Emma Wesley (b.1979) is an award-winning portrait painter who lives and works in London.

Self-taught as an artist, she studied English Literature at Cambridge and Painting Conservation at the Courtauld Institute of Art before beginning a career as a portrait painter in 2003.

Emma undertakes commissions ranging from small head studies to large group portraits, but particularly likes painting people in their workplaces, surrounded by the tools of their trade, or by objects which symbolise the work they do. Over the years, she has painted a diverse range of subjects including antique dealers, academics, butchers, cricketers, soldiers, surgeons and violin-makers…

Emma has exhibited widely throughout her career, and has shown paintings regularly in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. Emma has twice been awarded the De Laszlo Silver Medal for Portraiture.

Emma has works in many private and public collections, including The National Portrait Gallery; The Royal Society; The Inner Temple; The MCC; The Royal Welch Fusiliers; All Souls College, Oxford; Christ’s, Girton, and Jesus College, Cambridge; The University of East Anglia, and Rugby School.


Emma is also featured in one of Be-Spoke’s recent Podcast episodes titled: ‘The Painted Lady’ – the title of her portrait. Step into the world of Emma’s studio and experience a glimpse into the creation of stunning portraits and the stories they hold.

‘The Painted Lady’ – Podcast



20 x 16 inches £2,000
60 x 40 inches £20,000

Any £2,000 (acrylic)

from 10 x 8 inches from £1,000

This is a rough fee-guide for a single portrait. Frame, travel & accommodation expenses, and VAT are not included. For groups and non-standard sizes please ask for a quote.


I work in acrylic on board, not in oil paint. I need from three to ten sittings and work from life, not photographs. I don’t often paint children but am happy to portray groups and to travel to my sitters. I am not currently registered for VAT.


  • 2003 Sir John and Lady Sally Weston
  • 2006 Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry for the National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 2006 Professors Chris and Uta Frith, FRS FSA
  • 2007 Margaret Bent CBE, FBA for All Soul’s College, Oxford
  • 2007 Sarah Ward OBE DL
  • 2008 Myles Burnyeat CBE FBA
  • 2008 Sir Brandon Gough, Chancellor of the University of East Anglia
  • 2009 Jack Straw MP, Lord Chancellor, for the Inner Temple
  • 2010 Dame Anne McLaren DBE FRS FRCOG for the Royal Society
  • 2011 Professor Frank Kelly FRS, Master of Christ’s College Cambridge
  • 2011 Professor Andrew Carr FRCS FMedSci for the Nuffield Hospital, Oxford
  • 2014 Andrew Strauss and Clare Taylor for the MCC
  • 2014 Patrick Derham, Headmaster of Rugby School
  • 2016 Dr Anthony Bowen, Jesus College, Cambridge
  • 2017 Nigel Harris, Violin Maker
  • 2018 Dominic and Lindsay Proctor
  • 2019 Dr Jane Robson and Professor John Robson FRS
  • 2020 Cover Art for Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Criterion Collection Re-release


  • 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • (2010 Exhibited Portrait of Jack Straw, MP, alongside BP Portrait Award)
  • 2003-2020 Royal Society of Portrait painters Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
  • 2004 Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Mall Galleries, London
  • 2005 Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London
  • 2005 Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
  • 2006, 2009 Mystery Portrait postcards, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • 2006 Wales Portrait Award, Bodelwyddan Castle and touring
  • 2006 Up Close and Personal, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
  • 2020 The Show Must Go On, Watts Gallery


  • 2004 Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Young Artist Award
  • 2005 Hunting Art Prize, Young Artist Runner-up
  • 2005 Royal Society of British Artists, Gordon Huson Memorial Prize
  • 2005 Royal Society of Portrait Painters, De Laszlo Silver Medal
  • 2006 Wales Portrait Award, Second Prize
  • 2007 Royal Society of Portrait Painters, HSBC Award
  • 2009 Royal Society of Portrait Painters, De Laszlo Silver Medal

Commission a portrait by Emma Wesley RP