Belfast Telegraph

Artists put Gandalf in the picture

Amateur artists have been given a wizard opportunity to prove themselves - by painting a portrait of Lord Of The Rings star Sir Ian McKellen.

The actor, who played Gandalf in the hit fantasy films, sat for the finalists in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

The artists had four hours to complete their portraits, which were judged by a panel of art experts along with work from earlier in the series as they competed for the prize of a £10,000 commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Other famous faces who sat for them earlier in the series included footballer Sol Campbell, journalist John Humphreys and comedian Greg Davies.

The new series, which includes heats in London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Cardiff, starts on Sky Arts on Tuesday November 4.

Last year's series was won by N ick Lord, who was given the chance to portray double Booker-winning novelist Hilary Mantel, with his work going on to be displayed at the British Library.

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