Welcome to episode 3 of Portrait Artist of the Year where each week we see 9 new portrait artists compete to become this years winner.
Many actors and models are used to sitting, being looked at and admired however this week we see a twist with unlikely sitter on the form of professional strong man and actor Eddie Hall who is so large he uses a park bench. He really is a big man! Far more familiar with such a task is veteran model Jodie Kidd and English actor James Purefoy.
Before the artists begin, they spend a few minutes asking their sitters to adjust their positions; polite negotiation and collaboration ensues. Once the artists and sitters are all in agreement – and the sitter is as comfortable as possible – the artists can commence their work!
Each week we see a varying mix of professional and amateur artists with 3 amateur’s up against 6 professionals this week. Painting Purefoy is amateur Sara Lavelle alongside professionals, former architect Libby Fellingham – whose self-portrait submission included a dog and Michael Sheppard. Tasked with the portrait of model Jodie Kidd are Milo Hartnoll and Phillip Butah with amateur Sile Walsh. And finally, with the huge task of Hall are professionals Robbie Stuart and Mario Ramirez alongside amateur Megan McMullan.
Filmed at The Wallace Collection in London, guests mingle and enjoy the atmosphere as they watch the artists and sitters as they are put to the test over a 4 hour period. Hosts Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan interview the artists as they work finding out more about their styles, training, personal history and how they are feeling and what they hope to achieve. Joy, relief, anxiety… as described by one portrait painter who has painted Prince Charles portrait. Tune in this week to find out how that particular opportunity came about.
Who will this weeks sitters pick as their favourite? Do you agree? Find out on Tuesday 9th July, 8.30pm on SKY ARTS, SKY Channel 20.
Next Tuesday will see 9 more skilled portrait artists creating original pieces of 3 more celebrity sitters as they compete to become Portrait Artist of the Year.