National Portrait Gallery – BP Award 2015

Later this year, the art world will be keenly awaiting the final shortlisted paintings for the annual BP Portrait award.

The preliminary round of judging is now complete. For the first time, all submissions were made online and out of close to three thousand applications, five hundred have been called in for the next stage.


Yesterday Andrew dropped a painting off and met a lady who has travelled from New York solely to deliver her piece for this next round of judging.

Around fifty portraits out of the five hundred that were called in will go on to be selected to exhibit alongside the winners in the annual exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery from June to September 2015.

This is considered a prestigious award, followed internationally, and any artist chosen to exhibit would be very honored to be included.

Portraiture requires detailed observation and is considered important in developing good draftsmanship. Andrew regularly joins a group where they practice sketching and drawing (mentioned in an earlier post, “Learning to look -life sketches”) and has occasionally worked these up in paint. This will be his first submission of a portrait piece.

Ryan, oil on panel, 40cm sq
Ryan, oil on panel, 40cm sq

In the new year he painted Ryan, moving onto oils after some initial rough sketches. Leaving areas of apparent flat paint he focuses on simple lines of light paint to indicate the profile. This is a study where the highlights are his point of reference.

We wish all the artists contributing every success.

Update April 2015:

We have just received notification that out of two thousand seven hundred and fifty applications, the painting of Ryan made it into the last two hundred works in the selection process, however this piece didn’t make it into the final fifty five to be exhibited. As an early portrait in his portfolio, Andrew is encouraged by this and sends his congratulations to all the finalists.

He would especially like to thank Ryan for his co-operation and patience in sitting for this portrait.

To visit Andrew Holmes official website, please see:

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© AB Holmes 2015, All rights reserved.

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Artist and Illustrator

5 thoughts on “National Portrait Gallery – BP Award 2015”

  1. You are welcome, I am a fan of portraits that really capture the person. Realistic portraits that portray emotion to me can never be replaced by a photograph! Keep on painting!

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