San Francisco-Based Portrait Artist

Fine art portrait painter, Cathy Locke, creates paintings and drawings for private commissions. Her portraiture captures the essence of the individual, whether an adult or child. Each one-of-a-kind portrait is truly unique and something that will be treasured for a life-time.

In Cathy's portraits of children she captures those special moments that only children can create. Whether it's playing with an imaginary friend, dancing in circles or lost in their own world, her focus will not be on a formal pose, but instead on the behavior that makes that child so magical. With adult portraits Cathy's focus is to tell a story about the individual. She aims to make the portraits a creative expressive painting about the person, something that is unique and one-of-a-kind.

The Process

Cathy works with her patrons to find out what is unique about the individual who the portrait is being painted. She usually does some sort of study for her patron's to approve before she begins the painting. The complexity of the pose can also vary from head and shoulders to full body portraiture. She controls the focal point so that the likeness of the person comes through and the environment around them remains softer. Cathy uses a highly controlled color palette to complement the person who is having their fine art portrait painted,  so that they look their best, and so that the portrait is a strong work of art. 

Locke works from photographs, unless you are a brave sole who is willing to sit still for long periods of time. For those who are not so brave or want to give a portrait as a gift, then digital photos of the person you want a portrait of are most preferred. Cathy can piece together images, if you want to use a background from one photo and the image of the person from another, this is possible.


Cathy Locke creates portraits in oil, pastel and charcoal.