PAOTM – May 2021 – Prince Philip

The subject to draw and paint for the Portrait Artist of the Month challenge was Prince Philip, who very nearly made his 100th birthday in June. With such a long life documented with millions of photographs all the members who took part chose images from different parts of his life.

Peter painted Prince Philip in acrylics in his full military regalia. There’s very good detail of all the medals, they must have been difficult to paint.

Angela D took 1.5 hours to draw her Prince Philip, his straight-on gaze to the viewer being very intense. Her second picture is from the recent Natural History Museum subject with the frogs created in pastels on pastel paper. It took about an hour and Angela did the highlights in white acrylic.

Steve drew Prince Philip in oil pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper. The details of Prince Philips’s face and his skin tones are spot on.

Juliet drew Prince Philip in pencils in quite a loose way. The lines she has drawn very accurately form his face with smudged pencil detailing the shading from light to dark.

Tracy took about 2 hours painting Prince Philip in watercolours. He was in his mid 90s in the photo reference used and the paint on his forehead looks splodgy but it is the liver age spots that were on his face.

This painting is from the day Prince Philip officially retired in August 2017 at the age of 96. It rained heavily and as Prince Philip walked away from Buckingham Palace’s forecourt he doffed his bowler hat. Tracy has called it “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu”.

George’s paintings

George has been very busy recently, completing 4 paintings. The first is a still life skilfully painted with the items looking 3D and the highlights on the glasses and metal objects perfectly painted.

Do not scroll down to the other 3 paintings if you are arachnophobic!

Inspired by the myth of mortal weaver Arachne who was turned into a spider by the goddess Athena, George has painted not just a spider but also her eggs. He was concerned that he hadn’t captured the translucent luminosity of the eggs, but he’s done a grand job.

May Saturday 2021

Sixteen members attended our first session in over 7 months and it was so good to see each other in person. Even though we sat in three separate bubbles of tables we all felt safe and enjoyed ourselves immensely, catching up with each other’s news whilst painting.

The suggested subjects were the month of May itself, named for the Greek goddess Maia, or anything to do with the Natural History Museum which is celebrating its 140th year.

(The Portrait Artist of the Month paintings of Prince Philip will be posted separately at the end of May.)

There were paintings of Maia, a maypole from May Day celebrations, flowers and many different types of animals, those alive today and long dead dinosaurs. There were also several landscapes and portraits. The mediums used were watercolour, acrylic, oil, pencils, pens and inks.
What a fantastic first session of the year, well done everyone who came along!

May 2021

Fingers crossed that we can meet again at the hall on the fourth Saturday of May, won’t that be good? Here are a few ideas of what to paint at home until then.


HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021.

Originally pencilled in to paint in June when he was due to celebrate his 100th birthday, let’s draw and paint him this month whilst all the photos of his long life in the newspapers and on tv are fresh in our minds. Born in Corfu, rescued by the Royal to Italy then educated in France, England and Scotland, Prince Philip was part of our lives for so long. With millions of photos to chose from pick any time of his life from schoolboy to sailor in the Royal Navy, young husband, father to four children and consort to the Queen, attending thousands of events together and on his own.


Opened 140 years ago the museum must have been visited by everyone at least once in their life, on a school trip or with their parents. The Hintze Hall is where Dippy the Dinosaur was exhibited for years and is now being shown in regional museums. Dippy’s replacement is Hope the blue whale.

Draw or paint any exhibit, animal, vegetable or mineral or anything to do with the natural world. This gives you a vast choice of subjects.

Look at the Natural History Museum’s website for more information and inspiration…


May is named for the Greek goddess Maia and the Roman goddess Bona Dea whose festival was celebrated in May. Both goddesses were associated with fertility and growth. Images of them are easily available online or paint growing life, which ties in with painting from the natural world.