Half-Off of all Custom Charcoal Drawings!

You saw that right: I’m offering an unprecedented HALF-OFF of my custom charcoal portraits through the month of August!

Graphic design clients: I love y’all, I really do. But sometimes a girl HAS to get her studio a little dirty with raw materials.

Now is the time to commission a stunning, love-it-for-a-lifetime charcoal portrait of your children, parents, or even your fluffier family members. Think Christmas gifts! No getting on a waiting list and no exceptions.

Included with your drawing:

  • Free shipping within the U.S. 
  • Two free prints to give to others! 
  • Satisfaction guarantee (Your child shouldn’t look like a Brazilian jungle penguin)

Ready to save?

After reviewing my Pricing page and deciding what you might want to have done, contact me by phone or email and we’ll discuss the rest of your details and get you in on the savings! I look forward to working with you.

Want some FREE cash?

You may know someone else who would enjoy a half-off portrait. Please send them my way! I pay between $50-300 for every portrait referral through my Referral Love Rewards. I’d love for you to spread the word or share this post on your Facebook wall!

Charcoal Portrait of Sadie Claire

Charcoal Portrait of Hannah by Kelly O'Neill

Charcoal Portrait from Photograph Ethan with Reference

The Not-So-Fine Print:

You don’t have to have your reference photos ready right away, but a 30% deposit is due by August 31st in order to secure your half off pricing. You may get the photo(s) to me anytime in September. I will accept as many commissions as I can, and will create them in the order that they are received. All will be ready in time for Christmas!

A Painting of Presidential Proportions!

I got to take on a very challenging and REALLY fun project over Christmas: Painting another person into an incredible painting by Andy Thomas in a much looser style than I’m used to painting in. We have a friend who loves Andy’s painting, Grand Ol’ Gang (shown below).

The original painting by Andy Thomas

We thought he would flip out if he were painted INTO it, like he was just hanging out with the Presidents (and I happened to have sneaky access to some great head shots of him). So, I did a little research on the best way to do this and preserve the integrity of the giclee’ while matching the style of the painting. It turns out that me and acrylics still don’t get along, though they are recommended for painting on top of canvas prints. But, after a little more research and an intuition check, I decided to treat the area to be painted with clear gesso and then I painted on top with my beloved oils. Yay for finding a way!

The completed painting! Our friend likes to hang out with VIPs.

Below is a close-up of my portion of the painting. He was floored when he opened it for Christmas and it made all of the hours I spent making it perfect so worth it! I’m framing it for him this week.

Detail of my work

I’d love to know what you think about this project. Comment if you like it. Share it on Facebook if you love it. Thanks!

My Latest Charcoal Portrait!

My Most Recent Charcoal Portrait

You may have seen my last drawing of Ethan. The cuties below are his cousins! These drawings will be Christmas gifts for my customer’s sisters, so it’s sure to be a special holiday for his family.

Charcoal Portrait From A Photograph by Kelly O'Neill

Want to Give a Sentimental Gift This Christmas?

Tis’ my busy season, so I can only accept 2 or 3 more commission requests to complete in time for Christmas. If you’re considering a portrait this year or next, go ahead and get on my waiting list for 50% off to save! Otherwise, spread the word and earn some Referral Love Cash ($100-$300 per referral).

Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot.


Charcoal Portraits from Photographs

My Latest Charcoal Portrait

I recently had the joy of drawing a cute little kiddo named Ethan.  The drawing will be a Christmas gift to my customer’s sister, and he is also having me draw his two nieces as well, which I’ll post soon.

Charcoal Portrait of Ethan

Is he not the cutest thing?  (Well, the cutest thing not related to me at least) I think there’s a Mama rule about thinking your own children are the most precious, right?

Christmas Gift Idea!

Have you been wondering what to get someone in your life who already seems to already have everything?  It’s not too late to place your portrait order for Christmas, and now you’ll receive extra perks like free matting (for drawings) and framing (for paintings) as well as two free prints of your portrait to keep or give as gifts!  I have to stop taking Christmas orders sometimes as early as the last week of November in order to complete them all in time for the holidays.

Want to Save 50% On Your Portrait?

I’ve started a scholarship program!  It’s basically this:

I discount 1 drawing commission per month and 1 painting commission per quarter by half of my posted portrait prices. 

The discounts are given on a waiting list basis, but since I’ve just implemented the program, the list isn’t long yet (Lucky you!) If you’re considering a portrait this year or next, go ahead and get on the list for substantial savings.  Otherwise, spread the word and earn some Referral Love Cash  ($100-$300 per referral)!


“The Hour I First Believed” – My Latest Painting

Amazing Grace…

I’m walking down a familiar hallway for what I know will be one of the last times. I’ve come to visit my sweet, 94 year old granddaddy.  He greets me with a warm, toothless smile.  He’s frail, but strong in spirit.  He’s been longing for heaven for some time now, even telling us that he sees the gates and angels that await him. “Let’s sing,” he says.  I ask what he wants to sing, and he chooses “Amazing Grace,” his favorite. Together, we sing the words that he truly believes.  He has experienced so much of God’s grace in his 94 years, and though he mixes up some of the words now, we had a moment together that day that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.  We had only two more visits after that.

“’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.  How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.”  Seven years later, as I sing these words now in worship, as always I remember my granddaddy.  But this time, I also see what I know will be my next painting, as clearly in my mind as if it was already completed.

The Hour I First Believed - Oil Painting by Kelly O'Neill

The Hour I First Believed

A man, tattooed and masculine, is shackled, but Christ is releasing his chains.  It is the moment of his salvation… the hour he first believed.

As with most of my “God paintings,” I knew that to not paint it would be disobedience. However, I wanted to use a model who had truly experienced God’s transforming grace so I started looking.  I called the Nashville Rescue Mission that has a rehabilitation program for breaking addictions, and they directed me to a young man named Chris.

Sweet CeCe’s Goes International!

It’s a day I’ve waited for . . . a company that I branded now has international presence!  Better yet, it’s international because of a friendship I have with a former logo client. Twitter and Facebook have made the world so very, very small. Read on to hear how this all came about!

Almost three years ago, I was approached by the nicest lady who was opening a self-serve frozen yogurt shop here in Nashville, TN called Sweet CeCe’s.  Though many “competitors” have sprung up since then, Sweet CeCe’s was the first of its kind in our area, and remains the best in my opinion. I created her logo, which led to promotional material, which led to me becoming their “official” graphic designer, handling all things aesthetic up until corporate took over late in 2010.  I also had the opportunity to set them up with a Twitter and Facebook presence and manage it, which which they have agreed has fueled (along with the amazing froyo experience, of course) their rapid success.

A year or two into my working with the company, a former logo client of mine who follows me on Twitter, asked me what I thought about him opening up a Sweet CeCe’s… in Kuwait!  He had seen my constant tweets about the delicious yogurt and success of the store here.  I was thrilled with his idea, and I put him in contact with the people in charge.  After a few months of negotiation, he ended up buying the rights to open 10 stores in the next 5 years in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and United Arab Emirates.

I’m writing this today to show off his STUNNING store that opened last week. Check out these photos to see how the middle east does frozen yogurt!

“The Rest of the Story…” My Project for Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Wow!  A whirlwind of a few months it has been.  Last September, I was writing about my amazing experience designing for Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  If you missed that post, you may read it here!  Then, I had a baby girl in December, and now I’m able to post photos of the completed EMHE project since it’s aired and we’re past all of that legal secrecy mumbo jumbo. I know that many of you watched the episode, but if you missed it, the following photos will give you a pretty good idea of how me and my team spent our time and talent working on “Trike Town” with an incredible show that changes lives forever.

Kelly O'Neill Trike Town Extreme Home Makeover 2

Day 1 - My blank "canvas" - The carpenter extraordinaire is to my right.

Kelly O'Neill's Trike Town Extreme Home Makeover 5

Talking with Paul DiMeo after the set was primed. He was a trip!

No getting to bed early tonight! Thankful for my tireless team.

Kelly O'Neill's Trike Town Extreme Home Makeover 3

Me trying to play it cool while Ty Pennington admires our work. "Just keep painting... just keep painting..."

Kelly O'Neill's Trike Town Completed

The finished piece, Trike Town, installed and ready for the kiddos!

50 Original Celebrity Drawings for $50.00!

Over the years, I’ve drawn quite a few celebrities! Most of these were drawn while I was in college and a couple of years after graduating because I found them to be a great way to draw something once and then sell prints multiple times on eBay or to local collectors. They’ve ranged from old movie stars, to musicians, to successful sports figures, and now it’s time to let them go as my husband and I prepare for a new baby and we’re in “clear it all out” mode! (Don’t get me started on the paintings, frames, and canvas prints that are sure to get the axe before too long.)

I’ve decided to price these ridiculously low to sell.  I am no longer attached to any of them, and this means that you can own an original, stunning drawing of your favorite star for just $50.00! I would typically sell such a drawing for $320 or more. Purchase more than one and receive free shipping. Please contact me to see any of the drawings seen or listed below larger.

These will be sold on a first come, first served basis, and you may see my full selection here.  These are 11×14 drawings:

Movies and TV:

Lucille Ball, James Dean, Clint Eastwood, two Gone With The Wind drawings, Shirley Temple, Audrey Hepburn, George Burns, Jack and Rose from Titanic, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Batman, Mister Rogers, Harry Potter, Batman, and Charlene Darlin’ and Gomer Pyle from The Andy Griffith Show

Sports Figures:

Michael Jordan, Mark McGwire, Goldberg, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, and Mia Hamm, TN Titans, and the Rams


The Beatles, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Celine Dion, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Shania Twain, Elton John, Ricky Martin, James Taylor, The Backstreet Boys, and Carl Perkins

My 50 foot painting in the Bronx!

Most people think of my paintings in terms of inches, not feet! And rightly so, as I’m a portrait artist who strives for a high level of detail in each of my pieces. I do, however, make an exception now and then.  My 2005 mission trip to the Bronx in 2005 presented me with an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up: to give a dark and desolate neighborhood a splash of life and color!

It started with a wall… a double handball court at a school that got vandalized often.  In the aftermath of 9/11, the school officials thought that a patriotic painting on the wall would not only be a thing of beauty, but would discourage graffiti artists. When our team from a local church in Brentwood, TN showed up to paint the interior walls of the school, they asked if there were any artists who were interested in working on a “big” project.

My "canvas"

I have to say that I was hesitant to volunteer, having never painting anything on this scale before, but I knew it was a great way to leave my artistic mark on the city and bring a little hope and excitement to the kids who went to the school!

I was told I had 2.5 days to design, plan, and execute the project, and I could recruit other team members to help. Five of us put all of our energy into the project, not knowing if we’d be able to pull it off in time.

Planning stages - lots of painter's tape and size calculations going on here.

I got over my mild fear of heights.

Kelly O’Neill Featured on the Today Show!

It’s not every day you get a call from an NBC producer, asking you to create a special piece of artwork to use on the Today Show.  When you do, you say “YES.”  Oh, you need an extensive drawing planned, completed, recorded on HD video, and delivered within 28 hours? “I’ll make it happen.”

And make it happen, we did! “We” refers to Ryan Osborn (@Rozzy and @TodayShow onTwitter), the tireless producer who had the vision for this project after he saw my speed drawing of Ellen Degeneres on YouTube, and my amazing husband, who came home from work early and stayed home the following day to make sure it got done. Nate is the video expert of this outfit. I’m just in charge of the things that involve pencils and paint. All in all, we spent the better part of the given 28 hours on this project, and rolled into bed at 5:00 am this morning, just 3 hours before the clip aired.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

So what that I’ve had 10 hours of sleep in the last 50?

Hearing Matt Lauer call me a “great artist” on national television, and watching Meredith Vieira and Al Roker admire the completed piece printed on a huge poster in Rockefeller Plaza was more than worth it.

To see more of my speed drawing videos, visit my YouTube channel.

To see my portraits, fine art, and graphic design work, visit TheArtistOfLife.com.

I am available for custom portrait commissions, logos and branding, and of course, high profile custom projects for major television networks. 😉

The completed drawing, 18×24:

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