- 2010 - 2nd prize
- 2009 - 2nd prize
- 2003 - 2nd prize
- 2001 - commended
- 1999 - commended
(he) only got to know his sitter, Harry, when he agreed to sit for him. Having seen the sitter whilst he was out shopping with his family, Michael was persuaded to approach him by his wife.We talked about the art materials he uses and what sort of portrait he aims to produce.
Michael started painting in egg tempera in the mid 90s for very practical reasons. He had his studio in the house and needed a paint which was clean and relatively odorless (compared to the alternatives).
He's taught himself how to paint with egg tempera and used to read every manual he could find about how to create and use the approprate sort of gesso for egg tempera. He recollected that it took him about 3-4 years to get the hang of how egg tempera works best and how to get the best out of it. He loves the fact that he can paint in layers and paint over anything
His paintings are meticulous (like large miniatures), very smooth and remind me very much of the golden age of Dutch painting. He also maintains an amazingly consistent high quality in his painting. Below is his portrait from the BP Portrait Award 2009 exhibition
Second prize - Michael Gaskell (b.1963) for Tom (egg tempera on board, 270 x 210 mm)
Egg tempera requires a rigid surface so I wondered what sort of what sort of support and preperation he uses. It turns out that his boards are made of mdf (but he makes sure that it's the type of mdf without the formaldehyde). He then applies the gesso himself and he makes his paints from pigment from Cornelissen, However he joked that the shop would never count him as a great customer as apparently he has still got a lot left from his first ever purchases! He also uses very small brushes - sizes 0000 and 00000 - which are ones typically used by miniaturists.
His paintings take him about three months to produce - however the elapsed time will often be longer as he often allows the paint to rest to allow the paint to settle on the board.
In my view, his paintings glow and demonstrate that he truly has mastered the unique properties of egg tempera which makes it a medium which can look as fresh today and in hundreds of years time.
I like them a lot and I'm very sure that he will one day win the BP Portrait Award.
Michael Gaskell comes from Sheffield but now lives in Leicester. His website is http://www.michaelgaskell.net/. His work is represented in private collections in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA.
If you'd like to know more egg tempera, can I suggest you take a look at my information site Egg Tempera - Resources for Artists - which includes a link to Michael's website.
See the exhibition: The exhibition of portraits by the winners and selected entries will be at the National Portrait Gallery, London until 19 September 2010 after which it goes on tour to:
- the Usher Gallery, Lincoln (1 October - 14 November 2010) and
- Aberdeen Art Gallery (27 November 2010 - 22 January 2011).
Making A Mark Archive of BP Portrait Award posts
BP Portrait Award 2010
- BP Portrait Award 2010 - Call For Entries 1 December 2009
- BP Portrait Award 2010 - Shortlist announced 28 Apr 2010
- Daphne Todd wins BP Portrait Award 2010
- Video - BP Portrait Exhibition 2010 opens today
- BP Portrait Award: Michael Gaskell's unparalled record
- Two American Artists win BP Portrait Prizes
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - Call for Entries 15 December 2009
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - the shortlist 27 May 2009
- BP portrait award - who enters and who gets selected 28 May 2009
- Peter Monkman wins first prize in BP Portrait Award 17 June 2009
- Exhibition review: BP Portrait Award 18 June 2009
- BP Portrait Tour & Portrait of the Nation 24 September 2009
- BP Portrait Award 2008 (call for entries) 6 December 2007
- BP Portrait Award shortlist announced - a woman will win! 25 April 2008
- BP Portrait Prize 2008 - exhibition opens 12 June 2008
- Craig Wylie wins BP Portrait Award 2008 17 June 2008
- BP Portrait Award 7 February 2007 (concerning the rule change)
- View the BP Portrait Award 2007
- Paul Emsley wins BP Portrait Award 22 June 2007
- Portraiture - Resources for Artists (maintains an archive of links to BP Portrait Awards in past years)
- Art Competitions in the UK - Resources for Artists