about the artist

I received my BA in Fine Arts from Millersville State University, PA, and took graduate classes at the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art) in Graphic Design and Illustration. I worked as a graphic artist and illustrator in advertising, and as Art Director in Graphic Design for a multi-media firm in Philadelphia. Now living in Newtown, PA, in beautifully picturesque Bucks County, I am enjoying a second career as a pet portraitist.

Three Dogs

Although I’ve painted in oils and dabbled in watercolors, my favorite medium is pastel. I can draw with the stick like charcoal, but can blend the color like paint to achieve the desired effect, and can render details like fur, whiskers and facial features. I use mainly NuPastel for background and shading, and layer over top with Rembrandt for a softer finish. Paper is usually Canson, although occasionally I use cold-press watercolor paper for a more tight, illustrative look. When the painting is completed I spray it with a fixative to set the pastel.

I’ll start with a rough rendering from the provided photo, and, after it is approved, will begin work on the piece. Most paintings take about one to two weeks, depending on demand. All paintings are matted with your choice of color, can be framed for a small fee, and are shipped to you via ground service unless otherwise requested.
Great Dane

I can have a sketch completed in a shorter period of time, at most a week for a colored and matted piece. If it’s pencil only, I make sure there’s sufficient contrast in tone and shading to bring out depth. The right photo is necessary, also, to get the optimum drawing – the best view is a ¾ view, instead of a profile or full frontal view. It’s also especially important to see the animal’s eyes clearly – the eyes bring out the personality of the pet. When the sketch is complete I’ll choose a mat. If it’s in color, I’ll try to pick up one hue (or, if I double-mat, two) from the animal’s fur to use in the mat to complement the subject. If framing is requested, I’ll get suggestions from the customer for style, color, wood or metal frame, etc.
Jesse On Slate
I also offer personalized slates, which are oval or heart-shaped slates you can hang on your wall, around 6-7” in width, 6” height. I decoupage the sketch of your pet onto the slate, personalize it with your pet’s name in gold or silver paint, then coat the slate with a waterproof sealant.

The enjoyment I receive from my work is just a natural extension of my love of animals, especially our domesticated friends. I feel fortunate that I can reside in such a bucolic and peaceful area of the world, doing what I love best.

I have exhibited in various locations in Pennsylvania, and am a member of the Artists of Yardley and the League of Animal Artists.

Email me with any questions or to arrange an appointment.

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