Success for a Pet Portraits Diploma Student

I received a lovely email from one of my previous students, Emma Richardson letting me know about her new website. I was thrilled to read Emma was doing wel and that her site was up and running and I asked if she would write a piece for our college news blog. Inspiration not just for my own diploma course students but for all students too. Visit Emma’s website here –


Last year I completed the pet portrait diploma course, tutored by Melanie Phillips. After several years studying different areas of art, I decided to enroll on the Pet Portrait Diploma, as I wanted to learn the skills to draw and paint confidently and to be able to portray animals accurately.

The course provided with me with an extensive knowledge in various techniques and a variety of mediums such as graphite pencil, coloured pencil, pastel, acrylic paint and oil paint. I had used graphite pencil and acrylic paint before, but the other mediums were new to me. I found painting with oil difficult at first, but now it is one of my favourite mediums to use. Melanie was really encouraging throughout the course and the critiques helped improve my skills a lot.

Since I completed the course, I have continued drawing and painting and recently started drawing portraits of children. My sister in law had a new baby and my husband thought a portrait might be a lovely gift to give her. I wasn’t sure at first, but thought I would have a go. She was thrilled with the portrait and since then I’ve been studying how to draw children in pencil.

I have also been working on a website offering commissioned portraits of pets and children, which I hope will gain a wider audience and potential clients. Last weekend, I had some of my artwork in our local village craft show and I was pleased to receive first prize for my drawing of a child in graphite pencil.

I still feel I am developing my style and technique and I hope to improve my skills and have a successful career as a portrait artist.

Emma Richardson

Emma Richardson
Emma Richardson

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