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  • Writer's pictureMikey Ball

Portrait Artist Of The Week #PAOTW

Hola Hello and thank you for checking out my Portrait Artist Of The Week #PAOTW update.

Sky Arts decided to do a LIVE Facebook feed of their popular TV show: Portrait Artists Of The Year and as I am wanting to have a go at entering one year I couldn’t resist giving it a go. Below are the weeks of Portrait Artist Of The Week #PAOTW I’ve done.

Week 1: Akram Khan

Akram Khan was the first model to take part in this weekly challenge and he was painted by the previous winner to Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year: Christabel Blackburn. The public were encouraged to paint/draw along with the live feed.

My large PC monitor showing the live feed

It was a great experience for me and I got to flex my watercolour muscles to a set time limit. Below are the stages of my work including the finished painting.

Week Two: Bernardine Evaristo

Another week another portrait…… My second #MyPAOTW attempt with the writer Bernardine Evaristo who took part in this weekly challenge and was painted by the previous winner to Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year: Duncan Shoosmith.

Week Three: Rankin

The third week was the Photographer: Rankin. He was painted by a previous Portrait Artist Of The Year: Samira Addo.


My progress

Finished Painting

Week Four: Rob Rinder

I went aimed for a looser painting style once I had the line art down but it didn’t come out quite as I’d of liked.

Week five: Will Young

I was looking forward to painting Will Young. I went for a lesser painted look leaving lots of white areas. I feel I captured him enough but also didn’t capture the same likeness as the photo reference. I realised that I was leaning back while drawing him out which, when I saw the finished painting straight on, made his face slightly stretched length ways.

Week six: Noel Fielding

While listening to Noel and his painter talk about art and how to approach it I was inspired to be more daring. I stopped my initial drawing (which wasn’t very good anyway) and tried again this time straight in with paint (no pencil or pen lines first) and was very surprised at the likeness at the end considering it was my first attempt at this technique.

Some early stages I was almost tempted to keep as it was.

Week seven: Clare Balding

This week is Clare Balding. I was VERY tired and ended up playing it safe with my usual pencil first approach. This time I used minimal pen to define her face, hair, etc and finished within the 4 hours time limit.

Note to self: Don’t stay up until 1-2am watching tv and/or films if you need to paint the next day

Week eight: Professor Green

So.. yes… I went a little colour crazy with this one.

I was too tired to paint on the day so I planned to do Professor Green’s portrait during the following week but with one thing and another I didn’t start it until nearer the Friday deadline and I decided to go super experimental and colour crazy.

(No progress stages for this one unfortunately)

A bit messy, a bit rushed, a bit caricatured… but I nice the bright colours.

Week nine: Mary Beard

The final week of Portrait Artist Of The Week and this time it was Mary Beard. I was worried when I found out that she was going to very hard but my end result came out surprisingly good.In hindsight I wish I had used my cotton watercolour paper for her.

Final Thoughts

So that’s it. All over… it was a good weekly challenge (which I needed during the COVID19 lockdown) and I’ve learnt a few things along the way; things I can work on some more from now on.

If you are looking to have a watercolour portrait of someone done, be it for editorial, cover of books, video or personal use, drop me a line below:

Stay healthy! – Mikey


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