Welcome to our Cat Portraits Studio! As you may know from viewing our website, my name is Melanie and along with my husband Nicholas Beall painting portraits of cats in pencil and oil. We work in our purpose built studio in our woodland garden, which you can see in the photo below. We both work here every day and we make our morning commute to work down through our garden. We had our studio installed in 2014 and designed it around our needs as artists. It is fully insulated with double glazed doors and windows heated with an air source heat pump 24 / 7. It is clad inside with tongue and groove which we painted using Farrow and Ball colours. Its a very relaxing working environment.
We have a short commuted to work each day! We live in a very old cottage with large oak beams and each morning we head to our studio from our cottage down the little path and gate in the photo below. Our garden is a slice of heaven, particularly in the summer monhts and you ca take a look at our cottage and garden if you are interested in seeing more.
The photo below shows my working environment. This is my side of the studio where I have plenty of storage for stationary, materials and a large plan chest for all of our paoers, canvas and a place to pack the portraits on too. We are an apple family and I use an iMac to do accounts, emails, designing customers portraits and design and maintain this website.
We have a lovely Tibetan Terrier who rules the studio. You can see her on my chair and if I could train her to help me with my drawings, I certain would! She has a bed under my desk but does tend to sleep anywhere and everywhere that looks comfy!
We Nicholas prefers to work standing at his easel to create his cat portraits. Painting in oils is very differnt to pencil and you need to be able to stand bac and move around quite a bit so this standing easel works really well for him. It's very sturdy and so Nichilas can paint all sizes of portraits on it. The frame around the painting which you can see below is a basic frame with holes drilled so he can use a stick in differnt places around the frame and lean on it with his arm while painting. This way he doesnt have to place his hand on the canvas itself.
We use professional lighting to paint and draw our cat portraits by. When we set up our studio, we researched long and hard which lighting would be the best for us and our new studio and the photogrpahy LED lights were perfect. You can see just one of the lights we use in the photo below. It is so important for artists to have good lighting, particularly as we live and work in Wales. The winters are very long and we have to work dark afternoons and evenings.
With the long dark winters in mind I installed fairy lights which are really cheery on long evenings when finishing our deadline portraits for Christmas. It really helps to make a lovely ambiance in here. We also have solar lights to light our pathway from the cottage so it all looks very pretty.
When we set up our studio we made sure we kept an area so that clients could come and chat and have a cup of tea while discussing their cat portraits. We aren’t able to meet all of our clients as they live far and wide, however it is wonderful when we do get to meet them, especially when they come to collect their cat paintings and drawings from our studio.
The photo below is of Nicholas signing one of his cat paintings.
I hope you have enjoyed our little tour of the studio and if you would like us to paint or draw your cat, you are more than welcome to email us at any time.