Paintings of family members win BP Portrait Award

Paintings by Susanne du Toit and John Devane Winner Pieter by Susanne du Toit (left) and runner-up The Uncertain Time by John Devane

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The winner and runner-up of this year's BP Portrait Award are both artists who have painted portraits of their children.

South-African born artist Susanne du Toit won the £30,000 top prize for a portrait in oils of her 35-year-old son Pieter.

Coventry-based artist and teacher John Devane took the £10,000 second prize for a portrait of his three children.

The paintings will go on show at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Gallery director Sandy Nairne called du Toit's painting "simple but outstanding".

Du Toit, who is now based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, also wins a commission from the gallery's trustees worth £5,000.

She painted her son as part of a series of portraits of her family.

'Intensely engaging'

She allowed Pieter to find his own pose, with the condition that his hands would appear prominently as she finds them essential to convey personality.

portrait of Prince Harry and Prince William

Take a look at this portrait of two well-known family members at BBC Your Paintings, along with other works from the National Portrait Gallery

"Having said that, the averted gaze of this portrait, which was his choice, struck me as characteristic of his reflective character, and became intensely engaging", she said.

This will be the second time Devane's work has been exhibited at the BP Portrait Award - his picture In the House of The Cellist was seen in the 1995 exhibition.

He painted his children Lucy, 25, Laura, 20, and Louis, 15, over a period of three years.

The painting sets out to show how children emerge from childhood and reveal something of their adult selves.

Almost 2,000 artists from 77 different countries entered portraits in the competition.

55 portraits have been selected for the exhibition which opens to the public at the gallery on Thursday (20 June) before travelling to Aberdeen in November and Wolverhampton next year.

Scottish painter Owen Normand, who studied at Edinburgh College of Art but is now based in Berlin, won the £7,000 Young Artist Award.

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