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What is Portrait Artist of the Week?

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Week  or PAOTW is an initiative by Sky and the PAOTY (Portrait Artist of the Year) team to help occupy all us lockdown artists busy during this Covid 19 outbreak.
The first of their Live Videos was screened on the Sky Facebook Page on Sunday 26th April 2020 from 10am to 2pm and will continue every Sunday up to and including Sunday June 14th!
The first portrait Artist of the week featured  Artist Christabel Blackburn painting Dancer Akram Khan see image above.
This was no 1 of a planned series of these videos to be screened every Sunday up to and including Sunday June 14th.

Is this just for UK Artists or can anyone paint along with the video?

What is really good is this is not just for UK Artists anybody can paint along live (time zone permitting!) or you can do it from the video during the week as it stays up on the facebook page to allow artists who can’t see the video during the 10am to 2pm slot.

How does PAOTW work?

This consisits of a video featuring one of the Portrait Artist of the Year artists painting a celebrity model. The presenters and judges of Portrait Artist of the Year host the video screening from their homes…so be aware there are some technical glitches…but don’t be put off overall it is a great video.
The idea is you paint along too, the Celebrity sitter is sitting for you as well as the featured artist.
You have 4 hours to do the painting but if you want to take longer you can.
Personally I find it really good to have the time limit as it stops me getting to precious about my work and stay loose!

Prepare : It is worth getting all your kit together and ready half an hour before the start, though you do get a chance to fetch last minute items during the intro to the video. Once the sitting starts you get a mix of shots of the artist painting with split screen shots of artist and model plus some periods of just the sitter alone.
Photographs : I notice that some artists have taken screen shots or photographed the screen with the model in different positions. The celebrity and the artist have periods of conversation and the model can move around a bit giving you a slightly different view which some people have snapped. In Akram Khan’s video his son comes in a one point which an artist has painted. But mainly there are periods of quiet still sitting. I do feel working from a photograph is a bit against the from life live situation that PAOTW is trying to create.

How do I post up my PAOTW painting?

Your Painting : all the paintings done during the sitting can be posted up on Instagram using the hash tag symbol # immediately followed by myPAOTW
It is great to see the variety of paintings on Instagram on the hash tag myPAOTW
Some of the paintings will be selected during the week following the Sunday and shown before the next live video.
Judging : The best paintings from the previous Sunday PAOTW are judged into first, second and third places. The judges include…

plus the multi talented

What if I don’t have Instagram can I use Facebook?

Yes you can post up your painting on your Facebook page or timeline and use the hash tag symbol # immediately followed by myPAOTW
But Instagram is such a great resource for artists I recommend you create an Instagram account. I am not sure how well the judges see the Facebook posts they have a lot of images to look through on Instagram where most people post their work.

Can beginners have a go?

Absolutely this isn’t a competition anybody can have a go infact they showed a drawing by a 4 year old girl during the Live video broadcast on Sunday!
Its something anybody can have a bash at…you don’t have to post your result if you don’t want to.

Verdict – is it worth doing?

Yes! A brilliant idea from Sky Arts I thoroughly recommend the experience…be there next Sunday 3rd May. Use the PAOTW button at the bottom of this article to link to the Sky Facebook Page with the video.

NB. Do read the T&C’s about doing and posting works from the video, you can download a copy using this link


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