Francesca Currie RBSA shares experience of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Francesca Currie RBSA shares her experience of painting Sir Trevor McDonald on Sky Arts Portrait of the Year.

My experience of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year:

Painting one celebrity in four hours.

During lockdown I had the wonderful opportunity to film for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the year! I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to get to paint Sir Trevor McDonald and even more thrilled that he took my portrait home. Throughout my career so far, I have had to push myself further than I am comfortable with. I shook when I first taught, and I’m pleased what I achieved on the day.

If any NUA students apply, I would say not to get upset if you don’t get through, you’ve no idea what they are looking for so just apply again the next year. I applied 3 times! If you get through, practise as much as possible. I did a 4 hour portrait every day for two months. Also bring snacks, the day is 13 hours long.

See the episode: Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, series 7 episode 2.

About Francesca Currie RBSA

Francesca is a full-time artist based in Cheltenham. She has exhibited across the country and had solo shows at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA Gallery) and at John Lewis. Francesca became an associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 2017 and was elected (their youngest) full member in 2018.

Her work combines the traditional techniques of the Old Masters with a modern viewpoint to create classical representational oil paintings with contemporary composition.


About Us

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.

The RBSA runs an exhibition venue, the RBSA Gallery, in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a short walk from the city centre.

The gallery is open from 10.30am – 5pm on Tuesday – Saturday. Admission is free.

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