Portraiture at the RBSA: the work of Andrew Shorthouse

With works in both 2D and 3D in a range of styles, there’s something for everyone at our Members and Associates Exhibition, which is on until 24 December… perfect for some last-minute shopping!

Artist and retired surgeon Andrew Shorthouse takes us through the creation of his two portraits in the exhibition…


Portrait of the Legendary Mr Hopeless


We did the anti-clockwise public bus trip on Raratonga a couple of years ago and were quite astonished and superbly entertained by our driver and self-appointed tourist guide, Pakuru Apu “Mr Hopeless” Simpson, with his constant source of jokes, songs and witty commentary about everything he saw during the bus ride. I took a number of photos and from these did an oil portrait sketch of him before hearing that he had sadly died. He was so paintable!

The work is oil on canvas board, 24x30cm. Again, it was Harold Speed’s (thin and dry) method of portrait painting. Our President, Rob Neil, had pointed me some time ago to Harold Speed’s “Oil Painting Techniques and Materials” published by Dover Books. It’s now my bible and is highly recommended to anyone who wishes to explore a great way of doing oil portraits.


Portrait of Alex Pettifer MBE


I was commissioned by St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield, as one of the trustees, to paint a portrait of Alex, who was retiring as Chairman of the Hospice Board. His great energy and dedication helped St Luke’s develop and maintain its excellence in palliative care. He was instrumental in the launch of a £5 million in-patient centre and purchase of Clifford House for day care and respite

Alex wished to be portrayed in “relaxed mode”. It was painted in oil on 40x50cm MDF board in a triangular composition. The dominant clothing colour was red placed on a subtle yellow/brown background (asphaltum/white/cobaltblue). Harold Speed’s (thin and dry) method of portraits was used to develop the painting. The industrial finger amputation is barely noticeable but a reminder of his earlier working days.

Visit Soon!

Our Members and Associates Exhibition is on until December 24… so there’s plenty of time to find that perfect Christmas gift.

With most works of art for sale, this annual showcase of the lifeblood of the RBSA is an ideal opportunity to find that unique Christmas gift.

You’ll find a beautiful selection of landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, portraits, sculptures, abstracts, prints and more! Read on to find out more about the artists behind some of the beautiful works in this year’s exhibition…


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