Sky Portrait Aritst of the Year 2018 Sky Portrait Aritst of the Year 2018

Portrait Artist of the Year 2019

Portrait Artist of the Year offers you the chance to win a £10,000 commission for a major British institution and £500 of art materials from Cass Art.

All spectator sessions for Portrait Artist of the Year are now fully booked.

While these events continue to be open to the public, due to increasing popularity the heats at the Wallace Collection this year are ticketed, and all sessions are now fully booked.

It’s worth continuing to check here, as some tickets do get returned when plans change. (There may be some returns on the day but we can offer no guarantees. Anyone willing to take a chance will still be able to visit the rest of the gallery even if they cannot enter the filming area.)

Portrait Artist of the Year heats will take place over 8 days from Tuesday 24th April to Thursday 3rd May, not including the weekend.

Landscape Artist of the Year heats will not be ticketed. Locations for Landscape heats will be announced closer to the time – these will take place on 19th/20th June, the 26th/27th June and the 10th/11th July.

If you’d like to receive updates about the series please join our mailing list or follow Sky Arts Twitter and Facebook pages.

Terms and conditions apply. Please visit Portrait Terms for more information.

Christian Hook: Advice for Artists

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What are the judges looking for?


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I am always excited to see a great painting first and a portrait second. It’s really essential to feel there is a narrative beneath the surface: Who is this person? How does the artist convey a sense of their character and personality? In the case of self-portraits, it can be electrifying when the artist is really honest and brave with their own face.


Portraits are about the specifics of a person at the same time as being about the shared human experience and I like that to come across in the paintings being made during the competition. Portraiture has a long tradition, of course, but I always hope to see artists who have found a way to reinvigorate it or reinvent it with their unique artistic language.

Previous Entrants

Raoof Haghighi

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year is an exciting experience. I had a wonderful time during the competition and got to meet lots of wonderful artists! I didn’t how I was going to be – painting amongst the artists and cameras, and against time – but this experience brought out a new quality in my work compared to painting on my own in the studio.

Aine Devine

The competition has changed me as an artist, my focus has shifted from 'trying hard' and putting in the hours, to aiming to do less and make the marks I do make count. My confidence in my work and teaching has grown enormously.

Christian Hook

It was amazing to be able to share the experience of painting and to see other professional artists working. I felt that I learnt a lot from other artists and it was fascinating to observe different techniques and different approaches to the portrait. Doing a painting under a time constraint is oddly refreshing – you are forced to work from response, not research. I enjoyed it hugely and cannot recommend it highly enough.