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Leading actors pose for portrait contest

PAINTERS trying to win through to the final stages of a national portrait painting competition have painted celebrity models Daniela Nardini, Gary Kemp and Ashley Jensen in Edinburgh.

FINAL TOUCHES: Stars were painted by the contestants.
FINAL TOUCHES: Stars were painted by the contestants.

The National Museum of Scotland was the venue for one of four heats for the Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year 2014.

The winners from the heats, which also take place in Cardiff, Dublin and London, will go on to a semi-final to be held in London and the grand final at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The overall winner will be chosen by the judges together with Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery.

The series, now in its second season, is presented by Joan Bakewell and comic and writer Frank Skinner.

Judges include portrait artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, former Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy and the National Portrait Gallery Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan, head of contemporary at the Fine Art Society.

The series finalists will see their work exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery for a month and the winner will be awarded a £10,000 major commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG).

The prize commission will be exhibited at the SNPG and will become part of its permanent art collection.

Christopher Baker, director of the SNPG, said: "This is a great initiative for promoting the fascinating art of portraiture and finding new talented painters. It's terrific news that the winner will be awarded a major commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery - we look forward to unveiling their work."

The series will be broadcast on Sky Arts in October.

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