Portrait Artist of the Year returns to Sky Arts later this month.
“The relationship between a portrait artist and their subject is a very intimate one. I love being able to, along with the viewers, stick my nose in and watch the whole stress-filled process unfold.” – Presenter Frank Skinner
This series, we see over 20 celebrity sitters for the competing heats, with the first episode featuring Stanley Tucci, Indira Varma and Freddie Highmore. In the subsequent weeks, viewers will see Richard E Grant, Sue Perkins, Rick Wakeman, Nina Sosanya, Phil Davis, Trevor Eve, Lesley Manville, Sian Phillips, Adrian Chiles, Katie Kissoon, Dave Myers, Raleigh Ritchie, Parminder Nagra, Ben Okri and James Norton.
Imelda Staunton sat for the Semi-Final which will air in the 7th week of the show and the week after is the Final with Tom Courtney. The Prize portrait commission for the winning artist was revealed on New Year’s Eve as television presenter and comedian Graham Norton.
Each of the celebrity sitters got to choose one of the finished portraits to keep for themselves – regardless of whether that artist went through to the next stage. According to previous artists that’s the beauty of the show – that the ‘taking part’ has been life changing for their business and profile.
This is the third series of the show, which is produced by London and Glasgow-based independent production company Storyvault Films and is presented by TV personality and comedian Frank Skinner, alongside presenter and journalist Joan Bakewell – a leading figure in the arts for nearly six decades. The returning judges are artist Tai Shan Schierenberg and independent curator Kathleen Soriano and Art Historian Kate Bryan.
“Portrait Artist of the Year brings together some of the most talented painters with some of the most striking personalities. We see artists use brush, paint, pastels, charcoal to capture the elusive beauty of people whose faces we think we know. But art reveals more: and in each programme we watch it happen.” – co-presenter Joan Bakewell
All six heats are filmed in the courtyard of The Wallace Collection in London’s Manchester Square, home to one of Europe’s finest art collections. The most recent winner was Christian Hook who was crowned ‘Portrait Artist of the Year 2015’ with his stunning portrait of Sir Ian McKellen.