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Hi, I'm Kelly, an artist specialising in fine art drawings and portraits.
I am very privileged to live and work in the beautiful Dales area of North Yorkshire and take much inspiration from the beauty of the land around me.

I really enjoy drawing a diverse range of subjects – people, children, pets, wildlife, botanicals, the natural world.
My preferred medium is graphite pencil. I've always loved working in pencil as I feel I'm able to capture the finer detail and character of my subjects, as well as the subtlety of expression and features. 

Photograph of UK pencil portrait artist - Kelly Barnes

About me

Custom pencil drawing of a labrador dog

My Story

I've always been creative, but it was in 2010, alongside building a rewarding career as a specialist palliative care nurse, that I began developing my skill in pencil drawing. I started accepting drawing commissions in 2014 and, encouraged by the wonderful feedback from those early commissions, I have been developing my business ever since. I now receive portrait and drawing commissions from around the world.

When drawing people or pets, my mission is not just to create an exact likeness, but also to sensitively capture the essence of the unique character - reflecting something of the individual person or pet that will touch the hearts of those who know the subject best.

In 2018, I started working on a series of botanical and wildlife pencil drawings. Then, working with a fine art printer I had these reproduced as a series of greeting cards and prints which sold really well.

So, in 2019 I created and launched my online shop and haven’t looked back since! I also sell my greeting cards and prints in a number of craft shops, at art exhibitions and craft fairs across the country.


Since then I have been working on expanding my range of prints and greeting cards and am currently exploring options for using my artwork on other product ranges. 

Pencil drawing of a bumblebee with artist's pencils - pencil artist UK

Giving To Charity - Supporting Projects In Burma

Photograph at health clinic in Karen State, Burma

​I donate a portion of the proceeds from all my product sales and commissions to support ethnic minorities in Burma (Myanmar).

Why Burma? In 2005/06, sponsored by the British Medical Association, I had the privilege of co-leading a health and nutrition programme amongst the Karen people in an area of South Eastern Burma. In Karen State, like many of the ethnic states; men, women and children are forced to flee their homes when the Burma Army attacks their villages. Years of oppression have left the people with very little food and only limited access to health care. Weakened and malnourished, many babies are dying from starvation, or from common and easily preventable childhood illnesses. The situation for the ethnic groups is critical. 

So in 2005, with the support and guidance of the Karen Health Department, we set up Babies at Risk, a small programme to seek to improve the health of mothers and babies and reduce the infant mortality rate in an area of Karen State. We provided essential supplies and worked with traditional birth attendants and local health workers, supporting and equipping them to teach their own people in key areas ranging from breastfeeding and infant nutrition to maternal health.

It was hugely impactful to spend time with families who had fled into the jungle to escape the attacks of the Burma Army and to witness firsthand the courage and determination of the people in working together for good and for freedom. 


Karen women learning about breastfeeding technique using doll
Men in Mon State, Burma laying water pipes with money donated from Kelly Barnes Portraits

Through contacts made on those trips, I have been able to stay connected with various projects on the ground in Eastern Burma and I now donate a percentage of my profits to support some of these projects.


Over the last few years, I have been supporting a programme to develop a network of water pipes in villages in Mon State, meaning that the villagers no longer have to walk to the river to get water.


Currently I am donating a portion of the proceeds from all sales and commissions to a project in Karen State that is supplying food, medicine and relief to internally displaced people who have had to flee their homes due the recent increase in attacks from the Burma Army. Through partnering with All4Burma, a UK-based charity, and through ongoing relationships with people on the ground, I am able to stay closely connected to these projects. 

For more information about the situation in Burma, please click on the following links - Free Burma RangersBurma Campaign UK; All4BurmaHuman Rights Watch.

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