Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 - shortlisted artists and winner

I've just discovered that if you are in the UK you can access RTE - and hence you can watch a short preview on RTE of the inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014.  Here's the link to the programme. It should start at 4 minutes 42 second.

Hennessy Portrait Prize 


This is a new prize open to artists resident on the island of Ireland or an Irish citizen living abroad
The Hennessy Portrait Prize was launched in March 2014. Open to artists in all disciplines, the competition’s aim is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland.
These were the Rules of the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014. (pdf). Entry was digital. The only condition on media is that

The portrait must be of a size and medium that could reasonably be exhibited. 

Shortlisted artists


Educator Dr Declan Long, artist Donald Teskey RHA, art critic Cristín Leach Hughes and art author Janet McLean selected the shortlist of twelve finalists

Photograph courtesy RTÉ Presspack

The short-listed artworks and artists for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 - according the official website - are listed below. You can see all shortlisted works in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland until February 8th, 2015

Note that the artworks chosen are a mix of oil paintings, photographs and videos.  I rather like the idea that paintings are supposed to look like paintings and photos look like photos!

What do YOU think of the notion that a portrait competition should include photography and video?

Shortlisted artists - highlighting the winner


  • Links to the artist's website (if discoverable) are in the artist's name. 
  • Links to the artwork are also provided - and you'll find these also provide more details about the artist.

Monday, November 24, 2014

How to enter the £30,000 BP Portrait Award 2015 - and improve your chances of being selected

The website for the BP Portrait Exhibition 2015 is now online - complete with information about how to enter. As I have done in previous years, I've compiled my very popular Making A Mark Guide to help make sure you have spotted all the really relevant "need to know" facts.

Read my guide (below) first and you'll get the hang of the official pages more quickly! Or at least that's what a lot of the artists who enter tell me every year!

Thomas Kanter, winner of the BP Portrait Award 2014
meets Winner of the 2013 Award Susanne du Toit
This post covers:
  • the major change to the entry process for BP Portrait Award 2015 is the introduction of DIGITAL SUBMISSION for 100% of the entries. There is no more postal entries - which I've already alerted people about in BP Portrait Award 2015 entry goes digital
  • why this is a competition worth entering 
  • how to get selected
  • a review of the entry details for those who don't like very small white print on a black background! 
  • links to past posts about the BP Portrait Award and exhibition reviews on this blog

It is of course no substitute for the real thing and I won't cover every last detail - so you still have to read all the conditions.

Don't forget to let me know if your entry gets selected!

What's different in 2015


The major change for 2015 is that entry is going to be 100% via digital image submission.
We will no longer be accepting postal entries for the competition. All submissions must be made online via the website.
The entrants who are successful in this round will then be invited to hand-deliver or courier their work to a venue in London for the second round of judging and final exhibition selection. 

The benefits of the move to 100% digital submission are:
  • it opens up entry to artists who may be seriously deterred by the expenses associated with the previous requirement to submit the actual portrait painting. 
  • it's going to cut costs significantly for ALL those who submit - but don't make the cut for the second round of selection. 
    • The only cost will be the entry fee and any costs associated with a decent digital image. 
    • Most can eliminate the travel or courier costs totally and forget about the expense of framing for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
  • it saves time - no more visits to the framers for most artists, or the couriers or the National Portrait Gallery
  • it's much more cost-effective for artists, judges and the gallery!  You may be surprised when I say judges and gallery - but remember the paintings had to be stored - and the judges had to sit for a very long time while the portraits are paraded in front of them!  

The challenges associated with digital submission
  • the competition increases significantly. Last year, in the first year of digital submission - the entries increased by over 20%
  • you need access to a computer even if you don't have one or use one
  • you MUST submit a good quality digital image
  • if you can't afford the fees of a professional photographer you may need to learn about how to take photograph and create a digital image! Fortunately the competition organisers have provided a comprehensive guide to How to photograph your work.

Why enter the BP Portrait Award 2015?

10 reasons to enter this competition

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recording Britain Now - exhibition and prizewinner

Recording Britain Now is the John Ruskin Prize 2014 exhibition I never thought I'd get to see. However a generous sponsor enabled it to be brought from Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery where it was first shown on was. It can be seen until the end of the month at The Electricians Gallery at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

It's an exhibition of drawings, paintings, prints and textiles by 23 artists shortlisted for the second John Ruskin Prize

The theme of the second prize exhibition is Recording Britain Now. Artists were invited to
...present fresh, contemporary visions of their urban, rural or social environment.
There were some 600 entries and the selection panel agreed on 23 images that offer
an engaging mix of materials, techniques and topical commentary, exploring urban sprawl, dereliction and the endangered British countryside.
You have one more week to see it. The exhibition continues until 30th November and is free. 
  • Sun 23 Nov 12-5pm
  • Wed 26 Nov 12-5pm
  • Thu 27 Nov 4-8pm
  • Fri 28 Nov 12-5pm
  • Sat 29 Nov 12-5pm
  • Sun 30 Nov 12-5pm
Here are some of the photographs I took last weekend when sketching there.  Note:
  • how large some of the drawings are
  • how some large drawings are not framed but rather are suspended from fishing wire lopped through small bulldog clips which attach to the sheet of paper. This seems to be have become an accepted way of showing large works on paper - if for no other reason than everybody avoids the problems with weight and the risk of broken glass!

The John Ruskin Prize


Former scientist and recent art graduate, Maggie Hargreaves, was awarded the £1,000 prize for
"two huge drawings revealing nature’s revenge on man’s despoliation of the countryside."
(Right) 'Slowly Creeping' (2011) by Maggie Hargreaves
charcoal on paper, 150x212 cm
(Left) Changing Space II (2009) by Maggie Hargreaves
150x220 cm, charcoal on paper
Here, built structures encroach on natural environments but as those structures are abandoned, no longer required, the woods reclaim what was taken, creeping back and re-establishing territory.The level of detail and large scale of these drawings invites viewers to enter the space depicted and spend time exploring it. Concurrently, as the drawings are approached, the image dissolves and the materiality and process are established; the artifice of the image construction is revealed as a piece of paper with handmade marks, pinned to the gallery wall. Drawing and erasing with charcoal reflects the transient shifting nature of the relationship between people and the surrounding living environment.
Ruskin Prize for Drawing 2014 - Winner! Maggie Hargreaves' blog

More photographs from the exhibition. 


I'm afraid still trying to find the listing which identified which drawing is which artist



I LOVED the textile landscape drawing!
The selected artists in the exhibition are: Anny Evason, Alex Hamilton, Ben Lingard, Colin Maxwell, Catherine Sutcliffe-Fuller, Chris Shaw Hughes, Dr Dolores de Sade, Darren Reid, Evy Jokhova, Gillian Swan, Hannah Brown, Ian Chamberlain, Jennifer Morgan, Michael Cox, Maggie Hargreaves, Mandy Payne, Philip Sanderson, Ros Ford, Rebecca Upton, Roanna Wells, Sonia Stanyard, Sarah Taylor- Silverwood, Sean Williams.


The John Ruskin Prize 2014 Selection Panel:
  • Gill Saunders - Senior Curator of Prints, V&A
  • Laura Oldfield Ford - Artist
  • Sue Grayson Ford - Director, Campaign for Drawing
  • Kirstie Hamilton - Museums Sheffield
  • Clive Wilmer - Master, Guild of St George.


Friday, November 21, 2014

My book is "365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching" in Asia

The English language edition of my book in Asia has the title 365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching and is being published by Page One Publishing.

Below you can see the cover. I must say I rather like the diversity of drawings and sketches which, at the same time, work very well together. Congratulations to the designers at Page One - this one gets a thumbs up from me!

The spine and front cover of 365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching
The artwork gives a good sense of the different types of drawings and sketches you can find in the book.

The artists whose work is on the cover are as follows starting top left and going clockwise and finishing in the middle
You can see more information about them on the Facebook Page plus  links to their Facebook pages and websites at the end of this post.

This is a cropped version of the back cover

Cropped version of the back cover of "365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching" 
I liked their description on the back cover
"a far cry from other dry, run-of-the-mill art instruction books" 
mainly because that was a prime objective the while time I was writing it!

The book is (or will be) available at all Page One stores in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan and other major bookstores in Asia. It's also getting some publicity on the Page One HQ Facebook Page

Plus it's already got its first review by popular art book blogger Parkablogs

Here's the artists again


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Royal Drawing School

I found out yesterday that I can now say I'm an ex-student of the Royal Drawing School - so I promptly revised my bio pages! (see About the Artist and About Katherine Tyrrell)

The Prince's Drawing School, which was founded by the Prince of Wales in 2000, has been granted Royal status by the Queen. Its new logo retains the Prince of Wales feathers to denote his drive behind and interest in the School.

Six other arts educational establishments have also been granted royal status and this new mark of recognition puts the Drawing School on a par with the Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Royal Ballet School, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal School of Needlework.

Royal Drawing School website - the Courses Page
The school was ready to go with a brand new website (which I rather like), alongside a brand new logo!

About the Royal Drawing School


The Royal Drawing School was formerly known as the Prince's Drawing School and was housed in a former warehouse type building in Charlotte Street on the borders of Shoreditch and trendy 'White Cube' Hoxton. I used to trek along in the evening to do my "drawing a head" class with James Lloyd and to attend various lectures.
Studio 4 at the Princes Drawing School is on the top floor of an old commercial building in Charlotte Street on the Shoreditch/Hoxton borders. The top floor sits above its neighbours and consequently we have excellent light in the summer months and, naturally, it also changes as the session passes!
Drawing Class 8th June (2006)
a drawing done in 2006

Some features of the Drawing School

The Royal Drawing School is an independent, not-for-profit resource that aims to raise the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practice. We are one of only a few institutions in the world offering in-depth, quality tuition in drawing from observation.
One of the things I've always liked about the School is it's not "exclusive" - its aim has always been to expand opportunities for drawing.

The school has expanded enormously - and internationally - from when I was attending classes in Charlotte Street. I very reluctantly had to give up as my tenosynovitis is not fond of intensive drawing in concentrated bouts.
  • The school is an independent charity and consequently is able to make bursaries available and offer classes at discounted fees.
  • its premier Course is the The Drawing Year which is a one year postgraduate MA Course

    The Drawing Year is a full scholarship MA-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one academic year. There are no tuition fees for The Drawing Year – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free studio space in the iconic Tea Building in Shoreditch.
  • it runs a Foundation Year programme based at Trinity Buoy Wharf. A student from this programme won the Sunday Times Watercolour Prize this year (see Kathryn Maple wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014)
  • it has a wide range of public courses which are run as both daytime and evening courses.
    Their three main programmes are based at the Royal Drawing School Shoreditch, Drawing School Central in Oxford Street, and Royal Drawing School West in South Kensington. I'd very much recommend people reviewing their portfolio of courses as there is something there for everyone.
  • it also has a range of Saturday Courses and Programmes for Schools.
  • The Royal Drawing School is developing international collaborations. 
In 2014 the Royal Drawing School began building partnerships with some of the United States’ most renowned art schools. Together, we are developing residencies, workshops and exchange programmes to benefit art students on both sides of the Atlantic for whom drawing is central to their work. Currently, our partner art schools are:
The Arts Students League of New York
The New York Academy of Art
The New York Studio School
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
The Yale University School of Art


You can find out more about the school and its tutors and courses on its website http://royaldrawingschool.org


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