IT is the portrait of the artist as a driven man.

The noted Scottish painter Peter Howson is at the centre of an intimate and revealing new film, Prophecy which is to be premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival, and also be one of the first arts films shown on the new BBC Scotland digital channel.

Prophecy, directed by Charlie Paul and compiled over months of filming in Howson’s studio, sees the creation of a large and tumultuous oil work by Howson, from the stretching of the original canvass to the final painting’s final destination in the hands of a private collector in London.

Howson, who is currently working on a new show for the Roger Billcliffe Gallery in Glasgow, said the director had captured him at his best: he has been filmed twice before.

“It captures me much more so than the one they made in Bosnia [when he was the official War Artist], and George Cathro’s film [2010’s The Madness of Peter Howson] was great, but I was ill at the time, and I don’t think I was firing on all cylinders,” he said.

“I spoke clearly, which is unusual for me, rather than mumble.”

Howson, who said he is healthier and happier than he has been for some time, said he hopes the film gives people an insight into how artist’s work - he works long hours, from 4am to 11pm most days.

He said: “For the cameras, we showed different techniques - for people who don’t know anything about art, to show them what goes into an oil painting, because it changes so much: people don’t realise what goes into an oil painting.

“I have a feeling about this film that it is going to be popular with people, and I hope it is.

“I think people might be surprised how physical painting is - I think people have an idea of artist, perhaps there is a mystique, so hopefully this will be a revelation to them.

“It’s great work if you can get it.”

Howson’s new work, and the painting Prophecy, he said, is still inspired by his intense fears about the rise of the far-Right, and the descent of the world into a “chaotic state.”

“It is a grim prophecy, it that’s what keeps me going in some ways, not that I want it to happen but it is important for my art, to have those ideas” he said.

Howson, 60, painted a series of apocalyptic visions for the Prophecy show, which was held in New York.

His new work, a large canvass which involves a group of his familiar angry and tortured figures, is partially inspired by the tumult of Brexit.

The painter said: “I am worried for the future of all the things I hold dear and love.”

He added: “There’s a whole lot of strange things happening at the moment with the Brexit thing, with Venezuela, even with Liam Neeson.

“My new work is kind of a Brexit thing, but it is mainly about this whole bee in my bonnet about the far Right getting into power eventually, and the disintegration of Europe, and the internet being cut off and everything going to pot really.

“It is one of the reasons I remain outside of getting involved in things these days, I like to remain detached, and look in.

“At one point a few years ago I was involved in the whole SNP thing, but I have lost interest in that now, apart from being interested in what happens to Alex Salmond [who has been charged with sexual assault and attempted rape: Mr Salmond vehemently denies any criminality.]”

The film maker were constantly in Howson’s studio over the course of the creation of the painting, which was eventually sold in New York.

“It was hard, because they were animating it as well, so I had to move away from the canvass every 20 to 30 seconds, so they could take a shot of it,” he said.

“The other part was filming the brushstrokes, as well as interviews, which was very difficult as I find it hard to talk when I am working.

“It took a long, long time for the film to be made, and it was hard although I enjoyed it: the only way we survived in the studio was to have a laugh, sometimes at Charlie’s expense, although he could take it.”

He added: “The film is beautiful, the whole feeling of the film, and how it goes from the canvass being stretched, made, transported to my studio, then the starting of the painting, the painting, and when it is finished - it is [telling the story] right from the beginning to the moment it is sold to the collector who bought it, and it being put in a skyscraper in London.

“I cannot wait to see it properly on a huge screen at the GFT.”

The film includes interviews with Howson’s daughter, Lucy, and the gallerist Matthew Flowers, among others.

The movie is being shown as part of the GFF on 26 February at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

“I think that Charlie has done brilliantly, because he is so interested in paint, it’s beautiful seeing it being squeezed out onto the palate, the brush strokes, it’s a great film: we did so much filming over the year, so a lot had to be cut out, unfortunately,” he said.

Mr Paul and Howson will attend the screening and take part in a question and answer session.

Howson said he was appalled by the fire at the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building, where he studied.

He said: “For that to happen again, is completely insane: I don’t understand it. That building is the centre of Glasgow, and one of the greatest working places for a student in the world.”