[Update: I can no longer endorse this series because the judges selected the winner based on race and gender rather than art, to put it very directly.]

Several seasons of Portrait Painter of the Year and Landscape Painter of the Year have become available on YouTube in the last month or so. They both go under the umbrella of Artist of the Year, and the series is put out by SkyArt in the UK. I never heard of it until a few days ago. You can try out Portrait Painter of the Year, 2018, episode 1 below:

Apparently, you can even be a contestant for the 2020 portrait or landscape competition, though it’s only open to people in the UK and surrounding areas.

I’ve been a bit absent recently on my blog, and following a very prolific period. It’s partly because I’ve been through a solid cold, and had a visitor for a few days, but also because I’m going through a training period, and undergoing a transition from the contemporary art world to the visual art/digital painting/illustrational realm. More on that later, but for now, I just discovered a British reality show revolving around portrait and landscape painting.

Each show has contestants attempting to paint either a landscape or a sitter. We learn a little about the artists, their approach, and see them attempt to tackle the subject at hand. There are a few judges who give their insights, which I may or may not agree with, but it’s interesting to be privy to their perspectives one way or another.

One can get some tips here and there, and it’s just fun and relaxing to see a venue where not only is painting not actively discriminated against with self-congratulatory hatred, it’s a given that it’s a fully legitimate artistic tradition, past and present.

Even though I work digitally, and prefer to work from my imagination, I still find this series helpful, in which case I can watch reality TV while also being productive.

You can find the multiple series, including the Portrait Artist of the Year going back to 2013 here.

So far I like the series, though I tend to be disappointed in civilization in general, so may develop aversions and complaints over time. I already don’t agree with the selection of winners for the first four portrait competitions (if I consistently disagree, strongly, this might wear on me), but we know my tastes are a bit exceptional, and I’m not really the target audience, as I’m neither a portrait or landscape painter (though I’ve done a lot of portraits recently), and there are no digital artists. Nevertheless, so far so good.

~ Ends


2 replies on “Fun and Instructive Reality Art TV Series on YouTube

  1. I’d heard of the programme but never given it much attention (as it turns out I don’t have the channel it’s shown on) but I think I’ll enjoy dipping in and out these on Youtube, so thanks. I’m not so fussed about the winners or judging, it’s just cool to see all the different styles and techniques.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m on episode 9 now, and still enjoying it for all the reasons you mentioned. A lot of the artists are pretty damned good, and it’s nice to meet them, so to speak, and see their work.

      The thing about who wins, well, if it was just a matter of opinion, than, one just shakes ones head. But if there were hidden factors (ex., of a sociopolitical nature), that would undermine the whole premise. Not saying there are hidden criteria, but, sometimes their choices are so weird, one begins to look for any explanation.


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