney Island Horse”

Susan has created two beautiful separate portraits of my two horses and captured them perfectly. I have no idea how she does it but when I look at her paintings and their eyes in each their character just comes shining through. You can even see each hair on the portrait of Blue. They are breath-taking and… “Freddie & Blue”

Horse Portait

Our portrait of our two boys is sitting pride of place in our house and we’re all in love with it. Sue has managed to capture the character of each boy perfectly while showing the relationship between them. She has done this better than the original photo ever did.  Sue magically captured our shy, thoughtful… “Brothers Portrait”

brothers portrait in pastel

I commissioned Sue to paint a portrait of my horse Harley for Sara, a very special friend of mine who rides Harley.  Sue came to photograph Harley for me, she was able to get just the right angle for the portrait and show Harley in the best light. Immediately I saw the first drafts of the portrait… “New Forest Horse Portrait”

I first saw Sue’s work when I did some work for her in her house I was so impressed I commissioned her to do a pastel portrait for me of Missy for my partner Janice’s 70th birthday.  Missy is quite poorly so this was an extra special gift. I had many photos on my phone… “Janice’s Surprise Birthday Portrait”

This is the gorgeous Imogen and was a belated wedding gift for Hayley – Imogen’s Mummy. This is what Hayley thought of her portrait. Sue is a friend of mine and saw the photo of Imogen on my Facebook timeline it is one of her looking so dainty and beautiful and one of my favourite… “Imogen”

I had a certain picture in mind when i wanted our Woody’s a labrador pet portrait done, it is one of the only close ups we have of him when he was younger that really shows his character and beautiful colours, and this is something that Susan recreated magnificently well. When I first saw the… “Woody the Labrador Pet Portrait”

Pet portrait of a labrador called Woody

This photo was taken at a family wedding many years ago and is of my late father in law with his wife. It was special because it was a lovely picture of them both and before he fell ill. The portrait is to be a birthday gift to her. We are very happy with the result,… “Special Occasion Portrait”


I asked Sue to do a portrait of my youngest daughter, Abbie, who was 2 at the time. Being the youngest of 3 siblings, I felt we didn’t have much (framed) to show off on the walls of Abbie alone and after seeing the fantastic job she had done of a friend’s daughter, I couldn’t… “Abbie”

portrait of a toddler

How to Commissioning a Portrait

I can paint a pastel portrait from photos - taken by yourself I if you live near me (Hampshire), I can take them for you. Here is a brief rundown of the process to commission a portrait:

  • Send me your photographs so we can choose the best shot for the portrait
  • Book your date (Let me know if it is required for a special occasion)
  • Pay your deposit

Once I am ready to start your portrait, I will send you a digital mock up showing you the composition and pose. You will be updated daily with progress photos of your painting so you can see exactly how your artwork is progressing. Once I have received full payment I will post your portrait to you or you are welcome to collect.

I paint for my lovely customers from all across the UK and Europe and I look forward to painting your loved ones too.  Here you will find more information to commission a portrait from photos.

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Find out more about me and the fascinating journey becoming a portrait artist.You can connect with me on social media too: