Sky Arts PAOTW – Sunday 25/10/2020

This week DJ and presenter Nihal Arthanayake was painted by Dorian Radu, a professional artist who appeared on Portrait Artist of the Year in 2019 and 2020. Dorian visited his family in Romania a few months ago and as he was unable to travel back to the UK he is still there, with his studio set up in his family’s living room.

Artists from all over the world tuned in to Sky’s free Facebook page at 10am and we had a very entertaining 4 hours of chat about rap, dance and the London New Year’s Eve fireworks. Quite a few people on Facebook asked Nihal to remove his large earphones as they felt it ruined their paintings of him, but he insisted on wearing them as he is primarily a DJ so feels they are part of him and his work.

Nihal barely took a breath and managed to speak (and fidget!) for hours and hours, occasionally interrupted by his son, daughter and the family dog. It was hard to draw his mouth as it moved constantly, but those members who took part took screenshots so they could study his face better.

Steve drew Nihal in ink pen on cartridge paper. Each sketch notes the amount of time it took him to do. Why not try this at home? It’s a good way to look back and remind yourself if you prefer long portrait studies or shorter ones.

Cynthia used 4 acrylic colours on an 8″ x 10″ canvas. She managed to mix all Nihal’s skin tones with only these 4 colour and she says was a challenge getting the black for his hair. It just goes to prove we don’t need loads of colours on our palettes to achieve a broad range of colour mixes.

Dot drew Nihal in 90 minutes on cartridge paper using pencils from HB to 9B. She says it would have been quite easy not to draw but to listen to the men talking for the whole time as they were two very interesting people.

Juliet drew Nihal in her usual fine detail and this week we have a bonus drawing from her of Melanie Sykes, one of the sitters in the PAOTY that was broadcast on Sky Arts last week. There’s good bone structure on both their faces.

Tracy painted Nihal in watercolours and decided to leave out the busy background of framed pictures. He has such big brown eyes that she wanted them to be the main focus of her painting.

Here is Dorian Radu’s finished oil painting and the coloured pencil picture Nihal himself chose as his favourite from all the public entries.

The judges also chose their top three entries, the best of the youngsters’ pictures and there are images from the walls of Nihal’s portraits, that are shown during the following week’s programme.