Wildlife paintings, portraits & pet portraits by New Zealand Artist Karen Neal

Testimonials from Happy Clients

It's always lovely to hear from clients after receiving the painting, or even bought a painting... their thoughts and response is very much appreciated. Often with commissioned pet portraits, it's hard to not get emotionally involved in the process upon hearing the stories and knowing how the special connections we have with our pets affects our lives forever. Sometimes I even share the tears that some clients have shed during the process and hearing their reaction when seeing the painting for the first time. It's also very special to get to meet clients, after getting to know them through email and the process of commissioning a portrait. Many I still keep in contact with. Here is a selection of photos and comments from happy clients...

Please click on the photos to see the paintings

"Charly" acrylic on gessoboard

"Just so Charly - I can't believe you managed to capture the essence of Charly from a bunch of photos sent from the other side of the planet. The detail is fantastic right down to the little bits of fur which stick up on his left ear. The thoughtful expression is perfect and so Charly. Ray is still gob-smacked..... amazing and stunning are the top adjectives used when he looks at the painting. Thank you so much.  "

~ Helen McDonald, Scotland


" Thank you so much for the beautiful painting of the Taylor Furbabies - it's stunning. How we managed to pull this off without Ange getting wind of it goodness knows. She's not often left speechless.🤣  You made a very special little sister very happy - thank you "

~ Helen McDonald, Scotland

"Zeke" in pastel

OMG - hello Karen, Zeke’s portrait arrived safe and sound on Tuesday!!! We delivered it to Dad yesterday and it was so special watching him open it up and see such emotion on his face and tears in his eyes. He could only manage to get out the word “Awesome”! It brought so many memories flooding back. You have captured Zeke perfectly with his “Flying Nun” ears, his gorgeous cheeky grin and his beautiful big brown eyes – it’s as if he’s looking straight at us. You really do have a special talent and we couldn’t be happier. We started looking for the perfect spot to hang Zeke straight away so have held him on pretty much every spot of Mum and Dad’s house to find it. Dad will get it hung over the weekend so we can send you a picture. Karen, it has been such a joy going through this experience with you and having you bring a part of our boy back to life with this portrait. I have appreciated you keeping us updated every step of the way and all the progress shots. It’s been an awesome journey with you! Thanks again, as Dad said it’s just Awesome! I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Cheers Rewa (New Plymouth)

"Himalayan Snow Queen" Scratchboard

We have the presence of a "real, live" Himalayan Snow Leopard in our home. Karen has lifted this "sculptured", in-depth living image from a scratchboard. It is brilliant! Mimi has us in her gaze wherever we are in our living area - those eyes remain fixed on us as we move about! We are under constant silent scrutiny.

Step back and Mimi has a perpetual non-threatening, all-seeing stare. As if, being of an endangered species she is, like a coroner, with calm contemplation attempting (in disbelief) to make sense of the thoughtlessness, carelessness, selfishness and greed of much of mankind.

- Margaret and Selwyn Barron, Motueka.


"Jiffy" Oils on Canvas & "Rayz" Oils on Canvas

Rayz was initially commissioned as a present for Charley by Charley's mum Kim as a surprise birthday present. A year later Charley decided to commission a painting of Jiffy, her grandparents' Yorkshire Terrier who resides in England. Rayz is a Selle Francais horse that emigrated with his family to New Zealand.

"Wow Karen! Looks exactly like Jiffy in real life, absolutely amazing!! Thanks so much!"

(Charley, Auckland)



"Karen it's just FANTASTIC, you have captured Jiffy perfectly and I know there will be tears when we eventually give this to my parents, this is the second perfect painting you've done for us.....I'm sure there will be more! It's just awesome, thank you xx "

(Kim Grant, Auckland)

Lily & Dougal, Oils on Canvas

I loved painting these 2 special dogs. I happened to be in Auckland for a national pastel exhibition, and my clients Sally & Harry arrived from Australia for Sally's 60th birthday with family, so a nice coincidence I got the opportunity to meet them!! Was such a lovely meeting after a few months of emailing and getting to know them and hearing all the stories of Lily & Dougal (they were both therapy dogs). Sally had tears and they thought it looked better in person than the photos, which is always good to hear! Sally has since said Dougal has taken to sleeping on the couch below the painting (he never slept here before), how gorgeous!

Sally's testimonial:-

"What a truly incredible oil painting of our beloved Golden Retrievers, Lily and Dougal. Karen has captured the very essence of them. Their individual personalities shine through their eyes. This was a commission for my special birthday. Karen kept in touch with us from the first stroke of her brush and we felt part of the whole process. It was wonderful to watch our dogs come to life by following it all “On the Easel.” We happened to be visiting Auckland when Karen was there for the weekend, so it was a delight to personally collect the painting and meet Karen at the same time. Thank you Karen for creating the best birthday present I have ever received."

Sally and Harry Leventis, Gold Coast, Australia



Hi Karen

Had one very delighted son with his Christmas present this year, it looked amazing when it was framed and was a special gift indeed.

Thank you so much for this – hope you had an awesome Christmas and New Year!!

Sue (Ohaupo)

Juniper, pastel sketch (a gift from sister Shanna to Chelsea)

"Hi there Karen, I just wanted to say a massive thank you for my beautiful picture of my cat, Juniper (my sister, Shanna, arranged for you to do this as a gift). It is so, so, so precious to me, and it's just perfect. I can't believe how well you've managed to capture her beautiful face. Thank you so much. I will treasure it forever. " - Chelsea Rose, Wellington

From Chelsea's sister Shanna:-
"As I'm sure you already know, Chelsea LOVED it. I've not seen such a reaction from her ever! Thank you so much for making such a beautiful thing. Also.... after much loud and obvious hinting, my partner has said he would like to get our two cats painted by you if you were keen?" - Shanna Rose, Wellington

Joe. 2000 - 2013

"Karen has captured Joe’s gentle nature, and his physical softness, wonderfully; and I am amazed, and overjoyed, at how real his eye looks. Karen went the ‘extra mile’ with Joe’s portrait, and I believe her love for animals, and her understanding of how much people treasure their pets, shows in her work. Thank you Karen; Joe’s portrait will always have a special place in our home. "

Royleen Marshall, Whangarei.

Clyde, pastel sketch


"Hi Karen,
The painting arrived yesterday. Its more beautiful than I could have hoped for. I think you will be getting more commissions for our family (they all want one now) hehe!
Thank you so much you have captured him just as he was - such a beautiful boy... can't thank you enough!"

- Kylie Warfield, Auckland.

Karen, I'm overwhelmed. What more can I say but THANK YOU!! You truly have done Benny justice, and all of the complimentary comments only support the way we all feel after seeing it finished. He's sitting right beside me as I write this, but all he wants is his dinner (0:

You have brought him to life. I look at him, then I look at this masterpiece, and it's like a mirror image (only the right way round!)

-Steve Tracy, Tokyo, Japan


The final portrait looks amazing! It almost seems weird that we won't be e-mailing back and forth soon! I love the pic you chose for Connor, his smiley self!!

Thank you so much for this!! I know it was reasonably short notice and I'm so excited to see the final product 'in the flesh' so to speak.

Thank you so much again for the painting you did of our
fur-babies, it means even more now as Connor just passed away. He was so gentle, despite his size, and will be so missed not only by us, but also his two little fur-sisters.

Thank you again for capturing so incredibly well and immortalising him for us too.

With affection,



Personally delivering the painting of the Italian Spinones to happy customers in Wellington, and wonderful to meet Usher & Steed, what beautiful gentle dogs!


"We are SO SO SOOOO pleased with it! It looks scarily real – so much so that when Shane unwrapped it he initially thought it was a photo! Upon closer inspection, and once he’d wiped away the tears he tried to hide, he realised it was paint. It is completely immaculate, and really and truly resembles our Jett."

- Corinne Austin - Whangarei

Veterinary Clinic signage, including pet portrait of Lilly:-



Lorena & Simeon Pollock, of Glenfield Veterinary Clinic, Auckland approached me to design a logo for signage, letterhead & business cards.

Part of the images we chose was a commissioned portrait of their wee mascot dog, Lilly, who goes into the Vet Clinic every day. Lily has such an amazing story, which you can read here on her portrait page.

"We couldn't have done it without your amazing work, we are just so happy with it, and our wee girl Lilly just looks perfect. I highly recommend you to all, that requires an any artwork, Karen is the one you must go to!"

- Lorena Pollock, Auckland.


Hi Karen,I am attaching a few photos of the framed portrait of Max. I am thrilled with how well it all looks. You made this a very pleasant experience for me and my husband very happy. I would thoroughly recommend you to anyone who was thinking of having an animal portrait done, you have a gift of capturing the essence of your subject. To do this online was so easy. Many thanks again. Cheers, Stella

Stella McCowen (NSW, Australia).

" Purrrrrfect Karen, could gaze at it for hours... I love the movement in the painting, through the lines of her body and the tree branches.... A thousand thanks to you, the girls and I are so excited! Glenn LOVES the painting - thanks so much for creating something so special xxx "

- Tracey Hansen, Palmerston North.

The Hansen family with a surprise birthday present for Glenn!

" Painting received safe and sound. It is excellent. We are all very pleased with it. When you are coming to Auckland contact us and we will get together and introduce you to Austin !!!!!!!!!!!! "

- Bob Cox, Auckland, New Zealand

(Here is a photo meeting up with Bob & Dorothy Cox in Auckland, and of course Austin too for the first time after painting was completed)

Pet portrait painting of Austin. Artist Karen Neal pictured with owners Bob & Dorothy Cox, and Austin, of Auckland.

" BEAUTIFUL painting of of our dog Bella, done especially for Rob & I
for our wedding. Absolutely love it...thank-you Karen!!
Hung it up as soon as I got it...it hangs with pride of place in our home! xx "

- Gwen Tapp, Marlborough, New Zealand

Pastel painting of black labrador Bella, by NZ pet portrait artist, Karen Neal

" We had always thought we would get a portrait of Ruby done and when we saw some of Karen's amazing work we didn't hesitate in asking her to do the portrait for us. We are so thrilled with the end result. The portrait resembles Ruby perfectly. Karen certainly has an eye for detail. Thanks Karen for doing such a great job. "

- Rachelle Fairhall, Picton, New Zealand

Pet portrait of Ruby, a Cavalier King Charles. Pictured here with the painting & owner Rachelle

"Just wanted to say thank you for the Jaguar, it is absolutely gorgeous. Absolutely LOVE it! Was sooooo excited about seeing it. You just cannot appreciate Art until you see it in the flesh and all I can say is you are one talented chick!! Sending you HUUUUUGE hugs xoxoxox "

- Karen Berisford, Chesterfield, England

Black Jaguar painting. Karen Berisford, UK Artist delighted with her Jaguar pastel painting by NZ Karen Neal - an art exchange!

"It really looks great, I am very impressed at the true to life look compared to others I have seen when I was first looking for someone to draw George. What a wonderful talent to have, I am absolutely thrilled with it. "

- Benjamin Walker, Dunedin, New Zealand.

George and his 'mum' who hail from Dunedin

I just love love love it!!! It looks even better in person. The colors and detail are amazing. Thank you so much Karen!

-Lisa Vellinga, Colorado, USA

" I just got the print! WOW!!!! it looks absolutely stunning!!! It will be going straight up on my wall :D

It looks so great as a large print with some fantastic details..."

Jonathan Harrod - Christchurch

"This is a magnificent print of Mirucha, a Snow Leopard at Tama Zoo in Tokyo, by esteemed and extremely talented Karen Neal. I'm extremely proud to be the owner of such a masterpiece and it's now hanging in pride of place in my living room. Thanks so much Karen.... you're a gem!

- Steve Tracey, Tokyo, Japan


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