BBC One searches for Britain's top amateur painter

Una Stubbs and Richard Bacon at Tate Britain Una Stubbs and Richard Bacon will help judge the artwork of amateur painters

Richard Bacon and Sherlock actor Una Stubbs lead a search to find Britain's best amateur painter.

Ten artists will compete for the title in a six-part primetime series that will air next spring on BBC One.

The finalists have been chosen from almost 6,000 entries, with a selection of their work to be put on display at Tate Britain after the series - which has a working title of The Big Picture - has finished.

Bacon, an art lover, says he's 'absolutely fascinated by artists', adding: 'I saw the audition work of some of the artists. Seeing this got me excited for the show because they were completely different interpretations of exactly the same thing.

'Those interpretations said so much about the artists' personalities. For me as a presenter it's about finding out about people, what makes them tick and who they are through their work.'

Bacon and Stubbs, who is an amateur artist specialising in water colours, will judge the finalists' artwork together with established artists Daphne Todd OBE and Lachlan Goudie.

The former is a winner of the BP Portrait Award in 2010, while Goudie is an oil painter who has presented a BBC programme on Stanley Spencer called The Colours of the Clyde.

Each programme in the series will come from a different location in the country, from Northumberland to Liverpool and London to the coast.

The amateur artists will be asked to take part in painting and drawing challenges to test their skills, including landscapes, still life, portraiture and life drawing.

Stubbs, who recently painted her Sherlock co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman for the Royal Academy summer exhibition, says the programme will also be a 'learning experience' for her.

'I paint, but only use watercolours so I'd love to learn how to do oil painting... and, of course, get Richard learning to paint as well.'

The series has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, and Mark Bell, head of arts commissioning.


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