Artist Karen Hartnell is based in the beautiful small county of Kinross-shire, calling Scotland home since 2003, having spent all of her pervious years on the south coast of England in the county of Hampshire. The move to Scotland inspired Karen to return to art.

Karen is also Editorial Designer for The Household Cavalry Journal and the Household Division’s The Guards Magazine, and has been designing these publications for over 10 years.

She has also designed a book written by friend and fellow dog owner, Liz Devonport: Unleash Your Inner Superhero: Techniques for Dog Sports Competitors to Eliminate Anxiety available from Amazon here

For the love of dogs … and ponies

Sharing childhood years alongside her parents’ various West Highland Terriers, Karen finally become the owner of her first dog in 2004; a chocolate Labrador called Corbie. Sadly, there was the heart breaking goodbye to Corbie on Christmas morning 2017, a wonderful much-missed family member. A second Lab, Logie, joined the family in early 2017. 

Labradors, Corbie and Logie. 2017

Growing up, Karen was obsessed with horses and dreamed of becoming a showjumper. She had a pony who wasn’t so much show-jumper potential, a bay Welsh Mountain Section A called Bobby Breeze! Fast forward many years out of the horse world, until 2023 and becoming a micro shareholder in stunning racehorses King of Answers (King) and Blow the Budget (Tara), both trained by Grand National winning Lucinda Russell Racing, local to Karen.

With King of Answers, posing with his painting I did of him
With King of Answers, and the painting I did of him

Dog training and tricks

Since 2019, Karen has been learning from world renowned educator in all things canine, Susan Garrett, and in early 2024 joined Susan’s DogsThat coaching team. Karen teaches some fun tricks, including painting, in one of DogsThat online membership programs, Wag Nation.

In 2023, Karen qualified as a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. To gain this Karen had to show proven skill at training a dog (using positive reinforcement); sound knowledge of dog training technique as evaluated on exams; and demonstrate ability to communicate training techniques to students.

Karen and her Lab have, so far, gained the Do More With Your Dog! (the official sanctioning body of dog trick titles) Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert Trick Dog titles and the Novice and Intermediate Masters titles. Karen coaches a small group of students in her High Five Trick Dogs group, who she hopes will go on to achieve Trick titles themselves.

As well as tricks, the pair have earned their Foundation, Bronze and Silver levels of the CHUK Online Good Hoopers Awards


Moving to Scotland rekindled Karen’s passion for wildlife, with many incredible encounters, and it is these memories that will often spark an idea for a painting.

A juvenile White-tailed Eagle glides overhead

Karen has spent many hours in the company of all creatures great and small and aims for her love of the natural world to show through in her work. A piece of art may even trigger a memory of a special wildlife encounter you have had.

Eagles are a particular passion. From 2014 to 2017 Karen volunteered with the RSPB, helping to keep watch over a pair of White-tailed Eagles, and continues to help whenever required. A selection of her artwork was on display at the RSPB Sea Eagle Festival in 2017, celebrating 10 years since the East of Scotland reintroduction.

Interested in a Pet Portrait Commission?

Contact Karen by email at karen@portraitsofpets.co.uk or portraitspets@aol.com with your requirements.

On Karen’s website you can view full details of the commission process and price guides, as well as downloadable PDF with the information for easy reference.