PAOTW – Sunday 22/11/2020

Actor and presenter Russell Tovey was painted by Kemi Onabulé, on PAOTY in 2013 at 17, the youngest ever competitor. Kemi was homeschooled and spent most of her time painting and playing music. She has since graduated with a degree in Fine Art and is now an established contemporary artist.

Rocky the dog made an appearance on Russell’s lap and could be heard snoring on occasions. Russell loved art and history at school and now does podcasts about these interests. He was very knowledgeable about the history of art and contemporary art too, so much so that he is now on the panel of judges for The Turner Prize. Russell has a very defined philtrum (look it up!) and all the M&C artists noted that in their portraits.

Kemi used her ‘white’ skin tone oil colours on a glass palette, shown in the photo below. The colours were White, Venetian Yellow, Flesh Tint, Kings Blue, Buff Titanium, a saturated yellow (looked like Yellow Ochre), Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, a cool blue and a neutral green.

Dot did two portraits again from the live session. One a pencil sketch and the other in watercolour pencils which has given the portrait harmonious colours and textures. Dot would also like to paint Kemi, as her face and plaited hair were very interesting.

Steve did two portraits too which he really enjoyed doing. He found the chat between sitter and artist excellent and like the rest of us didn’t realise that Russell was so involved in the art world.

The first portrait is pastel on pastel paper and the second is coloured pencils on Bockingford watercolour paper. There’s good use of light and shade to give Russell’s face a 3D effect on flat paper.

Cynthia used 4 colours of acrylic on an 8″ x 10″ canvas, taking just over 4 hours she thinks, as she didn’t note the time down as she gets so engrossed with painting. She is amazed at how many skin tones can be achieved from a limited palette. Cynthia has captured Russell’s cheeky grin and the highlights in his eyes perfectly.

Tracy was going to paint a traditional head and shoulders portrait but then Rocky the Frenchie appeared on Russell’s lap. Rocky was drawn in pencils as he’s the softest grey colour. Russell pops up in the background in watercolours. Tracy isn’t happy with Russell’s eyes, so may change them if she can work out why they don’t look right.

Here is Kemi’s portrait of Russell, followed by the portrait Russell chose himself as his favourite, the top three chosen by the judges, the best of the youngsters’ portraits and some from the wall.