Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year


Last summer on demand TV I watched the first series of Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year. I was absolutely addicted to it as portraiture is something I have always loved, studied, and appreciated. It has recently come back on TV with a second series which I am a couple of episodes off finishing now.

I find it so interesting to watch other people paint, comparing my approach to there’s and seeing which methods work best, as well as how the artists develop and change their approach throughout the series. The artists have to paint several celebrities which makes you so much more skeptical and judgemental of the portraits, often with thoughts such as “that’s so shit, it looks nothing like Arya Stark”.

Now that I live in London, I have been able to actually see the paintings I have watched the contestants working on in person, as some of the best currently hang in the National Portrait Gallery. I imagine this is what 13 year old girls who watched The X Factor at home, and then actually got to go and see One Direction live must have felt like. (With less screaming).
This post is a bit late coming, as the exhibition finishes tomorrow, but watching a couple of episodes of it today inspired me to write about it on my blog.

I’m in two minds about whether this is a really good TV show or if this may just be something that I personally love and am interested by, but either way I’d encourage people to watch it. Both series are available on Sky on Demand, or Now TV.

“It’s like getting papped… By paparazzi in the 18th century.” – Frank Skinner

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