Britsoc: The British Society of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Serving the British Expat community since 1920.

The Pastel Princes: From Man’s best friend to Manmaids.

The Pastel Princes: From Man’s best friend to Manmaids.

A portrait of Artist Juliet Kearns.

Two men in PastelAll my paintings are pastels on pastel paper, as this is by far my preferred medium and I love the effect that pastels produce. I also love the direct contact with the paper and using the paper as the palette. Pastel paintings can last as long as oil paintings if looked after properly, so they can be passed on from generation to generation.

I spent most of my time drawing and painting as a child, but I didn’t experiment with pastels until I was in my 20s, when I came across a pastel sketch of a female nude in a gallery brochure. I went straight out the next day and bought some black, grey and white pastels and gave it a go. The quality of my work was instantly transformed and I knew pastels were for me!

My main aim in portraiture is to capture the essence and character of my subject and I love to create definition and form through the use of strong light and shade.  To achieve this I prefer to take my own photographs, in sunshine or bright light and I usually use a whole reel of film to make sure that I have enough to work with.  My preference is to paint animals because there is no ego involved. Animals are a challenge to work with, as they rarely stay still but they are a delight to paint, as they tend not to be self-conscious and only know how to be themselves. I avoid painting backgrounds so that the focus of the painting is purely on the subject!

Dog in pastelMy other love is figure painting and I think of figure work as just bigger portraits. I began to paint male and female nudes and then progressed to fantasy figures. I began painting mermen and mermaids when I fell in love with Brighton and its beautiful coastline. I visited Brighton for a weekend and stayed there for the next 15 years … I thought how nice it would be to see mermaids and mermen frolicking in the surf but, obviously, that wasn’t going to happen, so I thought I’d create them myself! My nudes and mer-people proved to be popular and sold through galleries, in Guildford and London. Brighton Pride also inspired my favorite painting, Love & Pride.

Lazy DaysI am now offering mermen and mermaid portrait paintings – maybe not for the faint-hearted but definitely an unusual (and sexy!) alternative to a traditional portrait! I’m offering an introductory price of 880 Euros for these unique portraits. Further reductions will be given on the first three commissions in the Netherlands.

Although my work is very realistic I feel that my paintings add a unique dimension that photographs alone do not achieve. Painting a portrait is also a very intimate experience, as I obviously get to see the character and almost every detail of my subject. I find it difficult to part with any of my paintings, as I would love to keep them all! …But I keep photographs of them all for posterity …

The photographs I take are included in the price, as is the cost of the professional picture mount and acetate. I don’t provide a frame, as I think it’s better to leave this to your own personal taste, or to fit in with your décor at home, but if you would like to have the portrait presented to you already framed then I can arrange this for you.

JCK-Portraits-flyer-2-1Pet portraits start at 260 Euros and People portraits at 620 Euros – with a 20% discount for Brit Soc Group members!

Signed portraits of the mermen and male nudes are also available for sale (from 70 Euros) and are displayed on my site at, and on my Facebook page Jck Portraits. You can contact me for more details at