Tess studied at Chelsea College of Art, and graduated from Goldsmiths College, London, with a BA Hons in Fine Art. She has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe, and has twice been selected for the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. Her portraits can be found in permanent collections in many universities around the country. Tess is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.


  • Portraits 1
    Portraits 1
  • Portraits 4
    Portraits 4
  • Drawings
  • Children
  • Landscapes

“To sit for a portrait is such an enjoyable and magical adventure. Even my busiest clients say that they miss the sittings when the portrait is completed!” Tess Barnes

“It is strangely therapeutic to come home from work and have to sit still for an hour.”
Gail Rebuck

“The peace and quiet, time to think and chat to Tess, was pure luxury.”
Brigadier Jean Dowson

“The sessions were fun and stimulating.” Dame Professor Kay Davies

Commissioning a portrait is about celebrating a time in a person's life. People often choose to commission a portrait to mark a special occasion, perhaps a certain birthday, or to honour a friend, oneself, a relative or colleague. The pleasure that is so obvious when the subject sees the picture take shape is a wonder to behold, and, of course, the final painting is worth so much more in its personal content than any other image could ever be.


“I am passionate about portraiture, and for me the art is to capture the ‘essence’ of the individual, not just their physical features but also the unique way that they express themselves.”

“I feel that the act of living is to be celebrated, and if it is sometimes thought that it’s egotistical to have a portrait painted, I believe that notion comes from a bygone era when only the elite were portrayed in gilt frames and hung in their mansions.”

Tess Barnes