Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 – Episode 4 (1080p)

Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 - Episode 4 (1080p)



hello we're at Lee sin F in glorious Cardiff the main public building of the National Assembly of Wales today the assembly point for twelve artists three celebrity sitters and three demanding judges it's the lightest stage in our search for an exciting new artistic talent welcome to Sky Arts portray artist of the year today is the fourth heat in our remarkable competition and twelve new artists step up to the canvas as they battle it out for a possibly life-changing prize at 10,000 pounds commissioned to paint a portrait of award-winning actor Alan which will join the permanent collection at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery love it squashing squashy paint to be in with the charms they must impress three judges independent curator and art historian Kathleen Soriano head of contemporary at the Fine Art Society Kate Bryan and award-winning artist toch and Sharon Berg that's quite dated the colouring most dated but with just four hours to paint let's just start at the face and then work outwards and see what I can fit in who will produce a portrait good enough to secure them a place in the semi-final it looks like you've been packed by paparazzi from the 18th century our artists are a mix of amateurs and professionals and each has a different approach to today's challenge I'm feeling quite relaxed it might be different when I get in there but yeah I'm looking forward to it it's gonna be pretty spontaneous decisions being made all the way through I think just get a likeness really that's very important thing the artists here today was shortlisted after sending a digital image of their self-portrait today they've been asked to bring along their originals I don't know it looks like wax I've got fantastic sort of physicality to it and the way it's put on the paint is just amazing and clearly riffing on the pointillism with all the tiny little dots that go to make up the image so and and almost luminous it as a consequence so get fighting the extraordinary subjugate yeah and it's full of angst and full of complexity and narrative I think there's a story there and I love the fact that there's just a hint of a nipple showing at the bottom very brave you can't not have some sort of reaction or response to this painting so you obviously got our attention I'm really excited by there I said I mean we always see these pages and think okay they're gonna paint the whole set let's get some somebody who does tackles the the whole picture and hopefully she'll do that today it is pretty unique thick impasto we don't actually see that very often it's a bit out of fashion and it's a young artist clear using that so that that intrigues me this is self hope this is almost is it painted on a photograph its pencil and that is just perfect beyond its gone into a different sort of genre you want to touch it but again you know niggling in the back of our minds is you know how we cope today with four hours because that looks like it's taking a lot of work the self-portrait also give the artists a chance to size up the competition so he is charcoal yeah professional artist Connie Rose is also a poet she lives and paints in a converted warehouse in Berman C hoping to impress she's got a strategy for today's challenge I'm just going to try and Zone in in my headphones try and not be distracted stick to my time plan and remain calm paints are prepared and canvases are primed or swapped the artists can choose their materials but they can't choose their sitters someone athletic like good physical built I'd like to capture that and also an interesting piece big eyes there's something that's got like some sort of hot Dawkins or make a feature out of in the painting artists can I give you a little bit of advice probably don't do a full-length portrait of this person it could be a very long day please welcome Greg Davis born in Wales Greg Davis is an actor and stand-up comedian best known for his roles in mango and the in-between I Frank good can you please sit down as soon as possible otherwise we look like the crankies there you go I'm told that some sitters use the time incredibly constructively and think of you know creative things might you do that no okay my game plan in this business has always been to steadily reduce the amount of activity and work I do and I still get paid artists your sitter is a gold medal winning Paralympic basketball player so please welcome our they are deput and having won bronze in wheelchair basketball in the 2004 Paralympics today has gone on to become an actor and an award-winning presenter well you're very welcome here have you ever sat for a portrait before no not like this this is great isn't it you've got four hours to keep still four hours to consider everything I've kept steel fur for seconds before now we all know someone who is really good at sport your sitter today is really really really good at sport please welcome nan Evan nan Evans MBA is completed internationally in five different sport most successfully in rugby where she scored a world record 64 international tries am I allowed to say wow if I was sort of the artist I'd be tempted to do a brass robbing of your abdomen that's amazing you could grate cheese on that anyway you're going to be especially posed by our expert judge so please welcome at Tai Shan Sharon Burke this is four hours in your triceps and I wondered if you sat slightly forward does that feel comfortable were you want a hand artists I'm focusing on the face you're going to put it there that was good there just there I think it's it's quite hard over four hours to keep the face animated and not to sort of descend into that but it's very important for the artists that they see that life in the face so you know I could good actor you need to be acting posing I think a lot of the time but you might just need to be a little bit more upright I've got to support my own head cuz I was led to believe I wouldn't have to okay that looks that's great the time has come you have four hours to complete your portrait and the time starts now I'm telling you now if I look fat in any of your paintings I will smash this place up so it's up to you I mean it's your painting the remaini approaches to planning composition song drawl grids on the canvas to help with accuracy and proportion while others prefer to trust their ID I was just stuck with the face and then work outlets and see what I can fit in basically 26 year old professional artist Hester Barry teaches adult art classes she recently had a baby which has added to her artistic inspiration your baby is six weeks old yes the pain do have to stop what did you paint right through your pregnancy and I painted right through the pregnancy couple of self-portraits with a big growing belly and and then I just wanted to get back into painting as soon as possible after he was born so don't let it slide you're feeling confident yeah yeah thing could happen it could be just a terrible painting day and it all could go wrong or it could just click some artists start by using a pencil sketch as a guide but for one artist it's the only medium that can capture a sitter in intense photographic detail you're a fan of the pencil as you can see for myself portrait like no one would ever think like a person could just depict less contentious as yeah that's incredible dear fellow do you think you can add to get anywhere near that level today no nowhere near a mature artist Brian Kemal was born in Kenya but moved to Gloucester at the age of eleven completely self-taught has just finished his degree in motorsport it seems an unlikely qualification for an artist did you do a GCSE often I live long last time I did I was only eight after I just dropped it really I mean do you go to exhibitions and stuff like I happen to do to exhibitions yeah and those were just cause I was just outside here with the pressure of painting within a four-hour time limit the artists use different techniques to help them focus this is from my boyfriend it's actually made from poplar rabbits for that here tried out himself and cleaned and that he just thought was a little lucky mask oh you know just to encourage me so every time I look at it I was thinking I think I can do something I can do something 20 rolled carries Jones is studying illustration in Cardiff a bursary trip to Russia to study art helped her to develop her own distinctive style and technique is this charcoal yes choco I like working in charcoal first and then like painting over so I got the line I know where to go with the paint just look at your house how you do it yeah it's pretty much I love working with my hands as well as with him I'm enjoying myself so far my don't get horribly wrong of course but jealous hope it doesn't here the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff the artists have just three hours left to paint comedian Greg Davis presenter a day a deputy um and sports woman nan Evans but not everyone is used to being on public display is it difficult for you working in these surroundings or any work in our Studios with the radio on um you know I mean obviously not with lots of people necessarily watching amateur artists Howard Mason is originally from Catford in London he works part-time as a caretaker but finds time to paint every day so you don't get your paint differently to don't normally I would you know probably take 24 30 hours to do something like the portrait I did but it's going well so you know you might find out this should be on ax for me I think you should always paint him just on before I was talking to you're much younger than in yourself portly yes with you so you're concentrating everything sags doesn't he I'm not gonna sit there grinning or looking lively professional artist Tilly Willis has traveled extensively and now divides her time between Somerset and Senegal I think what's really interesting he just put these nice key notes in of the blue curtain in the background so yeah it's not a grid-like but it's they're serving the same function yes I'm trying to pinpoint places that aren't gonna move because obviously Eddie's gonna move do certain extent so I'm just trying to get the chair and the curtains and everything you did you answer I'm quite a large scale saying have you tried the smaller scale was that one awful that was just that was the only comer said lying around okay got thought to make a new one amateur artist Tony Hines lives in Bristol he's recently taken the leap to concentrate on art full-time most of his work has been in black and white so his experience of using color is limited it's quite a sophisticated use of color in your self-portrait how did you teach yourself to work with color in that way YouTube YouTube yeah there's lots of watching lots of videos on YouTube about cool mixing and really looking at other artists poets and how they mix their colors and so amongst the mediums being used today our pencil oil and acrylic but one artist has added an unusual component wax so the wax has already gone on yeah I mean that earlier I created the canvas and then I I used I use an iron and I just I kind of drip the wax on television originally from the u.s. computer analyst bill bone moved to Cardiff at 18 his unusual technique of priming the canvas was inspired by watching his dad wax his skis why do you use the wax I do it just a Korean texture yeah is it a really nice surface to paint it's amazing it just looks really you know because I mean I try to create like a nice rough surface but you can feel it is kind of smooth at the same time now your support it you used a kind of yes yes whoo that comes yeah I do do this normally kind of just paints you know normally but and I could do the dots afterwards tie yeah so you've taken nan and placed her on a blimp yeah is it a suggestion that she looks like some sort of greco-roman statue is that where we're going Hercules Apollo I mean throughout history you've always had the male figure sort of put on a pedestal worshipped and if you look at paintings of women they're always sort of passive and lying down and we thought well look this woman body is a work of art she's worked very hard at it is magnificent that's put on a plinth and worship it wouldn't it be a great idea compositionally to not even paint her face to just paint her abdomen thanks les the next competition we'll think about something you've surpassed yourself this time I've never seen such a complicated set so what's this about well we all know Addie for his sporting prowess and for his Paralympian sort of titles but he's an avid learner he's obsessed with his iPad which he seizes as this incredible world into knowledge she's taught him Sir he's learnt Spanish you know he's travelling extensively he's learning to fly I had this idea of this man of learning really so that's that's what we've got today it's okay what's it all about well he told us that when he's preparing scripts and writing and working out ideas he sort of festive zeig s things mess starts to collect which immediately brought to mind Tracy Emmons beds so it's the artist at work exactly some the forest in the background it's to do with Greg's mom who's an artist herself but she actually planted a forest and what's the photograph his grandfather was a Welsh miner so we're here in Cardiff and this is his story so we're really getting Greg and then we're getting Greg's inner life also exactly with a little nod to contemporary up nothing it's completely up to our artist which elements of their citizen to background they want to include in their composition you've decided not to do her amazing body I'm not deciding not to not to try that I just prefer working close up with the face to be honest I prefer working on a larger scale and I think if I tried to fit the whole figure and I don't think that I'd get the effect with the textures across on the face but 18 Phoebe Edgington truly is the youngest artist in today's heat she's just started an art foundation course so you're layering this paint aren't you yeah I am I gonna sort of great lumps lumps yeah I just pick out tones from the face because of there's quite a few so cool of blue it turns underneath and then I'll see the warmth at the pink so I just sort of build that up that's great yeah I love it oh you squash you paint other than for making mistakes that guests come back to it makes my lines and stuff I kind of want to keep it fresh but I want to kind of a keep on fighting with it to get the lightness there because I could lose a lightness by putting a color on Jack banister is from West Yorkshire and was originally motivated to study art from his love of cartoons but he also has another inspiration now I understand that van Gogh the big influence for you what is it that you take from his work that you actually apply to your own and I liked his confidence in color because I like to try and trust my instincts and not second-guess myself too much do you find them that you're inventing color where it isn't or are you saying that you're really looking to see fresh colors and real I dunno I just kind of see I kind of put down why I see and then if it works it works I'm not quite there with the lightness I don't think so I'm just adjusting bits it's not enough to just show me what that person looks like you know you need the likeness but they've got to be more there's got to be something else in that painting that makes more and keep coming back to it not just because it's a good portrait but because it's a good work of art at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff our artists have been painting for two hours and the judges are beginning to have an eye for the frontrunners we're about halfway through how's it looking how do you feel carries is very interest and like there's a lot I liked hers a great toe because I think she's just stuck with that sort of monochromatic approach as well and whilst it might not be the best likeness she's got a sort of a sense of him in and and there's a boldness to it I love Hester's painting of Greg and I know Greg a bit I've worked with him and I think that it's so Greg but there's also Jack was racing ahead with a bit his beautiful colors and I came back after the break and he scraped it down and now I thought it was looking great and obviously it's not to his liking and son now terrified his everyone out of time and Bill's painting on wax became an almost complete face the wax is working very well I don't do backs is fantastic but it's at a really interesting moment because he's just started to do the pointillism effect with the tiny dots on top of what is almost a perfect painting so I think it's a tipping point every artist has their own ideas about what constitutes a good portrait I think a good portrait should have a feeling rather than just a likeness to try and give a little bit a sense of the person who painted it as well as a little bit of flair of their own like handwriting with their own style I guess Southampton born Stewart Beckett has painted 20 self-portraits he originally studied illustration but went on to become a martial arts expert and IT consultant that art remains his passion is expression quite important to you I think so yeah because obviously freely expression you can actually show a bit the personality of the mariia painting because I feel that there's a lot of comedy in this as well not the comedies on the right work there's a there's a lightness exactly I have to say this is one of my own favorite paint marks of the day is this like brilliant color here on the train it's really brings so much light into that face yeah and I wanted to keep a little bit of the underground is well I didn't want to lose it all because it was about the right tone and tried to keep their a canvas showing through a little yeah it's quite quiet today other than that it's not normally this quote it's it's making me call it attempted mm well just give me a bit of space John Affleck is from Liverpool he spent time in the army and worked as a musician before choosing to concentrate on art what is it first of all that you actually are using its egg white yeah egg whites in chalk it just dries really quickly and also gives it a bit of body it's a bit like an its template paint but it's it's so so nice when the oil goes over the top and you can touch it like I'm nothing that can I actually touch it yeah I never get to actually touch the portrait I've got it now to dry so quickly this hair does yeah it's quite an aggressive Payard do you fight the consequence that you're sort of slightly more nervous of looking at him I think it just absolutely eyebrow just went there let's see this book let's keep this quick Thank You Cuddy for that note you're someone I sense who needs the paint yes it's the thing that drives me in my life it's my number one passion and I really think that I want this more than anyone else here I can't imagine anyone else wanting this more than me I know I'm getting tense on your behalf you've really given us the sense of movement here's the outline of the arm but the paint doesn't quite fill it in but you do get that a sense of the weight of it somehow thank you I took up another arm underneath it kinda just like played around with it and co-op you're kind of leaving that yeah area and I think it's great to put accidents into paintings because these are handmade things so there was supposed to be perfect break oh hi Frank hey you doing yeah not too bad isn't realize you behind there no it's comedy what's your motivation for doing this quick I did it if you want the honest truth I did it because my mom is a bit of an artist and I thought she begged me to do it as it happens I have also enjoyed it oh good yeah I like the fact that he it's a sort of an auntie pose it looks like you've been tapped by tapper at sea from the 18th century ago it would snuck up out of a bush and then painted you today I'd like to think they did my did red carpet offense you had to stand there for four hours before you were in its and it's quite finding you try not to laugh really trying to and you don't know what to think about is it's just weird I'm aching aching more than I have on a rugby pitch shot a wrestling mat for a while but I did a level out actually and portrait is so tough and I can see the final pressure of the time is difficult so I'm with Hester's parents and Hester's son as empathy because Hester is a painting today you've agreed to take care right yeah he's separating always this incredibly well behind sure yes well it's all of my I look forward to lots of screaming later on and let's face it it might not just be him do you live in a household that's full of painting in the studio and so on yeah quite a bit we're creating families yeah mums often in her studio painting and doing things like that how do you think she's doing today I think she's doing great yeah I mean feel kind of like proud parents one artist in wonder stands the pressure of being under the spotlight is the winner of last year's Cardiff Heat nicked Lord Nick went on to win the title of portrait artist of the year 2013 and his prize was at 10,000 pounds commissioned to paint a portrait of Man Booker Prize winning author Hilary mantel I think done anything to your life at all winning Sky Arts portrait artists of the year oh yeah yeah definitely so I've got an I'm fully booked commission wise at the moment the main one is the Lord Chief Justice so I've got a biggie yes is huge and that's gonna be in to be Hungry's in in London to us that's gonna that's massive so have you seen anyone here today you think it's a potential winner yet the person in the wax that's so built yeah yeah and that was brilliant it's just just something unique I would normally do a layer of dots and then come back and do more I can only do one layer today so I need to be quite strategic on the codes I use artists you have half an hour left yeah I need to get cracking how'd you feel and yeah I think I'm nearly there another stuffs I hope I don't mess up enough in the last that is that key thing is sort of knowing when to step back yeah exactly every mark you make now is gonna have to add something rather than detract ya know better here at the centered in Cardiff the artists are in the final moments of the competition artists you have five minutes to go did he use my five minutes they could've got a bit better somehow yeah so sorry I'm still not completely happy with you looking like Greg it's a pain artists your time is up please put down your brushes your pencils your palette knives and move away from your easels after keeping still for four hours the sitter's finally get to look at the portraits and choose one to keep sewn on first of all after you enjoyed the experience definitely I think my elbows are gonna be sore for a couple of weeks oh you're doing a bit of a bit of flexing yes because I really enjoyed it let's see how they did showing so can I say artist please turn your easels gotta say I absolutely love it I've had lots of pictures dawn of me in the past and I think you've got the proportions really really well thank you so much you make me look pretty and I'm jelly which you certainly are and my eyes are there my quite sure it's me but the focus is there but I really like it them where you'd have one of these on your wall for the rest of your life which one would it be I think I have to go for number two you've gone for pencil fabulous [Applause] yes oh wow that's awesome I mean they're really really really good did my eyebrows really do that apparently it actually looks quite powerful you know I wanted to get your arms your big strong arms and your pensive expression I think it's amazing it's a really rich texture and what's noticeable for me in this one is my skin tone is is you've captured it in a different way in a different night to the other guys yeah I mean the color is kind of what I focus on in my work I suppose well now as you know it's the moment of truth I think I'm gonna go for Tilly's [Applause] I'm in pain that's right Wow that is the right word let's go take a look I like the way so electric estamos colors incredible yeah it gives my palate face too much credit I think it's great it's really great I did make it very clear that I didn't want any reflection of my weight problem hmm yes she could have saved herself a lot of paint yeah I think it's brilliant I don't know which one I'll take home I love the honesty of that I love how lost I have in this I love how alive that is if I have to yeah I would take that because I love the use of color the judges are now left alone to consider today's portrait it's got a kind of very cool to Nordic freshness to it the palette knife on the on the t-shirt works very well I start being distracted by the background I wonder whether it sort of tip slightly maybe about an hour or so ago because this was really sort of out there as a front-runner for me up until recently and I think I'm not so sure where I stand on it now people have been quite bold with colors and movement and minds quite figurative so I think I hope they don't think it's bland I love the color but I'm slightly nervous about it being slightly cartoony in the face in the outline I see sort of what you're saying but I think it's much more sophisticated than that I think it's sort of masquerading as something which looks simpler than it is I've really loved today I'm pooped now I'm really tired it was breathing in the beginning and I think as she's worked on it it sort of got a bit madness breathing less I want to love it desperately but I feel that it hasn't quite got there I had the full intensity of Astaire and his features and I think they'd noticed that part quite a lot he's got a beautiful lightness I don't know it is but I suppose for me it's quite static actually I loved the pointers and technique what she what I'm getting less and less keen on is the wax I love the wax hard work to show in a gallery like I surprised myself I think if I was able to get down the judges now have to choose which three artists the shortlist they're both because of the paint con is it quite difficult to look at this is gorgeous but this is clumsy I'm not so sure I think there's a real richness to the background that's quite dated and coloring in those dated artists thank you for a wonderful day of painting it's been a real pleasure watching you work now as you know only three of you can make the shortlist and the judges have made their decision so the first name on the shortlist is Bill bone the second artist to go through to the short list is Hester Barry [Applause] and the third art is to be shortlisted is Jack Bannister five commiserations for the rest of you I'm really sorry there was some fantastic stuff today and please join me in giving them some well-deserved it's just a pleasure meeting everyone really and I'm glad I got through this far okay well really gutted but you know have to deal with it to help the judges decide on who will go through to the semi-final they talked to the artist about their work today and their self portrait we really loved your self-portrait there's a lot of texture there and with your Porter of Greg you built up texture again I've just got so used to slapping paint on that icing a cake that it's in my muscle memory to battle it on now but there's a richness of color that's in your self-portrait that you sort of sort of pared it down here haven't you really I think it was just because there wasn't the color there that's but that's the way I see it that was quite a bright sunny day I was wearing a bright jumper lots of colorful things I'd hope it's just because that's what I saw that's what was there at the time in relation to your self-portrait which is sort of much more softer and fluid than the sort of angles that we see in grades what were the main differences for you and approaching I just had the shorter amount of time for Craig and you I had the amount of time and had to make decisions quite quickly so I tried to leave some mistakes if I could get away with it can I ask what you didn't like about your first version that you spoke down I was losing Greg he was going to some kind of he was looking like someone else actually looking like someone else I knew yes so I come scraped off kind of rest on it back there's no question that the wax technique is certainly something that sort of captivates the imagination and gives texture but how do you deal with the problem of a glare that you get on it depending on where you're viewing it just something that the viewer has to deal with I'm afraid but interesting it feels like it's slightly less of a problem normally I paint quite thinly and I let the wax do all the work in terms of the texture but today because I was painting wet on wet that the dots had to be a lot thicker than they would normally be does that mean you usually it drive where you go back to the points to stay on top of it so I would normally spend a few months on a work if I was continuing this you know as normal I would let that dry come back and then do another layer and I do loads of layers yeah the other two were all really good you know they're both really good so any one of us could go through it was nice it was like being back in art school but they were being nice to me instead of you know being critical Bobby over the moon I forgot chosen faced with three very different styles and mediums the judges now have to decide who will be today's winner the self portraits have suddenly taken on greater weight definitely is that right yeah because the three artists that we're working with are doing a lot with color and texture and they you know potentially using mediums that we haven't come across but win this competition before like wax that allows us to sort of see they're thinking all the way through particularly in the case of bill who you know has this sort of problem of drying time it's a tricky line of argument isn't it because the challenge is to paint something in four hours yeah we all know that things can look great and men go very wrong the stuff of paint does different things and the different circumstance and a different time constraint so we've got to take that into account and look at what they can do given the time with this of portraits you know we've got the wax we've got Hester with a very thick palette knife that is quite difficult to view at the moment but you know once it dries is easier to look at why do you think everyone in nons section struggled so much to paint not I think that there were more artists in that section who more illustrative artists who needed a lot more time with this hyperrealist style so they look then we're gonna have a difficult day if they hadn't worked out how they were going to approach it and I thought it was because none was such a powerful presence in an unusual way that I think they was somehow they couldn't see beyond the muscle and this aesthetic power self this woman and actually I think some of them panic possibly so the secret is if you if you want a really good portrait of yourself don't work out drak bill Hester well done for wonderful work sadly only one can go forward into the semi-final the judges said that the artists going through demonstrated and I quote an inventiveness and bravery that really impressed them and that artist is bilbo [Applause] it means I get to continue because it's been an amazing day and so I just get to do it all over again just kind of relax for there this evening and look after my baby because I've missed him off there it's the first time I've been away from them it's been a really rewarding experience if I could do like this full-time I'd have to see that one I know maybe amazing [Applause] you you

3 Comments

  • London59 says:

    I swear judges/critics just look for something to say for the sake of saying something.

  • jean ross says:

    Thank you again. I just loved Bill Bone's work, so for me a worthy winner.

  • SecondFavorite says:

    Everyone that painted the bodybuilder did an awful job. How did they get into this competition? That pencil sketch … WHAT? Doesn't look like her and has no understanding of anatomy even though it's sitting right in front of him.

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