Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 – Episode 1 (1080p)

Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 - Episode 1 (1080p)



allow we're in central London at the beautiful Wallace Collection Hunter paintings by some of the world's great artists today twelve new artists will be showcasing their talents here in just a few moments they'll be painting famous faces in front of large crowds and against the clock welcome to a brand-new series of Sky Arts portrait artist of the year over the next eight weeks we're traveling the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland as we search for undiscovered artistic talent in CAF painted about 50 portraits in my head Inlet in the night painted everybody from syllable up to Prince Charles nearly 1600 applied but only 12 of the best have made it to each heat so can't believe I'm here painting in the focaccia artists of the year they'll be challenged to paint the portrait of some of the country's most loved personalities how are you going to sit still for so long I've been practicing and I'm got to four minutes so far I'm just trying the best for the guys then not much Wow I know there's a certain dignity to this program but I'm telling you now if I look fat in any of your paintings I was smash this place up their work will be scrutinized by our distinguished judges award-winning artist Tai Shan Shirin burg head of contemporary at the Fine Art Society Kate Bryan and independent curator and art historian Kathleen Soriano how do we get those down to three each week those who impress the most will get one step closer to claiming the title and an incredible prize a 10,000 pound Commission to paint the portrait of award-winning actor Alan for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery I think it's absolutely thrilling that the winner should create a new commission for us is very exciting and of course it will enter the permanent collection and remain here ever after which is fantastic but whose bold brushstrokes yeah will unleash the beast know us that words and perfect portraiture you know if you want a likeness go to mr. squib no no that's amazing that I'm not letting that pass will see them crowned Sky Arts portrait artist of the year it's all about poet science isn't it most of these artists are used to working behind closed doors at their own pace today they have to work next to each other in front of the general public and against the clock never done anything like this before but I need this so good kick out the behind the judges shortlisted today's artists from digital copies of their self-portraits this is their first chance to see the originals well these are your selections so tell me what you liked about that it's wonderfully fresh I think it was that freshness that really caught us immediately her gaze is so strong there's a real vulnerability to the face and she seems quite young and yet it's very mature this is very strange in an eerie kind of way I think that often happens with a self-portrait that's done using the mirror as opposed to the camera yeah you do have that strange one eye not quite looking at you properly I think it was the strangeness that slightly appealed to us I mean it's someone who's obviously it likes to experiment this is really spare isn't it I mean I love it it's very sad it's really unusual you'd think it was a sitter from the 17th 18th century the way which he's posed himself as well I love this one because it it references that lovely moment in the end of the 19th century when everyone was obsessed with Japanese princes and unlike sort of graphic art that his face is very subtle and gentle a great day ahead no doubt about it as they begin setting up the artists get a chance to see how the other self-portraits compare with their own very much quite frightening when you see what you're up against Tony Noble is no stranger to competitions his work has been shown at the last 4 BP awards and he's keen to do well again here today you know at the end of the day we're all here to win this this thing and you see what you're up against and you think you're gonna have to do a good a good day's work divided into three groups of four the artists will have just four hours to produce a piece of work that will impress the judges enough to put them through to the semi-final I saw a lot of Magpies just single Magpies all the way so I've been doing my little magpie down the easels are set and the artists are ready but up till this point they have no idea who will be their sitters your sitter is one of British football's most famous defenders he was a key member of the legendary Arsenal invincabels please welcome Sol Campbell since retiring from professional football Sala set up his own children's charity and written his autobiography I don't imagine you're frightened of many things are you a bit trepidatious about being painted today depends what is produced really they should be frightened really please welcome John Humphries as a journalist author and broadcaster John has made any number of politicians quake in their boots you scrutinized people but today everyone is going to scrutinize you it's a bit of a revenge I think being taken here yeah how do you feel about that terrified please welcome Maisie Williams Maisie is growing up with the role of eyeless staff in Sky Atlantic so Ward winning Game of Thrones having played the part since she was 12 years old have you ever sat for a portrait before no never I'm really really really excited I can I propose with you today Maisie we have the fantastic Kate Bryan now you might normally think of dave-o and you see a tutu but what we want to do is pose you slightly more like toulouse-lautrec so maybe you sort of bring you up you've got this fantastic boots on with the 2t which is a great start and then maybe sort of leaning on your something like that sure how does that feel good that's good yeah you're used to putting other people in the spotlight and we've got one sort of beaming down on you today hope it's not you're not getting too warm under there fortunately I've got such a thick head of hair who protects me great not as if I got a bald spot there's a beautiful painting of Captain Cook and the maritime museum and we thought were the obvious reference to your football career pose of may be a captain thinking about his next campaign you're comfortable comfortable it's tart artists the challenge is about to begin you have four hours to complete your work and the time starts now a conventional technique when starting a portrait is to use pencil but it's not everyone's preference I'm just mapping it out and I'm just using one color just on this sketching and not really Victoria Smith works in London as a freelance graphic designer she took part in last year's competition and has come back for a second attempt last year was a dress rehearsal I was interested to hear that you said a lot of your friends don't know that you paint I would be so bragging about it it's like a it's like a hobby I do but the energy if you've got it you've got it and that I think that's brilliant okay okay I'm glad you came back you've used the paint to draw I just wanted to try and capture like this and create some structure that I could then put time on to so it's almost just a bit of a skeleton then to build upon commit her artist Jessica debo works at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London she's managed to make an impression with just a few marks great face great face yeah and you've got to rid that's Sarah like as a gentle it's not just lightness and character the judges are looking for from these portraits the composition of the piece is also crucial it's sometimes difficult for me to land on the right composition that I feel is appropriate and then sometimes it's predetermined they'll have a photographic reference but here is completely different the first few brushstrokes of a portrait down always resemble the sitter so over the next three hours the artists will have to find the likeness and hold on to it here at the Wallace Collection in London our artists have just less than three hours to paint celebrity sitters Maisie Williams John Humphries and Sol Campbell I've been admiring your your trousers I've got about three pairs of these Bobby looks like you've got a three got a few coats on there yeah that's pretty so that they actually have a sound yeah yeah yeah they're actually quite sturdy an art school graduate from Brighton Charlie Shaffer only started painting from life in the last year of university but he seems confident in his use of color can I ask what might be a stupid question you've gone very green I have to start the background this is very rare it is way honestly I hate paying on white so I decided that I needed to pay on a different color but red and green kind of make each other vibrate so I'm thinking I can get very good vibrant kind of moving they're making yeah yeah it's the complementary colors so closing colors when they put next to each other they make each other pop out okay so thanks for it yeah yeah so blue makes orange pop out and red makes green pop out and vice-versa while Charlie's painting a red background green just to confuse things another artist started painting the green background yellow and and changed it to red it is really a beautiful experience for me I really enjoying every single second originally from Iran Roja GigE is a professional artist who lives with his wife in southend-on-sea while most of focusing on the head around has a different approach I've got a feeling that Ralph's got a fantastic imagination because I'm looking at this and I can see he's even added a grand painting onto the wall that isn't there the thing that I'm quite interested in is that you've gone for the whole set because it happens quite rarely and it's quite small canvas it's gonna be quite a fine work okay and you know obviously you've got a time against you will you just focus on the face and then see what time you have left to do the rest are you gonna try and go for it all really you're an ambitious man I'm curious I really fear I'm look I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops good luck most of our artists are applying their watercolor oil or acrylics with a traditional brush but although he started sketching with a brush the judges are intrigued that one artists no longer seems to need him as a fellow painter I'm quite impressed that you do everything with the palette knife yes we really like the hair on your self-portrait yeah it was it was was that done with a partner yes over $10 knife but I mean the detail was incredible originally from Nigeria Taizo seg bara is a security guard who divides his time equally between work and painting you know I wasn't just you have a lot of colors when I started my painting Taliesin art in very odd very I fall in love with a Monat unimpressionist he try to define light and shade what the use of colors how colors a light affects the object I really enjoy watching you paint as well you're very good action thank you twenty-one-year-old Jamie Avis taught himself to paint on use to a live sitter getting started hasn't been easy and my right this is your third start yeah yeah that's not happened the place is too big and we start really says isn't that reducing scale so it's just like a third draft yeah and yeah you learn with each stroke away yeah okay all right yeah like well the fourth draft or is this is it I think yeah I'm seeing astroturf I'm seeing football and you're surprised you're playing the long haul game with this one it's a great color to paint as a painter now he's got a fantastic color you know and then that green exit is just or behind is just now I think that's great if you look at Tony's there that that the green really really works what we were trying to achieve with John he sees normally in a position where he's interrogating others are feel quite aggressively as we know and we wanted to sort of flip it around slightly but what we've actually got is a very comfortable man sitting there reading his Sunday newspapers there's a sense in which John is still in charge yeah Oh completely completely starting to pay in his own terms there's a confrontational quality to this and I think particularly brilliant the way that she's sort of holding her elbows and their knees look simple but actually it's not very comfortable will the treacherous thought they're almost fly-on-the-wall aren't there and they always look absinthe ravaged yeah he's kind of showing the other side of the battery I mean the fact that it is very physical it's very exhausting I notice every now and again my yesterday this very strange thing because she's hunched over it yeah we'd feel guilty but she's got such a young spine well she'll be right watching the competition has inspired some of our audience to have a go themselves sketching or using an app on a tablet using technologies now as much part of an artist create as an easel or a pallet and it's not just for capturing the image of the center I take photographs of the drawing to get the distance and it shows me what's wrong Amanda Fletcher who recently sold her coffee shop business in London to pursue painting full-time has discovered a problem with proportion on her portrait just to make clear you're taking a photograph of the image and process and then looking at in a different medium and that gives you yeah so that for instance that that showed me that image showed me that her shoulder was wrong what's the different use for technology yeah and some people using mirrors don't they just to alter the perception of it or see upside down and to try to find a way of refreshing the higher at the halfway point all but one artist have paint on their canvas and trying the kuda Marxism in animals possible because obviously everything will show through with the watercolors a professional artist living and working in his camper van David older slide faces quite a challenge is more accustomed to painting the Wiltshire countryside you've got no landscape today and then the landscape was really mesmerizing in that self-portrait I loved it that sort of Japanese reference do you paint a lot of landscapes will you pick more portraits mainly landscapes yeah I generally do you know as soon as a pair of her women kind of entering what Kate was saying about that very flat Japanese stylization does that come later on nice generally I almost get rid of the drawing by the time I get the painting yeah I kind of get rid of as many pencil lines as possible at some point the pencils will have to go down and the paint will come up you have just a phone come along with that point this is a great start thank you good luck so are you sitting there trying to emanate so sort of a sense of yourself to each of them individually or are you more busy with your reading I wish I could say that I'm actually sneaking a look at that while you're standing there could see you do that he's given me white hair oh I'll go talk to you and the wrinkles of the field over I'm just trying the best for the guys doing not much now I'm gonna look at none of them at all so I'm gonna close my eyes and walk off I think it's all about a surprise yeah although the odd glimpses unavoidable during the breaks some are trying not to look at the paintings too closely before they're finished oh gosh but one can't resist taking a peek I thought I'd feel really bored but you're not getting bored so it's quite interesting seeing people but it's just sitting still I'm not very good at as you can tell I'm quite like when I'm talking now I'd do this all the time just reviewing strains to be like my face is like my round cheeks we'll see there are just under two hours to go times gone quite quickly with a sudden really don't actually have a plan I'm not going to change the composition at this stage but it's just a case now of trying to get a kind of richness of detail and make it feel like a mini and we big strong solid the artists competing in today's heat of sky arts portrait artist of the year have been painting for nearly three hours and they've given the judges plenty to think about so are you beginning to get a feel of where everyone is what about you talk about what I'm worried but for all the great reasons it's um unusual to have such a concentration of artists are doing so well there are people who really really maps out than what their day is gonna look like but actually there's some artists who got the likeness and do they're really lovely beginning the side of the day that kind of departed them to stop by me and Charlie whose painting means he could have stopped fifteen minutes in and I've been a contender and actually it continues to be good so you're kind of watching kind of through your fingertips because it's a bit scary because I don't want to lose it he's just painted in the red background to match in with the green and I think most of them today have done a really good job on the likenesses make some of the drawings were particularly good and I'm slightly nervous that some of the painting is taking away some of that sort of connection with the features so Jessica caught John Humphrys within minutes yes with she drew with the brows I think there was a character that she really really caught John very very well without knowing him at all that haven't spoken to him I'm watching the paint go on and I'm seeing him disappear and it's making me worry also David who's just being painting around the drawing of the outline of John's head has had to be incredibly careful because one tiny slip and he would never be able to correct that what about the paintings of Seoul I thought there's some amazing things that I'm in Rove's painting it's just a pleasure to watch he's having the time of his life he's using imagination and he's painted in a portrait in the background and all doesn't exist he's really looking at the set I know I shouldn't jump to think about judging but it's gonna make it incredibly difficult this such good work here while portrait painting embraces lightness character and narrative some artists are thinking strategically well I'm not that I can get a lightness in four hours so I thought who's got the lightness Luis Smith came second in the 2011 BP Portrait Award so has more experience than some when it comes to preparation you've got a stopwatch here counting down yeah the hour so you're like raking the day up into our segments yeah so I would've been certain certain positions at certain times in the Vanessa Rose so you must get your personal bests down to four hours that's what I've been practicing I'm I'm being a bit terrified so Emily yep it's a he's emerging something I'm kind of working from around to the outside and trying to draw in I mean I thought your self-portrait was a nice thank you I learned a lot it was the first one I've ever done you can't possibly follow the amateur artist Emily Wolfe works in her mum's soft furnishings company in Dorset someone said you painted pets just to make some money okay fair enough that's a great I don't want to get stuck doing it so I'm hoping I can get into doing more portraiture and some people with their pets I don't know but he got to be in there with them no I think I think it's good to have a human element a good portrait isn't as simple as capturing the likeness of the person in front of you it's a very organic activity and things happen but if you go with the things that work it can be very interesting it's you know you have your own vision and the painting sometimes says its art its own bit and it's a fight between what the painting wasn't you want with the sitter sitting there that's what makes painting interesting Steve I heard it took you an awful long time to complete your self-portrait well it's that's tons of relative concept isn't it filled with detailed objects art teacher Steve Doutzen took two years to paint his self-portrait but his City today is quite a contrast to still life how important is it to it for you for the city to be absolutely still or in this case not still is it difficult well my feeling about that is that that the sitter's obviously it's a living being and so I like to chase this subject very much I really like having a family moving subject I tithe quite strict but I like your idea of in the movement finding the essence of the person I'm trying to put depth into clothing by building up one layer after another so it builds that kind of like stained glass saying that obviously you starve the lightest and the darker than there is on the top the darker it will get progressively but hopefully eventually it will look a lot more three-dimensional when it does at the moment Tony it looks like self Campbell that's a good stuff it just looks like a man with a purpose yeah it's just he's just kind of such a physical presence yeah yeah and you can feel that already and you can walk you know a football field out against it it's not just our judges scrutinizing portraits today a steady stream of spectators is enjoying a rare chance to observe the creative process it's wonderful to see a painting change yeah absolutely yeah my wife paints and I can't believe how she does it just started from nothing means I've been loved they've got fewer birds on the wall at home and how long does it take to do a portrait because these people are our zeros yes no I'm not longer than that that would worry absolutely Edward you're here today partly to support Titus oh I know he's a good friend of yours knew and Titus both got in how did that work out I entered a competition first but I send you an e-mail and eneded enter so some weeks ago he called me and said oh he's got truth I was so excited and I was so pleased that he's gone through you hadn't got through at that point no so how long before you found out you were in it as well I've got mine for me to debate after all that's not so bad only 24 hours of suffering now your husband has invented a painting he's put a painting in his own painting but isn't behind him does he make sense oh yes he does he just he just invents or he creates as he go along then he starts something he doesn't know how he's gonna end up we mustn't let you distract him but I don't think you know what it can be fact he go through the day without even eating just painting and painting I was I scared painting amongst people but because this was way out of my conference but now relaxed artists your time is running short you have 30 minutes to go I'm not hating it so it's okay I'm I'm glad I'm happy with what I've done so far I'm trying to do the eyes now cuz I knew they'd take a long time I didn't want them to slow me out you've got the whole of John Humphrys that's quite something please well you'd like another year yes yes can you fix that for me I knew you would the paintings have changed dramatically in the last hour with less than 30 minutes to go in just one semi-final place available today every brush stroke cats during the last stages of the challenge the pressure on the artists is growing just need to get it to try and get it to some kind of conclusion now yeah there's a panic because there's obviously this I can see there's things in the patient I'd really like to spend time on but not and have the opportunity so it's scanning the whole painting thinking what little touch Jesus could make a difference artists just five minutes to go cutting it a bit fine I've said a few things I need to do work on the hair work on the forehead but hopefully hopefully it'll get done you found abstract elements in it which is really making it work well that's good the face is causing a problem as well consider it's a portrait charm in trouble artists your time is up please put down your brushes and step away from your portrait it's been a grueling four hours for the artists and now they face an anxious wait while the judges deliberate before that the sitters get a chance to choose the portrait they would most like to keep I think you've you've certainly earned the right to see these four works of art so artist can you please turn your easels which of these would you like hanging around in your home for the rest of your days I'm really really sort of the more they look so different and you've all captured me in different moods but what made me frowning it made me feel I think the one that looks the way that I'd love to be portrayed I guess is this one here which is why I'm gonna choose it today artist would you like to tell your ease of relative truth for hours congratulations would you say grumpy this is going to be very tedious John because I need to go for money others saying that's fantastic and it is I think you have to choose the one you would like to hang on your wall at home I'm gonna go for Jessica [Applause] it's fantastic really I like the stuff it's got a life that's little who's on the bench and who who gets into the team who are you picking this one okay the artists wait while the judges take a look at the portraits behind closed doors this was so good for so long yeah it had it had Dungeness it was so well observed and painted in four hours by a very young artist who is self-taught I mean that's I'm learning amazing I ran a little bit short of time towards the end and there's a lot of pressure on I was trying my best to get it we've done this came and went and came and I was like yeah great no don't do that it was a it was a difficult one to watch I love that green background I loved it when he was working on this area that's my goodness he'd really really yeah but I think we have to really give him credit for the fact that we gave him a reference point which was this unconventional ballerina and he's done that I think I like my painting it's not it's definitely not my best and I think there are much better paintings that have been painted today no I love Ralph's portrait of saw I love the fact that he used his inventiveness and his imagination in creating this set that wasn't really there I've got some concerns that he hasn't quite caught that likeness of soul my only concern is the lack of lightness and it's Bri know that's a bad thing but it's elicit ativ quality it was wonderful day I met lots of wonderful artists and I learned lots of things it always almost reminds me as if a clerical portrait I don't know whether it's that sort of clerical lavender that on his shirt and the dark suit it was nerve-wracking in the first half but it was just trying to control my excitement that was really so what a rock of a man did you paint this a long time big head big brushstrokes my duty love it muddy colors don't say that colors are beautiful I think for me it's just a bit too unresolved I was conscious of the time running out and I started playing on with faith and I felt like maybe I wasn't adding to it necessarily but out of 12 artists the judges need to choose a shortlist of three I think the light works much better on the one on the right stop telling me anything I don't already know about his face it's that sort of flatness of the style I would push them back on it's those three after a great deal of deliberation the decision has been made by the judges the first artist to make it to their short list is ro the second artist is Charlie and the herd artists to be shortlisted is David commiserations that the artists who did make it to the shortlist but thank you for your massive contribution to the day I've had a great time and I'd do it again like it is really really nice and yeah but I'm tired now maybe you chose my painting as her favorite which is quite an honor and I'm just a little bit shell-shocked as well to help the judges decide who will go through to the semi-final they quiz them about the portrait they've created today and their self portrait this one of John from a distance it really is rock solid it's intestine I was worried about it actually on the break halfway through I thought so I started yeah because I thought it was a too much space there but well most people use watercolor in a really kind of spontaneous free way and you've used it in a completely different way and I found that really interesting and it felt very unique and contemporary that's a great solidity to the character them yeah you really get that sense of him sitting there and that depth it works incredibly well we really saw flights of imagination here with you you really wanted to take an inventiveness in and we see the appearance of a painting in the background that wasn't actually there on the set so we loved the fact that you embraced not only the objects on the set but also added some of your own we had some concerns about the likeness well I didn't have actually enough time I mean here if I had more time I would watch more on their face what stage I felt this is enough I shouldn't the light on the face is just extraordinary I definitely started with the face and got really into the face and then coming together off the canvas as a whole I should really have started earlier but I definitely would have found more depth in the arms I think more sculpt rocks I think that the face is quite sculptural but also that your love of color comes through in a very mature way you know it's not just sort of the excitement of youth and sort of plastering all over the place it's very very considered and we're all very with it before our judges decide who goes through to the semi-final I've got to ask one burning question so I think one of the themes beyond occurrence I think of this show is how important is lightness here today it's almost as if you've willfully defied the lightness thing I think what we've done today is actually we've gone more for the quality of the paint yeah rather than like this well Frank it's kind of you know Sky Arts portrait artist of the year and where we've been excited to day by the inventiveness you know if you want a likeness go to Leicester Square where they're drawing very good likenesses then often not very good like letting that pass I mean thank you for defending my right and thank you you said yourself they weren't particularly good likenesses yes but we've also had discussions with okay I think John Humphrys is very good so you could use some work but the composition was so complex we are dealing with potential here and where people can develop I think there is there's much of valuing them I just think that on it in a contest for portraiture I don't know if the stuff that I like about them is about how they've captured that person we're looking at hundreds and hundreds of portraits we need things which are different we don't want to keep rehashing what people have done in the past what I want to know is have you come to a choice of one artist yes yes well then we shall wait on your decision David Ralph Charley congratulations to each one of you and having made it this far but you know only one of you can go through to the semi-finals and the judges have made their decision yes and the artists they have chosen to go through to the semi-final displayed and I quote an appreciation and understanding of color and texture as well as employing a confident and imaginative approach and that person is ro thank you little bit disappointed obviously but you know I'm glad I got as far as I did and I was pleased with my painting for our let's say there's been a good day I just definitely thought it was the best the whole way through to be fair say definite deserve to get it you just got it down so quickly and just the drawing was so good and then the colors were spread in and say I was expecting to be very nerve-wracking day and very challenging but actually I was very calm all they made was a beautiful experience for me you you

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