Sisterly love – painting a portrait of Maria and Nieve

Sisterly love – painting a portrait of Maria and Nieve


About the client

There’s a bit of a story to tell about how I met my client. I was on a flight from Birmingham to Warsaw and I was sat next to a lady who was energetically tapping away on her laptop. I was mesmerized with how she was working!

A little way into the flight, we started talking. It turns out her name was also Isabella – that was the first coincidence. Then, it turns out she’s half Polish, so we also share Polish roots. We then discovered that our mothers both come from the same place– a tiny city in the North East of Poland. What are the chances?! She was en route to visit her. I couldn’t believe how much we had in common.

We got talking about our work. I learnt that Isabella was studying a PhD – so that explained the typing! Then I told her about what I do and when she heard about Venuso Art she suggested I might paint a portrait of her granddaughters.

A few days later, I received an email from Isabella’s daughter, Sophie, who had taken a look at my website. She said she loved my artwork and was interested in commissioning me to paint a portrait of her daughters as a surprise gift for her mum/their grandma. What a privilege! And how lovely that Isabella, who had introduced us, would be receiving the painting.

Getting started

I explained the process and asked Sophie for a photograph of her daughters which I could use as my reference for the painting. Unfortunately, there were shadows on the photo which meant I couldn’t use it, so I arranged to visit them for a photo session – something I often do for clients.

I met Maria and Nieve, Sophie’s daughters, and we had a fun time trying to set up the shot. Nieve had other ideas and preferred running around! But after all the running we got a lovely photo of them both.

After the session, I sent a black and white version of the photo to Sophie for her approval. Sophie also made a request – she particularly likes the colours used by an artist called Edward Hopper and asked me to use similar tones for the painting of her daughters. This was no problem at all – I’m used to adapting my paintings to clients’ preferences. With the photo approved, I got started.

A portrait to treasure

When the painting was finished, I visited Sophie, Maria, and Nieve and presented the painting. It now hangs in pride of place in their Grandma’s house – on the main staircase for all to see. The beauty of paintings like this one is their longevity – there to be treasured for a lifetime. You can’t create the same feeling with a photograph!

                                                                                              Maria & Nieve

Kind words

Here’s what Sophie, Maria and Nieve thought of the painting:

“The painting beautifully captures the personality, energy, and liveliness of my children. Thank you so much for creating a piece that will be passed on for many generations.”

Sophie, client

“I love the dresses and all the texture, and I love the hair and the colours of the dresses… I love the colours… It makes me feel happy… It makes me feel like it’s Christmas… I love the picture.”

Maria, age 8

“It’s nice and looking good… I like the dresses and my sister’s face and my face.”

Nieve, age 3

If you’d like to surprise your family or friends with a portrait they’ll love and treasure for a lifetime, please get in touch.


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