Baltimore Portrait Artist

About Betsy Kirk and Her Work

Even as a child, I always loved to draw. Over the past two decades, I’ve had the opportunity to use my training and experience to do what I love; to create portraits that capture precious moments in time.

After graduating from the University of Maryland at College Park, I was fortunate to study at the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, where I was classically trained in drawing, sculpture, anatomy, portraiture and painting in the style of traditional realism.

Starting with cast drawing, I fell in love with shadow and light. I learned anatomy with ink drawings of all the bones and muscles. I sculpted and cast a skull and then added the facial muscles on half of the face. I still find this sculpture a great reference at times.

I paint, or draw, the light and shadow first, to define the form. This is the foundation for the portrait. The color must obey the value, or light and dark. I deliberately “hallucinate” color and initially exaggerate the colors, to vibrate the eye. Later the strokes will knit together to create a realistic skin tone, but with a lively energy.

I sharpened my techniques working as a television courtroom artist, starting in the mid 1980’s. The crazy deadlines demanded exacting speed. I learned to grab a likeness instantly, before the witness left the stand and to pick out the most important angles and shadows. In court, the action is constant, as it is with portraits of children.

In the mid- late 1990’s, I worked as an artist for video games, at Microprose, Inc. in Hunt Valley, MD. I am thankful for the technical skills I learned there, allowing me to keep pace with the digital age, and to enjoy the benefits.

My true love is children, which is why I have been painting their portraits for 30 years. I like to be around each child for at least two sessions, if possible. I let myself fall in love with each one, so unlike any other.

Betsy Stone Kirk Portrait Studio
216 Blenheim Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
(410) 377-7530 -

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