Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2019

In April 2019 I was lucky enough to be selected as a 'pod' artist for the heats in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year competition. My submission for the competition was 'Last Orders' (shown below) which the judges chose for its dream-like quality, familiarity and warmth. This work was loosly based on an image I found on the internet, but adapted to show a single fish and chip stall at the end of a British seaside pier. The rollercoaster in the background was simplified to allow the colour of the setting sun to be more visible, and the style was a lot more 'sketchy' than some of my other work. I was pleased with the painting when I finished it, and was even happier with it when it earned me a place in the competition!


The venue for the 4-hour challenge was Smeaton's Tower at Plymouth Hoe, Devon. In the run up to the filming day on June 14 2019, I had been monitoring the weather forecast and a sunny but breezy day was predicted. However, during filming there were three major cloudbursts and lots of breaks for interviews, which certainly made for a challenging environment in which to paint. The TV crew and the judges were really great, and made us all feel very welcome and at ease. I decided at the outset I would 'cheat' the viewpoint for my painting and adopted a more overhead, drone-like view which would enable me to include the complete lighthouse and a lot more of the surrounding landscape. The four hours allowed quickly flew by, especially as on average a painting will take me 12-15 hours! The changing light and conditions eventually settled and it was a fine evening at the time of judging.


While the judges deliberated, it was a good opportunity to meet my fellow artists and to get their take on the day. Without exception they were all really nice people who, just like me, love to paint and relished the opportunity the competition represented. Unfortunately this time I did not progress any further than the heats, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will definitely try again in future years.


For a time lapse video of how the painting came together on the day click here .

'Last Orders' - my submission for the competition

Smeaton's Tower, Plymouth Hoe - the finished painting from the heat