Photo of Maria HeyelHi, I am Maria Heyel.

I am a Bristol-based artist who has been painting portraits since I was at school. I studied art at college and enjoyed life drawing which was very good at improving my all round drawing and visual skills. I am mostly self taught.

Portraits in oils are my particular speciality, although I paint other subjects as well. I have painted many commissions over the years and have some hanging in the Freemasons Building in Bristol.

I’m always keen to get a very good likeness of the subject, which in my view is the reason for having a portrait done.

I also like to introduce an atmospheric softness and richness where I can and this gives an overall blended look to a picture.

I mainly paint from photographs because people rarely have time to ‘sit’ for me! Several good clear photos are necessary. Also, if I can get information on the character of a subject I am painting, then this adds interest and helps me to make sure that their personality is accurately captured in the face.

I have always admired the paintings of artists such as Hans Holbein and Pietro Annigoni and they have had a significant influence on my work. I have recently started doing prints of my historical costume paintings which are now listed on the Regency Costume page.

I sadly lost my dog about a year ago and I've now got a lovely painted picture of him and it's like he's here in the room with me again. Maria was a joy to work with and I'm delighted with the finished picture.

- Jayne T.

Maria has painted a great likeness of our young daugher.

- Jo and Steve B.

I commissioned a portrait of my eighteen year old daughter. Maria really captured her personality, hair, and skin tones amazingly. I would highly recommend her work.

- Richard A.