Portraits for You by "That Extremely Real Portrait Artist"


It’s the start of an ordinary day. You look over, there’s the portrait – an oil painting of that special someone you commissioned. You remember collaborating with Teresa, how much fun it was to discover and focus on the most important aspects of your portrait, and how that conversation brought to light the most essential truths for you about your memories.

As your eyes drink it in, you can’t help but notice the muscles in your face shift as you are beaming yet again. You own an original work of art that celebrates that special moment or special someone, an oil painting by Teresa Bolen.

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“I’ve seldom seen an artist work so hard and so intelligently with a passion to refine their craft. Teresa’s uniquely beautiful pieces with their stand out colors and composition is a much needed addition to realist paintings. Teresa, your work you’re producing blows me away!”
- Steve Huston
Co-Founder of Draws from Life, LLC

Who is "That Extremely Real Portrait Artist"?

Hi. I’m Teresa. I collaborate with my clients to educe the most important ideas and feelings from you about your subject and create for you a unique portrait infused with that essence.


As a youngster the kind of training that would allow me to capture an accurate, highly realistic likeness in oil paint eluded me, so I chased my other great love, music. In 2016 all of that changed. I started seeing other people doing what I dreamed of in my youth, people creating exquisite figurative artwork that looked just like I imagined the people themselves do in real life. So, after a 20+ year gap of no art, I made the decision to become a professional artist and sought mentors who could help me reach my dream.

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“Teresa’s painting combines a keen eye for accuracy with an expressive soft touch for color. There is a peace and tranquility that goes beyond the realism in everything she paints. In a time when much of our world is harsh and over saturated, seeing things through Teresa’s eyes is a cool breeze for the mind.”
- Kyle Kane

the Beginning...

I loved the simplicity of graphite pencil, so I started there, studying with Dirk Dzimirsky whose work dazzles me to this day.


It wasn’t long before I started longing for color, so I took what I thought was an online oil painting course in realistic portraits from an artist I admire, Jason Seiler, that turned out to be a course on creating realistic portraits by painting digitally. You use a pen tablet and a computer, but the foundational ideas of how to paint and what makes a good portrait were the same.


What a happy accident from my not reading carefully! Working with Jason turned out to be a beautiful introduction to color.

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“OMG OMG OMG OMG! are you kidding me? this is so beyond beautiful, I am honored, love it so much. Teresa you have created a little miracle!”
“This is wonderful! I am thrilled with this!”
- Ellen Conrad


Nothing can give you a better, faster learning curve, than studying from the best mentors possible, so in 2021 when the opportunity came, I said yes to working with world class artist/world class art teacher Steve Huston and his team. With his gentle guidance and mentoring, I took the leap, in January of this year (2023), to painting in oils. So even though I’m just beginning, I have the benefit of learning from these living giants. Being in their energy orbit is a tremendous blessing and drives me to become the best artist I possibly can.

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Aren't Oil Paintings Expensive?

You’re probably thinking, yeah, that’s great, but oil paintings are expensive.

Hang on because I’ve got some good news for you. You’re right, portraits in oil by well-established artists range from anywhere from $5,000 up to $100,000, possibly way more depending on a variety of factors, and eventually, one day, I hope to be right there with them!

Even beginning artists, like me, generally offer custom portraits in the $750 - $2,500 range, though that’s probably going to be for dry media such as graphite pencil, charcoal, or pastels. You may already be a collector of my work (thank you!) or have seen my pencil work selling in this range. Oil painting is much more complex, so artists, even beginning artists, generally charge more.


But here’s the thing. I want to be the best artist I can possibly be, and that means understanding who I’m painting and what they’re about, so I can make intimate choices that beautifully serve your memory rather than just copying a photo. Working with real clients is a must for me. So, I’m asking for your help to get started, and offering an expression of gratitude in the form of a portrait in return.

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“Bob on the Pier - We love Teresa’s portrait of Bob. It captures not only his likeness, but his palpable joy in that moment. Teresa has a gift for infusing her paintings with deep feeling while remaining absolutely true to detail. So glad to own one of her original works!"
- Aimee Aul
Museum Educator

Here’s my offer to you:

For the first five people who order, I will paint an original oil painting, a single subject portrait in oils on wooden panel, Japan size F6 (410x318 cm, roughly 161x125 inches) based on your reference photos and our consultation for the great value, extremely low price of

US$250 (JP¥39000) plus shipping to your location. 


Think of it as a "personalized crowdfunding".


The first iteration of this with painting on oil paper or canvas board has already closed.

In order to get your portrait before my painting queue fills up again, click here for the commissions page. You can request a different size, including international sizes if you prefer.


Like so many artists, I dream of one day having my art in museums and top-notch galleries for “beaucoup bucks”, but I know the path to greatness is created with consistent daily effort, one painting at a time.

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Nico’s Portrait - 「本当に感動しました、ニコはとてもふわふわで柔らかいです。 写真からでもニコがどのくらいふわふわかわかるくらい色の使い方が上手でした。 ニコに会えなくて本当に悲しいけどこの絵を見たらニコの事が思い出せてとても幸せです! 早く会いたいです。 本当に描いてくれてありがとうございます。」
- 北村陽彩

Your Investment

Your investment in my art helps me to cover costs and get closer to that dream. You become an important part of the history of this artistic journey, and you get an oil painting of yourself, or loved one, or beloved pet.


Who’s beautiful face is shining back at you from that special place on the wall?


To get started, click here. When you contact me, it’s just the start of a conversation about the artwork you’d like me to create for you, and there’s no obligation if you change your mind.

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“Teresa Bolen is one of those rare humans with great talent and deep empathy. Traits she brings to every portrait she creates. If you’re looking to capture the essence of a beloved in a portrait -- that will last a lifetime -- there is no one better than Teresa to create a unique painting of your chosen subject. She has the uncanny ability to capture the soul of her subjects — be they people or pets. She is a master of her craft and an artist with the ability to capture the soul of her subject.”

✨I look forward to hearing from you! Let’s get started on your project today.✨