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About the Artist

Artist Colin Hayes, working on a drawing of Glen Campbell

Obsessed? Maybe just a little...

Colin Hayes spent much of his childhood with a crayon or pencil in hand, creating images. Unlike most kids, though, he never stopped drawing.

His dad was a private pilot, and while on a flight with him, Colin "illustrated" the entire instrument cluster of the airplane during the flight, at the age of 5.

When Colin was 13, his dad pulled some strings and got him into a college art class at William Jewel College, in Liberty, MO. It was an experience that made a permanent impact on him.

Being a member of the Art Honor Society in high school, as well as winning the Most Artistic award in his senior class further fueled those artistic ambitions. He graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle in 1989, and after a few years at a small design firm and as a staff artist at a local newspaper, he embarked on a freelance illustration career. 28 years later, he's still doing commercial illustration work, along with commissioned portraits.

In his free time (when there IS free time), he enjoys kayaking, hiking, cycling, bird watching and playing bass on his church's worship team.

My Views On Realism

I have always drawn representationally and realistically. It's a challenge to "see correctly" as I'm drawing, to figure out how to interpret a three dimensional subject and represent it on a two dimensional surface. Even for someone who has been drawing for 50 years, it's rarely easy.

While realism is my goal, hyper-realism (or photo realism) is not. I want my drawings to look like drawings, complete with interesting marks and textures. Those elements reveal some of the process, character and personality of the artist. I have nothing against the hyper-realistic artists. Their skill is mind numbing. To me, though, those works come across as rather generic. And, to be honest, I don't have that much patience!

Artist's Statement

“I have a passion for creating likenesses, with both pencil and brush. While I strive to convert this passion into works of art I can be proud of, what I do really isn’t about me.


My ultimate goal is to capture your loved one's character and personality on paper or canvas, and invoke an emotional response. I want you to WANT to look at the portrait, over and over, not just to enjoy the craftsmanship, but to connect with the image and relive fond memories of a pet or family member, whether living or departed.


For those of you who have sacrificed your hard-earned money to have me bring your loved one to life, I can’t thank you enough. For those of you who are considering it, I’m honored to have the opportunity and look forward to working with you.”

-Colin Hayes


I'm in! What do I need to do?

  1. Send me an email, via my contact page, with info about what you would like drawn (subject matter, how many subjects, etc) and I will give you a cost estimate. Once I receive your 50% deposit, I'll let you know when I can begin your portrait. I often have a waiting list, so apologies in advance if there's a delay.

  2. Send digital photographs of your subject via the email link on the Contact page. Please make sure they're clear, high-resolution photos.

What Will I Get, and When?

Depending on my workload, you should receive your portrait within about a month of placing your order. I will contact you directly if there is a scheduling issue.

I'll send you one work-in-progress photo via email, then a photo of the finished art. Once I receive your 50% balance payment, the art will be shipped.

You will receive the drawing matted and placed inside a clear, protective plastic sleeve. That will be sent to you via the U.S. Postal Service in a hard cardboard shipping envelope. The drawing (original art) has been sprayed with a fixitif, but please DO NOT touch the drawing. It may still smudge.

How Long Do These Take You?

It varies, depending on the complexity of the subject, but on average, one subject takes anywhere between 12 and 16 hours per subject to complete.

What is your process?

I always start with a rough sketch. I then put my sketch on a light table and trace my own sketch onto a page of Strathmore 80lb drawing paper. I then begin to very slowly build up tones and detail. Starting light is the key!

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