If you’re in London this week then you might want to try and catch the last days of Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2020, running at the Mall Galleries until 26th September and also online, which includes portraits by 2000AD artist Simon Davis.
Simon’s work has been included in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibitions for a number of years. Included in the exhibition are four works, including the moving and powerful study “My Dad, The Day Before He Died” as well as two portraits and a life study.
“The disciplines of my comic strip work, with the need for narrative and careful composition, perhaps complements my oil painting and makes me approach a portrait in a more dynamic and economical way,” say Simon in an artist’s statement. “I am particularly interested in the ‘square brush technique’ as used by The Newlyn School of Painters and Henry La Thangue.
“I paint in oils on board using mainly square brushes, and prefer to paint smaller, intimate portraits,” he explains. “I work entirely from photographs that I take of the sitter and loosely follow rough compositional thumbnails that I draw out earlier.
“The commission process is a simple one and depending on size, a portrait will usually take one or two months.”
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition features portraits, both famous and unfamiliar, a celebration of the very best in contemporary portraiture nationally and internationally. Unlike other portrait exhibitions, it is rigorously selected by professional portrait painters who themselves have been elected by their peers to the Society. It is one of the world’s most extensive contemporary portrait exhibitions forming a showcase of some 200 works.
You can read more here about the winners of Prizes and Awards from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and Mall Galleries from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2020. Many of the artists provided videos talking about their works.
• Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2020 runs until Saturday 26th September at the Mall Galleries, Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1, and online | Open daily, 11.00am to 5.00pm during exhibitions (unless otherwise stated), including Bank Holidays. Many exhibitions close early on the final day, please check details for each exhibition
• If you can’t make it along to see the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition this year, you can not only view the majority of the exhibition online, you can also order the catalogue to be delivered straight to your door
• Watch Mark Gatiss, writer, actor and broadcaster, talk about his experience of being painted by both Alex Tzavaras and Jane French, and the artists talk about their portraits that are currently on display as part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition