Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2018

My experience – Part 3: The Reveal

Alastair Faulkner, Competitor, Season 4 Episode 8

22 March 2016

Here I continue conclude the events of filming day for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and the moment the sitters see their paintings.


Selfie at the end of painting. No time to sit down, the big reveal is about to happen.

Before I had any time to recover they were starting to clear stuff away for the big reveal and our section of cheese was first. At this stage I had completely forgotten that we would be showing Meera our final piece and nerves set in once more. When we finally revealed our paintings I think it’s fair to say she was blown away by the variety of paintings myself, Christabel and Jonathan produced. I was the first to be scrutinised and Meera thought that I had painted her looking “intelligent” and I was pleased that she saw this interpretation!

Smiles all round now that painting time has ended.

Photograph by Richard Faulkner

Frank speaks to Meera before we all reveal our paintings.

Photograph by Richard Faulkner

Following myself was Christabel and then Jonathan and then at this point I felt I could start to relax a bit more. Meera chose Christabel’s work to keep which was an excellent painting on block featuring Meera to the right with a large wash of white. Following our reveal it was Kirsty Wark’s turn to see her painting and then Derek Jacobi.

Meera and I once filming had ended. A fantastic sitter and a truly unforgettable experience.

Photograph by Richard Faulkner

“I am honoured and privileged to compete alongside such brilliant and talented artists”

Once this had happened, with not a moment to lose we were ushered out of the building for our post painting interviews and then the final decision from the judges. We were told to line up in a line which felt eerily like a firing squad and the final three the judges selected were Jonathan, Frances and Tom. I was really happy for them and relieved that the process was over for me for now.

When it emerged that Jonathan was the winner, inside I was pleased that an artist from Team Meera won and I wish him every success in the semi-final.

The moment of truth for Jonathan, Frances and Tom

Photograph by Richard Faulkner

I hope to keep in touch with my fellow Heat 5 artists. They have been a source of inspiration to me and this will truly be an experience I’ll never forget.

If anyone is thinking about entering and not sure take it from me. I entered this competition without any expectations and have left with new ideas, friends, and an unforgettable experience.

As a wise friend once said to me: You have nothing lose and everything to gain!

Very best of luck to the rest of the competitors and I cannot wait to see what you all produce!