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About Kate Tugwell

Kate is a professional portrait artist and tutor. She splits her working week as a commissioned artist and art tutor, running her art business from home and hires venues in Sussex to teach. She trained as a graphic designer in 1988 and worked full-time in the industry until 2002 when she went part-time to develop her love of painting. She has used her training as a graphic designer to build the website and art business and still takes on design projects and trains graphics software for companies on a freelance basis.

In 2013 Kate moved to a cottage near Chichester, West Sussex, England, with husband, Chester, and their black cat. They converted one of the outhouses into a working art studio and kept chickens to provide eggs for making scrummy cakes for the art classes. She has since sold and they have now bought a cottage in the woods in Plaistow, West Sussex, with plans to build a studio… and get more chickens!

In 2005 Kate was commissioned to paint the portraits of a computer training company in London and in 2006 she won the Open Art Exhibition in Cranleigh, Guildford, Surrey which resulted in a solo exhibition the following year. 

She has had various artworks exhibited in other exhibitions along the south coast including Worthing pier and has created numerous Christmas card designs printed and sold through charities.


After gaining an adult education teaching qualification, Kate teaches art courses, workshops and private tuition at various venues around Sussex including the Weald and Downland Openair Museum. She joined the team of tutors at London Art College in 2013 to tutor their Pet Portraits Diploma Course and in 2014 she was invited to submit some of her animal paintings to an American publisher for some of their painting guides which is available on Amazon and other bookstores.

For commissioned portraits, Kate's aim is to capture the personality of an animal or person and apply it to a canvas so their character shines through. She either spends time with the pet or person if possible, or works from a variety of different photographs. She works in oils and acrylic paints, soft pastels, pencil, charcoal, pen and wash and watercolours and paints on a variety of surfaces as varied as canvas and artboards to MDF, paper and slate. As Kate produces mostly commissioned artwork she doesn’t hold many examples to display in galleries but has many happy customers, some of whose quotes you can read on the pages of this website. Follow the progression of her latest artworks on the BLOG or view older posts at: and look out for her work in various art trails in the south of England.