About Jen Kirby, Portraitist

I have been a portraitist since my son, my first "sitter" was born in 1973. As a self taught artist, I was happy that each portrait was better than the one before until they had, not only good likeness, but true character.


During sittings I watch for a pose that tells a story about the subject’s personality. When people look at a portrait, my intention is that the portrait should look back at them with an expression of kindness and love. 

The portrait is a success when a family member says "I know that look".


Conté (Sepia) Portraits

Miniatures (up to 5 inches)

Acrylic’s Gouache Portraits

Portraits in Oils

Pastel Portraits

Graphite Portraits

Coloured Pencil Portraits








I don't consider myself to be a photographic artist but my work is so detailed and accurate that it takes more hours than a subject cares to sit, so I work from photographs that I prefer to take myself (hundreds of them) so that I know the circumstances of each photo and get an in depth idea of the character of my subject. But if that is not possible, I am happy to work from provided photos.  I have been successful at doing posthumous portraits from very poor quality photos provided by clients. The poor quality of existing photographs is a very good reason for wanting a posthumous portrait. I am so happy to be able to help in that situation.

While I do my best to meet deadlines I will not guarantee them. This is the reason that I do not require a deposit. Once the portrait is approved, I hold the artwork until the money is paid.

I rarely provide the portrait already framed. People have strong opinions about the style of their frames. It can be helpful to know the colour of the room where it is to hang so the painting will harmonise with its surroundings.

I deliver the portrait (except those on canvas) in a clear plastic portfolio sleeve that allows the painting or drawing to be seen and handled safely. 

Oils on canvas don’t always need to be framed.

 Prints can be produced for other family members for a small fee to cover printing costs.