David Goatley


International Portrait Painter
from north america: +1 250 882 6725
from europe: +11 250 882 6725
email: studio@davidgoatley.com

We may not all make History, but each of us makes his story or her story, your story, my story and ultimately - our story - the ongoing story of humanity.

We all matter to those we love and who love us. Within the circle of family, friends, work and career we each make a unique contribution and no one who connects with us is untouched by that connection. We all make a difference. Each of us matters and we all have a story that deserves to told. So much of that story is in our faces, to be read now and down the generation to come.

This is what portraits seek to capture and that is why I paint them.

His Highness The Maharaja of Jaipur


A selection from David's commissioned portraits and other paintings.

Portrait in progress

Portrait Process

About the Artist and how he works.

David Goatley in the National Gallery London


A collection of thoughts on art, painting and life - a blog

David Goatley in the National Gallery London


Works available for sale and David's book "Lives in Paint"

Latest News

David awarded Signature Status
by the
Portrait Society of America

January 2022: David has been awarded Signature Status by the Portrait Society of America! "I feel very honoured to be included in this group of exceptional portrait artists - I will do by best to live up to this recognition and look forward to celebrating at the convention in Atlanta, Georgia this spring."          

  East and West Show at the Union Club poster

EAST and WEST show at The Union Club 

June 1 - July 31, 2022 at the historic Union Club of British Columbia this exhibition explores our common humanity through acute observations of other cultures and all that binds us as a human family. 

David’s vibrant scenes of street life in the west are contrasted with the vivid colours of the East - India’s packed towns and cities - while his portraits  of individuals give us people we feel we can know and identify with. 


To see the catalogue click here.

The Emir of Bauchi Unveiling

David Goatley’s portrait of His Royal Highness Dr. Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, the 11th Emir of Bauchi, was unveiled at the Palace in Bauchi, Nigeria in July.

David was commissioned to paint the Emir just as COVID travel restrictions came into effect, which necessitated that he art direct two professional photographers. HRH preferred the throne room as the ideal location and David worked with the photographers on lighting, poses and all the minutia required to get just the right source images. The painting was completed in David’s studio before making it’s multi-flight journey to Nigeria where 4 Nigerian artisans hand carved and gilded a frame fit for a king.

Unveiling of official portrait of Glenn Feltham, President of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

This portrait was a real journey of discovery for me. I had no idea what a powerhouse of research and development this amazing institution was until I went there to meet Dr. Feltham. A day with this wonderfully warm and engaging man, touring the campus he is so proud of, was truly eye-opening. NAIT has incredible capabilities in simulation and modelling in fields as diverse as medicine, engineering, energy and manufacturing. They can model everything from a front-line field hospital to a factory assembly line.

In my portrait, I sought to capture both Dr. Feltham's personality and his pride in the institution he led through a period of massive growth and development. It was a privilege to paint him and a real thrill to see the campus and learn just a little of what they are doing there.

Dr. Glenn Faltham NAIT
Dr. Glenn Fethlam, President
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
oil on linen, by David Goatley

Unveiling of Premier Jim Prentice's Official Portrait

David was honoured to attend the unveiling of his official portrait of former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice at the Alberta Legislature. For those not familiar with the Canadian political system, a Premier is the equivalent postion to Governor in the USA. This is David's second official portrait of a Premier.

After choosing David as the official portrait artist, and after initial discussions, Mr. Prentice and David decided the portrait would be painted from life. Unfortunately this was not to be as Mr. Prentice was in a fatal plane crash shortly before his first sitting.

Working with the Prentice family, David worked with government and family photographs, a body double and his own photographs of the famous marbled halls of the Alberta Legislature to create a portrait fulfilling the ideas that had been discussed during telephone conversations with Mr. Prentice.

Premier Jim Prentice of Alberta
Hon. Jim Prentice, 16th Premier of Alberta
Official Portrait - Alberta Legislature
oil on canvas, by David Goatley

Short Biography

David Goatley is considered one of North America’s foremost portrait painters. He has been awarded Signature Member status by the Portrait Society of America and the Federation of Canadian Artists.

He was born in London, England in 1954 and emigrated to Canada’s west coast in 1992.

David studied painting at London’s Camberwell School of Art before embarking on a successful 16 year advertising career. Whilst advertising did not prove creatively satisfying (the need to paint was never far away) it did give him a taste for hard work, imaginative solutions, and the strong sense of design that has helped make his paintings immediately recognizable. Each of his portraits is as distinct as the individuals in them, capturing the personality and life in his subjects with real feeling. To stand in front of one his portraits is to experience meeting the subject.

It is a skill that has led to over 420 commissions thus far, across Canada, the UK and 24 states of the USA as well as in Israel, Panama, Spain and India. His subjects have included Princes, a Peer, a Prime Minister, Provincial Premiers, five Lt. Governors, First Nations Chiefs and Elders, a Bishop and leaders in Business, Academia, the Arts and the Law as well as numerous families. His work is included in 2 Royal Collections as well as the collections of governments, museums, corporations, institutions and in hundreds of private homes.

David is also a noted muralist and paints the people and places he encounters on his travels for exhibition and sale when his busy schedule of commissions allows.

David currently resides in the Pacific Northwest from where he travels widely to fulfil commissions.

Self Portrait - So Many Selves at 60
Self Portrait
"So Many Selves at 60"

Painting the Maharaja

If you are interested in seeing a bit of the process of painting the official portrait of the Maharja of Jaipur this video will give you an idea of what the city of Jaipur is like - the chaos and colour - as well as a brief view of City Palace and the painting in progress.

A Portrait in 4 Colours

Who do you paint when you're forced into isolation by COVID-19, as many of us are, and you want to paint from life? Well, I painted the only available model - myself! To make it challenging I chose to use the Zorn palette - red, yellow ochre, black and white. It's amazing what you can do with just 4 colours..

Painting Santana

When I was in the Great Bear Rainforest recently on a commission I was given permission by one of the women I met - Santana - to paint her. I came home and created this oil sketch, taking pictures along the way.


“Knowing the portrait was to hang in The House of Commons for generations to come, I wanted a painting that would give a strong impression of who I am, so that someone looking at it could feel they had met me, rather than a remote political figure. I feel David met that objective perfectly.”

The Right Hon. Kim Campbell, 19th Prime Minister of Canada

“Thank you for the magnificent portrait you did of me. It is even higher praise when my daughters concur with my assessment... and they do!”

The Right Hon. Gilbert Parent,
33rd Speaker of the House of Commons

“On behalf of His Highness the Maharajah of Jaipur, I would like to congratulate Mr. Goatley for the excellent portrait he has painted. His eye for detail is truly phenomenal and to reproduce it so intricately calls for an extraordinary talent. His delicate brush strokes and the use of chiaroscuro is positively praiseworthy. It is certainly a portrait painted with feeling.”

Kumar Chatterjee Personal Secretary to the Maharaja of Jaipur
Office of the Royal Family of Jaipur, City Palace