Drawing: Timothy Spall in Mr Turner

Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall won a number of International awards including Best Actor at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, for his performance as the eccentric landscape painter J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh’s celebrated biographical drama MR. TURNER. Inexplicably, he missed out on Oscar and BAFTA noms.

When I saw the images from The film and Timothy’s performance I just had to capture that face and his portrayal with my trusty 4B lead. The controversial British Romanticist was renowned for his work in oils, but he was one of the greatest masters of British watercolour painting, elevating the landscape genre to an eminence rivalling history painting.

Known as ‘the painter of light’, Turner was considered a Romantic preface to Impressionism, my favourite period. As homage to this I have taken the rare turn of added a ‘dusting’ of sunset hues with my less trusty coloured pencils to my usual monochromatic studies.

After appearing over the past two decades in film roles such as ‘Wormtail’ in the HARRY POTTER series and Winston Churchill in THE KING’S SPEECH, Timothy returned to the stage as the rugged tramp Davies in Harold Pinter’s THE CARETAKER at London’s Old Vic. I meet one of Britain’s best-loved and most-talented character actors at the stage door on Saturday prior to the matinee and he happily signed this sketch for me.

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