Wales

'Young Picasso' shows paintings at Llangollen show

Hamad al-Humaidhan
Image caption Hamad al-Humaidhan says painting makes him feel relaxed

An 11-year-old old boy, who has been likened to Spanish Impressionist great Pablo Picasso, is unveiling his first major exhibition at Llangollen's Gardening Show this weekend.

Hamad al-Humaidhan, who was born in Kuwait but now lives in Bath, had no previous knowledge of art history, when he first picked up a brush.

But he began to paint his idol, the then Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, using Picasso's trademark bright colours and impressionistic forms.

His father, Walid Al-Humaidhan, said: "When I got back he said 'Daddy, I have done this for you,' and he had done this amazing painting and then he did a pencil drawing in Cubist style.

"I love art and I've got lots of books and I showed them to Hamad but he didn't know anything about Picasso - it's just naturally the way he sees it and he just loves to paint."

Hamad, who is just 4ft tall, is dwarfed by some of his creations.

Image caption Hamad al-Humaidhan first painted his football hero Ronaldo aged nine

His first ever painting of Ronaldo, done when he was just nine, sold at auction in Bath for £650, drawing the attention of local art dealer Steve Turner.

"A colleague sent me some pictures of Hamad's work and I just couldn't believe the size of it and how the colours blend together," he said.

"He and his dad came to see me and I could see he had talent - my thought was that Picasso had been reborn.

"I've shown his work to private art dealers and collectors and the first six paintings have all been snapped up - I've bought two of them - and the next set of his works will go on show for the first time at Llangollen which will be the first opportunity for the public to see his amazing talent."

But Hamad, who has defected to support Liverpool since Manchester United sold his hero to Real Madrid, struggles to see what all the fuss is about.

Image caption Another of Hamad's paintings, using Picasso's trademark bright colours

He enjoys maths at school but ranks painting higher.

"I think I prefer painting! It makes me relaxed and when I feel tired I just pick up a paint brush," he said.

"I just close my eyes and see how it's going to look and then I just paint it - I paint every day in the conservatory after school, sometimes for the whole day.

"I just love the colours and I want people to enjoy my paintings."

While Hamad nervously awaits the opening of his exhibition at The Llangollen International Pavilion on Saturday, he's been taking inspiration from the other sights and smells around the show.

They include the giant vegetables of ten times Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist, Medwyn Williams and, at the other end of the scale, the sand and diamond micro sculptures of Willard Wigan - so tiny they have to be viewed through a microscope.