Mariella Frostrup and Rev Richard Coles host the final of the amateur painting competition, with the artists facing two nail-biting challenges.
Browse content similar to The Final. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to the grand final.
Ten brilliant amateur artists, three judges,
two mentors and 78 paintings have brought us to this point.
Now we have just four contestants left.
Alan and Jennifer.
What's really good, this area here...
With support and coaching from their mentors,
our finalists have grown and developed,
and proved they have what it takes to be here.
If it all goes really badly,
we could all have a game of Frisbee at the end.
And with the judges and members of the public determining their fate...
Life is really the thing that comes out of this painting.
They have shocked...
Jennifer, a couple of times I have told you you've produced a dud.
This isn't one of them.
-David, it's a trippy painting, isn't it?
I think you've got a good sense of movement. Well done.
..their way to success.
Last week, Jimmy was defeated by dance,
and Suman won the public vote for the third time.
Now, just two challenges stand in the way of one of our four finalists
being crowned champion of The Big Painting Challenge.
Would you please reveal who our winner is?
The grand final requires a grand location and this week,
we're in the Royal Borough of Greenwich,
following in the footsteps of monarchs.
Queen's House, Greenwich, is steeped in 400 years of art,
culture and royal history,
and this is the setting for our four finalists' penultimate challenge.
I can't believe I'm actually here. I can't believe I'm in the final.
I'm feeling a little bit nervous.
I'm feeling really proud that I got this far.
And I'm just hoping that I'm able to do myself justice today.
Being in the final, what it says
to me is that you shouldn't be so negative
about your possibilities,
and I think I'd probably say that to my kids as well.
I'm really proud of myself for getting this far.
I've got into the finals.
It's like, you know, I couldn't have gone any further,
so what will be will be today.
This time, the artists will face two very different challenges.
It will give them the chance to demonstrate to the judges just how
far they've progressed over the last six weeks.
Welcome to the final.
You've done brilliantly to make it this far.
Two challenges await for us to
discover the finest amateur artist of 2017.
The first is something to which you will be longing to return.
It's a portrait.
You'll each have your own very special subject,
and in a moment or two, you will find out who it is.
We want you to capture the character of your sitter and we will give you
a few moments to talk to them before you get started.
was it the stress that's changed the hair colour
in our final instalment?
Anyone else got any other physical changes going on that you
want to discuss with us?
I've had a couple of piercings, but maybe not for the camera.
Your mentors Diana and Pascal will of course be there to help you,
but not actually while you're on canvas.
No, during the challenges you're on your own,
so maybe now is the chance to cluster closely to them
and soak up their love.
Off you go.
Is it going to be Diana and Pascal that we have to paint?
Is it going to be the other contestants
that we've been really friendly with?
Or just some random person?
I don't know.
If they want us to capture the emotions that we're feeling,
I'm working on despair, horror...
Throughout the competition,
Jennifer and Alan have been mentored by art educator,
curator and artist Diana Ali.
Brilliant. You're both in the final.
Really, really proud of you.
You've come so far. So, portraits.
Think about your strengths that you've got from all the weeks.
Remember to keep looking, keep observing.
So think about your composition -
could be face, could be the whole thing.
Think about the background, think about the colours...
Think about everything!
You're going to be on your own for this one.
Just have my voice in your head going, "Do that, do that!"
But I've got complete confidence in you being independent.
Being without the mentors is going to be quite tough for me, I think.
Diana's been a second pair of eyes and she's been absolutely spot-on
throughout the challenges, so it's going to be quite tough.
I'm actually really digging portraits now.
I think this could be my new direction, so...
Well, we'll see how this challenge goes.
And guiding David and Suman is Pascal Anson, artist,
designer, and guest lecturer at the Royal College of Art.
So we have a portrait for you to do.
One of the things we talked about
before is if we can get this triangle
right between the bottom of the nose and the centre of both the eyes,
no matter whether it's square on face or three quarter view.
If you get that right, you can kind of do anything you want
with the painting.
You're going to do the best painting you've done so far.
I'm 100% sure.
It's going to be nice not to have the pressure of Pascal
looking over your shoulder saying, "David, David! Come on, wake up!"
I have a feeling that we're going to have to paint our mentors.
And if it is him,
I think I'm probably going to be at risk of making him look like he's a
sailor or some sort of explorer with this moustache
just totally exaggerated.
In this challenge, the artist must showcase all they've learnt in the
weeks leading up to the final.
So, no pressure, then.
They'll be judged on how they've managed to capture the character of
the sitter in their painting.
And it's time to find out who their sitters are.
Artists, here you are to start work on a magnificent portrait.
But for that of course, you need subjects.
So, sitters, would you please come in?
Oh, my God!
It's my mummy!
I've never painted her in my life.
You're going to be craggy, Dad. How you doing?
When my dad came in I thought, "Oh, no."
I just saw a bit of his turban and, like, a bit of his glasses
and I was like, "You are kidding me."
I was not expecting Mother.
I'd better get it right or she will probably slap me.
You've done your hair!
Why have I never painted her before?
I could have been practising for the past couple of weeks.
If I make him look too old, he's going to...
There'll be some comeback, won't there?
How could you do this?!
Yeah, the pressure just went from there to there.
OK, sitters, if you wouldn't mind taking your seats, please.
Artists, you have to attempt to
repay the unpayable debt of a parents' unfailing love.
-So get cracking.
The artists have three and a half hours to paint their loved ones.
I love your face.
I really don't know how she's going to put my face on the canvas,
because, like, I'm really no oil painting myself.
-Are you comfortable?
I can't believe that my son is in the final.
I want Alan to win.
It's my dream. I love him.
How do you feel about deceiving your only child?
What she has done and achieved is remarkable.
I'm really proud of her, to see her in this final.
Well, I'm surprised David is in the final.
I did think his paintings were rather good,
but then, of course, as a parent,
one might always think that of one's children.
Painting their parents could end up being more
of a hindrance than a help for our four finalists.
The most difficult...to kind of cut off my emotional reaction,
because inside, I'm so happy to be looking at my mum,
but I'm trying so hard to break just down the light and dark of the face
and trying to look at it as shapes instead of,
"This is a nose. This is an eye."
This is not the first time we've seen Jennifer being emotional.
I'm sorry to say, but it's sort of meaningless to me.
You all right? Don't worry about it.
Over the course of the competition,
her abstract style has contributed to her success.
The artist chosen by the public is...
But hasn't always gone down well.
I struggle to find good points in this painting.
They just looked like little lumps.
A vast improvement in drawing and
observing has earned her a well deserved
place in the final.
The proportions are good,
I think the sense of movement is good
and our imaginations are set alight. Well done.
Jennifer has progressed really, really well.
She's really listened to rules of painting
to make the work a lot more convincing.
I just hope she can do really well for the final now.
I've noticed in the room there is less tension in the room
-than normal on the first sitting.
-Yes, interesting, isn't it?
It's probably because I'm not crying in the corner or having some sort of
meltdown to distract everyone.
So who do you most want to impress?
I mean, is it going to be your mum,
or is it the judges who you obviously
need to impressive if you're going to win?
Always the judges. Always.
Mum's cool because she's going to say...
It's either she likes it or it's
different, in which case, if it's different,
I know she hates it and that's fine.
I can deal with that.
David is feeling intimidated by the subject matter.
I want to make sure I get a likeness,
otherwise he's going to get offended.
Yeah, he's calmer than me, so maybe I can capture some of the calmness.
Assuming he doesn't... Well, especially if he falls asleep.
Unlike his father, David is anything but laid-back.
Argh! It's horrible.
I'm randomly trying things out and I don't think all of them are working.
But he's a brave painter and he's
not afraid to experiment with different techniques.
It's not the elephants that were on the rampage,
you've been rampaging through styles.
How's that going with the palette knife?
I think it's a motor skill that you need to learn.
So I'm learning.
His analytical approach to art means it's sometimes
been lacking in emotion.
David's very, very able, but he's removed.
He paints objectively and I think he needs to engage much more with the
subject, but also with the practice of being an artist.
Both Suman and David are sketching rather than painting their sitters.
Do you know where my painters have gone?
I can't find them anywhere.
Because I don't recognise them from what's happening in there.
For some reason, they've gone back to just getting
all their reassurance from drawing.
I think the pressure of the final has, unfortunately,
made them tighten up and I'm a bit worried for them,
because I'd like to see them a bit freer than that, and start in a way
which is kind of loose and painterly.
David has been sketching his father now for 30 minutes.
I wasn't happy with the likeness on that one.
He decides to start again.
I'm just going to see if I can draw it out more to my satisfaction
and then go from there and make a decision.
That's not right at the moment, so I just want to try again.
-When you're ready.
David's struggle with accuracy isn't unusual when painting a familiar
face, as judge and portrait painter Daphne Todd knows only too well.
When you're painting someone you know,
I think the problem is that you don't see them with a fresh eye.
You know too much about them.
They have so much background knowledge
that seeing what's in front of them can be difficult.
Along with Daphne, art historian
Dr David Dibosa and award-winning artist Lachlan Goudie will judge
Now that we've reached the final, we want to see our artists
putting in everything that they have learned so far.
We need them to use their technical skills to bring out the inner
character of their sitters.
We want this to be a painting that not only tells us about the sitter,
but about their own relationship with that person.
So it's an emotional exchange between artist and subject.
Before taking part in this competition,
most of our amateur artists would produce paintings from a photograph.
Painting a sitter means that capturing expressions
is extremely difficult.
To try and keep up a smile for three and a half hours is
nigh-on impossible, so I've just let her face rest
and hopefully I'll get some character in the eyes.
I'm thinking about the self-portrait that I did.
Probably going to go that way and see how we get on.
Alan started out as one of the most inexperienced
artists in the competition.
Painting with other people or drawing
with other people is completely new.
I've never done anything like this before.
But his sensitive and emotional approach to painting
earned him early praise to boost his confidence.
That sense of impending storminess that's
just about to break is excellent.
And he proved himself to be one of the strongest portrait
painters in week four.
Alan, I think this is a lovely painting.
David said it was my best work yet, so I'm absolutely amazed.
His willingness to listen and learn has got him to the final.
Alan is brilliant at taking on advice.
He's really enjoyed the mentoring process.
It's really complimented his work to the point where Alan can do a
variety of different techniques now,
show us something different every week.
We were very struck by your reaction
when you saw your mum coming through the door.
Obviously that was a huge surprise.
How would you describe your relationship?
She holds the family together.
-I love her.
-Oh, I really want my son to say that.
She's never seen me paint actually, so...
-It's such a big deal.
And you'd never painted her before, then?
Never painted Mother before.
I think it's quite relaxing, because we know the sitter so well.
Well, we've noticed that there is a really palpable difference
in atmosphere. Normally on the first challenge you're having meltdowns
and nervous breakdowns and throwing paint brushes around, but not today.
There's time yet.
Orange dress is a nightmare.
It's given my mum a bit of an orange glow around the, kind of,
jowls for want of a better word.
It's brilliant that Alan's mother
has turned up in a bright orange dress,
because he had had comments that his colours can be quite murky and quite
drab, which makes the painting look flat,
so I hope he's really going to go for it with the bright orange.
They're now halfway through the challenge.
It's very clearly your dad, isn't it?
It's making me wonder if perhaps you've painted him before?
Since I was a kid.
I remember the first time I drew him.
A little square for the turban and colour it in
and then a little U under that and then a little beard.
Was there something about your dad that you found
a particularly appealing subject?
I've always wanted to do the best I could
and show him that I really love this
and that I'm good at it and make him proud of me for doing it.
I just see... I can't look directly at him.
All right, look, I'll block you, OK?
He's just really important, really important to me.
I want to get this right.
I want to
get some of the wisdom in the portrait.
We've seen you at this stage of the game
look considerably less composed than this.
Yeah, and grey and washed out.
Yeah, we don't want him to know that, do we?
She's always looked very confident.
-Very, very confident.
-I've seen her do it before.
Suman's confidence has grown immensely since she first started.
She's proved a hit with the public vote,
winning immunity three weeks running.
And although she still likes to seek approval,
her desire to push herself and improve has seen her grow.
I think with Suman, the next thing for her, really,
is to understand what it feels like to be an artist and I think that's
about not worrying about what anyone else feels.
Yeah, you've got a likeness there. That's good.
That's really good, though.
-Bloody hell, David.
-How long have we got, about an hour?
About an hour.
Jennifer and Alan, they have become quite expressive.
I think they can show that vision.
There's a lot riding on this challenge.
It is the final. It's really hard not to step in.
Yeah. I'm just really struggling with this last bit.
It needs something, and I'm really struggling
to figure out what it needs.
I'm feeling all right. I've not really cracked a hair.
If somebody said, "Is that your dad?"
I would say, "Yeah, I think it is. To me."
So, I think I've captured him as I see him.
Whether the judges recognise him, I don't know.
Course, he's changed his expression now. He's grimacing.
You've got a bouffant, dad.
I've moved. Now your hair...
-Oh, my hair?
-Never mind, I'm not going to worry about that.
I can't do much about my hair.
Actually taking off paint, it looks good.
Yeah. Yeah, I'm OK. OK.
Reeling it back in, just taking all the paint off.
I'm finished now. Yes.
I think it actually helped, having my dad about.
If only he was here for the rest of the challenges!
It's you. It's you.
Painters, will you please stop painting?
-It's your daddy!
-It's your best one yet.
He's absolutely nailed him.
Yeah. You all right?
You look like you're...
This time around, the judges are not giving you their verdict until
you've painted your final painting.
Yes, it's time to get the most important opinion of all.
The judgment of mums and dads.
So, Nerendra, would you please step up
and see what Suman's made of you?
You've got the look. Everything is there, perfect.
Really good, well done.
I can't find any fault in it at all.
Ooh, that's a first!
-I think I made you look younger.
You have, you've flattered me!
Thank you very much. I am very impressed with that.
I'm amazed, in fact.
I've made other people look angry, so at least you're looking smiley.
Every child likes to get approval from their parents.
-It's not "different" then?
-No, that's like me.
I can't believe that. Golly gee whizz...
Usually when I say "different" you know I mean...
-Yeah, but this is different in a good way.
-Would you put it on the wall?
-Oh, I definitely would.
That's centre place.
-That's a first.
This has been the best thing out of the whole competition.
Even no matter what the judges have said to me, that, today, was just...
Yeah. That's ticked every single box.
-What do you think?
-I can't believe it.
-Do you think it looks like you?
-That's the real me.
-Would you put it on your wall?
If you let me.
That last challenge was a pretty emotional one.
With the next one, we're really pushing the boat out.
As you may know, Canaletto's famous painting of Greenwich hangs here
in the Queen's House and the scene we're standing in here
has basically not changed that much since he painted it in 1750.
Apart from a few skyscrapers.
You're going to be looking at exactly that same view,
but you'll remember the view of Greenwich from the river,
so I hope you've packed your sea boots,
because we are putting you on a boat.
Oh, my God!
That's not fair!
A big day ahead of you tomorrow.
So rush of home, get some sleep and we will see you on board.
We'll be singing sea shanties tomorrow, won't we?
We're going to be on a boat and speeding...
There's no point in trying to emulate Canaletto, is there?
The final challenge of the competition is upon us...
..and our four finalists are about to board today's studio space.
'As they find their sea legs,
'Diana and Pascal take one last opportunity to give their artists
'some help and inspiration.'
-So, hopefully, this is going to help you master your paintings.
'Diana has tailored her guidance to the needs of the artists.
'First up, Jennifer.'
Now, with you, Jennifer, you look at a massive big scene and you go,
"Wow, there's so much to paint!" and you get overwhelmed.
This is going to get rid of that overwhelming scene.
So if you just look over my shoulder, this straight line represents...
-..this straight line.
So, when you're marking out your painting,
you can measure out the different lengths that you see.
'Diana marks of the distinguishing features she can see in her view.'
What I'm seeing is the river.
So, I know the river starts here and then
the end of the river is just slightly above half.
'These marks are now transferred to the canvas.
'Marking these points helps to convey the scale of the landscape
and kick-start your composition.'
OK? So, have a go.
-Over to you, Jen.
It's good to have tools in place, so that could help me at some point,
if I'm struggling with lines.
Because there's times when I have meltdowns and need something
more structured to put it into proper painting terms.
'Outside on deck, Pascal has a parting gift for his artists.'
So, I've got presents for you!
So, it's absolutely what you need for this final challenge.
Oh, it's going to be messy.
'David and Suman will also be sporting Pascal's signature boiler suit.'
It's like we're going into some sort of experimental lab.
-Suman, you are just doing a painting.
'Like many painters,
'they're both used to being very precise and this exercise will
'encourage them to have a looser approach.'
You're going to stop painting with these mops, so that's for you...
I thought, David, you could paint this view, going into the distance here,
and Suman, I thought this was a good view for you to have here.
There's always a danger, especially with David and Suman,
that they're going to resort to tight, narrow, controlled,
small ways of working, so I wanted to do the opposite of that.
You've got a mop, a sponge, a decorating brush...
Normally, Suman's that far away from the canvas with a tiny little brush
and now she's painting with a mop, so I feel like my job is done now.
I was there, mopping the floor, basically just thinking,
how can make as much structured mess as possible, which is fantastic.
I really like it.
I'm going to try and be a little bit more free with the work.
I thought that exercise was great and amusing and going wild with
-all those brush marks.
Don't get me in that.
There's a few things I could take forward into the challenge,
but I think if I took too much of that freedom through,
it would end up like a Jackson Pollock and then I would get criticised
for copying another style again.
It's good fun, making a mess. I don't like...
Yeah, get rid of it. Get rid of it!
There's an easy way to get rid of it.
It's the first time I've ever done anything this messy.
I've always sat and been really neat.
Yeah, that's why I wanted you to do it.
'Now, what does Diana have in store for Alan?'
What point has come across over the past few weeks?
I tend to overwork stuff.
Probably my mark making gets a bit fuzzy.
'So she has an exercise in mind which will enable him
to be more expressive with his work.
You've got a big brush and a very small canvas.
OK? There is your view.
-You are only allowed to use ten marks...
-..to represent that view and then you have to stop.
-One mark could be...
OK, that's one, because I've taken the paint brush off.
Next one could be buildings.
So you're plotting, but in a very quick way.
That's two marks. Another mark might be three, four, five, six,
to represent the skeleton of a building.
You do work quite small and you tend to go over areas again and again
with the same pressure, the same marks,
so this will help you with the variety of marks that you get from
-something really subtle to something really bold.
I needed to really think about my mark making, so really,
it's just getting confidence in my brush strokes really,
and trying to express something in one mark,
rather than using 20 and muddying everything up.
'Challenging our artists to paint this spectacular view was inspired
'by the work of Venetian artist, Canaletto.
'And Lachlan is in Greenwich to find out more about the original artwork.'
In the 18th century,
eligible young aristocrats would regularly undertake a grand tour
to Italy. They'd tick off the country's cultural hot spots,
but the place that most of them wanted to be was Venice,
a sort of 18th-century Las Vegas on the Med.
And observing all this was a young artist called Giovanni Antonio Canal.
'Young Canaletto started to paint rather theatrical and rose-tinted
'views of Venice himself
'and the English aristocrats rolled up to buy them,
'eager for a painted reminder of their frolics
'beneath the Doge's Palace.
'But when wars in Europe deterred the English punters
'from visiting Venice,
'Canaletto decided that he would come to them.
'He uprooted himself to London and began painting views
'of the British capital.'
In this canvas of what was then at the Greenwich hospital, we find
Canaletto's sprinkling and a little bit of his Venetian fairy dust.
He's transformed the River Thames into a sparkling,
radiant version of the Grand Canal,
complete with a sort of pageant-like bustle of barges and boats.
In the sky, we have a whole stream of pink clouds that suggests this
is a beautiful summer's evening,
and those same candy pinks are picked in a river that's so smooth
and glossy, it acts like a mirror, reflecting the white stone
of the new Greenwich Hospital.
This really is a love letter to the Thames, and to Greenwich.
"Aren't you beautiful, Greenwich", this painting seems to be saying.
Quite stately. Mighty impressive.
'Our artists are about to come face-to-face with this impressive view,
'which they now must paint for their final challenge.'
We're nearly in position, aren't we?
That just looks...
I'm feeling nervous about doing this landscape,
but I'm trying to get myself into the same sort of head space as I had
yesterday, so try and just enjoy it and not get too...
..worried about the situation.
This is the first time I've been on a boat, in the middle of London,
painting an amazing building.
'This view is almost identical to the one Canaletto had in 1750.
'But our artists have just five hours to create their masterpieces.'
All right guys, it's the last time you're painting with us.
So, make it a really, really good painting.
'Ever changing light, weather,
'painting a landscape outdoors is no easy feat.
'But we've upped the ante and added an additional difficulty.
'The boat is constantly bobbing around,
'and this part of the Thames is tidal.
'This means their painting position will be moving
'from side to side and up and down.'
This movement is freaking me out.
I feel I might need a large canvas to get this in.
'It appears size does matter.
'All of the artists have opted for the largest canvas available.'
It's the final. I thought, I've not painted a canvas this big before.
Daphne's picked up on that.
I thought, why not? Just go for it.
I've just got to think about the composition.
I can't get it all in,
so I think the two structures in the middle will probably be kind of the
centre point, a bit off centre, and then I'm just going to go at it.
I am really trying to push the fact that it's the final out of my head.
Because if I think that it's the final I'll not be able to cope with that.
I haven't decided what I'm doing yet,
but I like the symmetry of the thing.
So I'm just trying to see if it works as a composition,
and then I was thinking to make it a little more contemporary,
putting in one of the boats that went past on the front here.
I need to break the symmetry in some fashion,
so that maybe where I place the boat.
I'm going for a bit of energy.
I think I've done realistic now.
I'm testing to see what I want to do the background in.
I'm well aware I used the same tone when I painted my dad,
so I don't think it's a good idea doing it again.
I feel like I need to do something slightly different.
I just want to be free and have fun.
'With Diana's advice ringing in his ears,
'Alan appears to be a lot freer with his mark making.'
I'm going to let this dry. Quite like these drips.
It'd be quite nice to see some of the undermarks kind of show through, really.
'It's not the only guidance he's taken on.'
I've marked out some of the lines from Jen's masterclass,
which I was pilfering.
I am just going to figure out the distances.
'Rather than drawing out her composition,
'Jennifer is experimenting with a new technique.'
I'm literally just cutting off sections of masking tape.
It's as basic as that, erm...
just to create some sort of angle.
Jennifer is plotting the actual sea.
She's doing it in a very Jennifer way, she's cutting things out.
She's making the hair into straight lines.
She's started off really well and really thinking about the technical
mark making that she needs to do.
I notice when we see you,
often you're up close to the cameras with a fine brush, drawing.
We came out today and there's you with a wider brush,
really slapping on some paint.
-It is different.
Hopefully, the six weeks will have taught me to loosen up,
and, hopefully, this will be the culmination
of everything we've learned.
You've worked your socks off. You know, you've had ups and downs,
you've had run-ins with the judges, and, you know,
you've had triumphs and failures.
What does it mean to you now, at this point in the competition?
Well, if I mess this up, they can't boot me out, can they? So...
So you're feeling reckless, really? That's the answer to my question.
I am feeling a bit reckless.
I might stand over there and just start throwing stuff,
-do you know what I mean?
-You're looking relaxed.
That's a real change I've noticed over the past few weeks,
is that you're less tense at the picture.
Yeah, I think so.
Hopefully, that will come out through the painting, really,
and just be a bit more gestural.
I think he's gone a bit cocky, actually.
-Do you reckon?
-Yeah, I do.
'It's very rare to see Suman unhappy,
'but this final task seems to have got the better of her.'
I hate it already.
It's too high up. I can't see.
There's loads of things. I keep moving from here to there.
It's not working. It's like trying to paint in the dark.
'And the weather isn't helping.'
It's really windy. I keep watching the canvas to make sure it doesn't
fall on top of my head.
A lot happening on the surface with Jennifer.
We've got some hair, we have some cut out bits of card and stuff.
Returned to your tried and trusted techniques.
Yes, I think just with it being the final,
it's quite nice to show my processes are still there.
It's just I'm using them a different way now,
so I'm trying not to rely on them,
but I'm just trying to include them because they're part of my, sort of,
skill and I don't want to lose that.
You said at the beginning that your worst nightmare would be a landscape
scene with a building, with lots of lines and an old building at that.
And look, we've managed to come up with it for you.
Well, yes, yous have found the exact thing that I hate painting,
so if I even get some sort of resemblance at the very end of this
I will be happy.
I know you talked at the beginning of this process
-about wanting to do this for your children.
Is that still something that's still in the front of your mind?
Yeah, that's what I was approaching yesterday with.
With an idea of, you know, trying to forget too much
about the competition, and show them, really it's about having a go.
You could win the final, David.
So could all four of us.
Artists, you're at the halfway point.
Trying to get a bit more detail in and see where we go from there.
I'm having to hold the canvas as I'm painting, which isn't ideal.
So, yeah, it's tricky.
'It's not just the wind which is creating unwanted movement onboard.'
It's the motion I'm really struggling with, because it's...
Yeah. I'm not...
I'm not finding the boat an easy thing to be on.
Erm... I normally don't get motion sickness.
This is really weird for me.
The painting keeps moving back-and-forth,
so I don't want to it to drop off the easel.
Like that, for example.
The wind's blowing my canvas that way,
which I guess is kind of par for the course.
Managed to just rescue it in time.
Just trying to add a bit more tonal range in it.
It's not going how I wished it had gone.
I suppose it's closer than other people's composition,
cos it's a larger view,
but that's about the extent of the similarity with the Canaletto.
Maybe a Cornetto!
I might actually work into it with my pens, because they're darker.
I seem to just make decisions in my head very abruptly and go with that,
and if it works, it works and if it doesn't, it doesn't.
How you doing?
-Have you had a meltdown?
Several, because I've been on the floor, holding on, putting stuff down.
So, yeah, I'm happy with my bus.
You seem a more... You always seem composed, but you seem
more confident now.
You can see it better, I think, than anyone else.
You don't tend to see these things yourself.
You'd be a better judge of that, I think.
I've got paint on my face, haven't I?
You look like the Joker.
-I'm going to be sick.
-I need to get water.
'There's now one hour remaining and the paintings are starting to come together.'
I've basically just let the paint run down the painting.
I started off at a bit of pace with the water
and left some of the marks in and then I tried to replicate that in
the sky just to give a bit of continuity
so it didn't look like two paintings, really.
So, that's what I'm doing.
Loads still to do but, you know, I'm not going to worry about it.
Alan's been really loose.
There's drips going down his canvas,
there's marks that are all over the place.
I'm not used to seeing Alan like this, so it's brilliant.
I finally got things to stay still so I can put some detail in,
the hints of some details, so that's really good.
I'm trying to piece together everything I've learnt over the last
couple of challenges.
I thought I'd add the boat to give a bit of focus.
Hopefully, it's my vision of what's in front of me, but...
You know, I don't know.
Some of it's working here.
And some bits of the water,
but I don't know whether it all hangs together very well,
that's the problem.
How are you feeling? You're looking better.
Yeah, I just feel a bit sick.
-I won't hug you because you might be sick on me.
-You're better now, though?
-Yeah, I've got mint tea.
Artists, for the final time, I'm afraid time is up.
Step away from the canvases, put down your brushes.
Yes, you can do no more.
From now on it's all in the hands of the judges.
Come on, team.
I want a cuddle like this.
Come on then, gang.
All over now.
I know I'll probably miss it at some stage,
but at the moment I'm glad it's over.
That wasn't how I intended to finish, to be honest.
A bit too much stress.
There's nothing I can do now.
At least the only thing I can do before I see the judges is mentally
prepare for the onslaught that is going to be the critique.
The judges have absolutely put us through the mangler.
I mean, I thought last week was bad and then they introduced
seasickness, so we'll see how we get on.
There's no public.
So, obviously being the one who's won the most public appreciation,
it feels odd not having anyone with a safety net to sort of swing in there
and be, like, "No, she's awesome, give her a shot, she's amazing."
Where are we going?
Where is the pier? Is that the pier?
Ugh! When are we going to dock?
Well, artists, traditionally vicars are the ones to spoil the party mood
by talking about judgment and I'm no different.
It's time for you to face the judges.
Jennifer, so I like to keep quiet about it, but I love colour.
And, you know, this is a wonderful rainbow of colour,
it's cascading down the canvas.
This portrait is a striking success and I think it sums up, to me,
that you have enormous potential and that's going to continue to grow.
Well, Jennifer, what an achievement.
You've managed to make a perfectly normal looking human being.
And I think there you've got a lovely sense of the light falling on
the top and then coming round in a very abstracted way,
and if you could've carried that through into the smaller details,
I think it would have been a better painting,
but it's a pretty good attempt.
If I can come to the painting of the buildings,
I think some of your stylistic devices haven't served you well
to give a sense of the overall composition
and elegance of this setting.
I think that you were brave in zooming into this particular detail
of the composition.
That might have contributed to your feeling of seasickness
cos you were so busy concentrating on this tiny thing
a way off that it was intensifying all the movement.
Jennifer, you have come an enormous distance since the beginning,
so push your drawing, but work it in your own way,
in a way that feels natural.
Alan we had that breakthrough with the self-portrait
and I think we're seeing a similar level of breakthrough here.
This portrait is a great leap forward because what you've
been able to do is bring out the depth
to get away from the tendency to flatness in your work.
I think this is a crowning achievement of your work so far.
And I think that part of the success has been that she give you this
wonderful tangerine dress to create the kind of highlights
and the colour that warms up her face.
Now we have Greenwich.
Stately, very well drawn
with a great attention to all the perspective lines.
That Dickensian sense of almost grimness about your painting.
This is a river we're going to dig a body out of, I think, and
that's definitely a reflection of the Thames that we know
and were looking at.
This is a building you would immediately recognise and
it's got the grandeur.
You've learned over the weeks and you've used your proportion to
really make sure that we know that we're small.
David, as one would expect, you've been brave yet again.
Here, you've attempted the most difficult thing in a portrait,
which is a fleeting expression.
Hardly any great portraits are of smiling people.
A smile can be very cheesy and I think you've just edged
to the right side of that.
You've lightened your touch considerably and I think that
has helped you to see more.
So you've got a man who feels large and powerful
you've got a presence in the painting,
yet you manage to communicate that with a very thin,
almost chalky use of paint and then you've given him a smile,
and he does have this smile.
Where did all the smile genes go? Because you're always looking...
..looking so intense!
But he has this uncanny constant grin.
-It's my mum's side!
To get that is really well achieved.
Coming to the next painting, I enjoy this painting very much.
You've brought all of the techniques together
to create an integrated whole.
It's gentle, it's calm, it's very easy to be with.
This is a painting that has...
It's inherited so much from the Canaletto original
and, most importantly,
it's that sense of space.
Suman, I would say this is a commanding portrait.
Not just because this seems to be an image of a commanding presence,
also because of the command, I think, you're showing as a painter.
The marks are very gentle, they're very calm and the colour is muted,
and yet it describes, very clearly, the presence of this man.
You can look at this painting on several levels.
I think your proportions are wonderful,
I think there's a sense of surface, your detail is lovely.
I think it's a really successful portrait.
Greenwich. We've got colour, we've got boldness, we've got mark making.
I think that this has got oomph, that...
When I remember your first still life...
Oh, a quiet little painting and here we've come!
I believe this painting, I believe the structures,
I believe the sense of scale and architecture.
I love the red bus that, once again,
is a key point in making me motor my way towards this part of your
painting. You're telling the viewer what to do.
You know, from this distance, one's drawn in.
There's all sorts of detail of light, the darks and shadow.
There's quite a lot going on and you've kept the sparkle of the sun
hitting the burnished gold tops to those two parts of the buildings.
Judges, thank you very much indeed.
Can we send you off to deliberate now
and decide who's going to walk away with the title?
Yes, please make your way to the deck of decision.
'And while the judges make their decision,
'we have a surprise in store for our finalists.'
OK, now it's time for the public to view your work
and this week we won't be counting their votes
and when you see who they are, you'll know why.
So, artists, would you please welcome...
And will you also please welcome your former team-mates.
Well done, you, for getting this far.
-She's blown me away.
-They are incredible.
-He would have spent weeks doing this at home.
-Yeah, he would have done.
Sketching it all out then doing it.
I think he did this in a few hours.
-I think the sky is superb.
I particularly like the way she's got the highlights.
The golds on the top.
She's put in quite a few bits of detail in there,
which must have been hard at that speed.
To come to this and doing these paintings here,
I couldn't be prouder of her.
She's done a fantastic job.
-I think she could win it.
-That is so nice.
-Don't you think so?
I think so.
-That is definitely you.
-I love it.
Are you proud of Alan?
-Yeah, of course.
-Yeah, I'm really proud.
Very proud of him. He's done well, hasn't he?
He's done really well. Very good one.
He's captured something and it's very fluent and I think it's a great
portrait for what he's done, don't you?
-I like that.
-I just think...
I don't know David's father but
I just think it just looks full of love.
So, here we are at the final and I think
they've all come such a long way.
I think it's quite impressive, really.
I didn't, I didn't expect these artists to develop as much as they have
and grow in strength and in confidence.
-It's wonderful to see.
-I personally thought Jennifer had an enormous
amount of talent and individuality right from the start.
I think that her sensitivity towards drawing and observation and line
has crystallised a little more than it was at the beginning.
And I think that in her portrait today,
I think she has made a step forward.
Yes, I think she's got a signature style which came out in the portrait
of her mother.
I wasn't quite sure about her painting of Greenwich itself.
It wasn't Jennifer's best work.
I suspect she's kicking herself.
Someone who's excelled themself this time is Alan because
he struggled, I think, in the early part of the competition.
All that flatness that we had.
We kept saying break out, break out, and, here, I felt,
he really broke through.
I think he's learnt something in this competition.
I think that Alan redeemed himself in the final,
he proved why he was here.
And he kept his sensitivity.
That's his real strength,
that sensitivity of touch and of observation
and did some of the best work he's done.
I thought that David, by contrast,
was being very understated this time.
Where did this David come from?
It's like he's been hiding for weeks.
I think he'd been listening to us and really trying to find a way
of being able to analyse what was in front of him.
And maybe the act of painting his dad allowed that to happen because
he became unguarded, you know.
He was so committed to the subject that maybe he lost the need
-for all of that theatre.
-And what about Suman?
It was a wonderful portrait of her father.
Very, very sensitive.
I felt it was a very confident painting.
I was really taken by the way that Suman painted the architecture,
the way that she really used texture and paint and colour to make me
believe in the structure.
For her, I think that is progression.
I mean, here's an artist perhaps used to more tentatively,
sensitively trying things out.
And after the end of this experience,
she can throw caution to the wind and boldly, solidly put down colour.
Well, I've thoroughly enjoyed watching all these artists grow and develop
and I don't want to have to pick one out from the crowd,
but we're going to have to.
The judges have made their decision and will shortly be revealing
which one of you is to be our winner.
So, judges, any final comments?
Well, congratulations to you all for getting here.
You've continued to create intriguing and engaging paintings
and I know you're going to continue with that well past this final.
Well, you've all come so far and every one of you has developed
as a painter because you've risen to the challenges that have set.
Every one of you has shown tremendous guts and determination
to reach the final
and each one of you has produced work of real beauty.
You've made us believe in you as artists.
David, we can't take the suspense a second longer.
Will you please reveal who our winner is?
It's been an amazing journey and I've always said, just go for your dreams,
just go for your dreams, and in the back of my head throughout this
whole process, I've been, like, this is right for you,
this is what you need to do, just believe in yourself,
believe in yourself, and it's worked!
You worked hard.
Suman's a worth winner because week on week she's shown improvement.
You need that little bit of magic and Suman's able to put that into
her best paintings and she has the drive to want to keep doing that
independently in her own work.
You've done really well. And you've got it in you.
Suman's got all-round skill.
She will be able to go out in the world and make a living, I'm quite sure.
I don't know who to hug first! Thank you so much.
I think Suman can really carry the crown.
She's a great artist in the making, she's a winner.
-I'm so proud of you. Well done, well done.
Suman, it gives us enormous pleasure to present you
with this stunning trophy.
Be very careful because,
like all of us at the end of these long six weeks, it's very fragile.
Thank you so much. Thank you.
Suman deserved it.
I think she's been pretty consistent all the way through.
I think this competition has changed where I'm going to go in the future
with painting. I've definitely progressed.
Do you know what, from the bottom of my heart,
I am so happy that Suman got that because her work has been amazing.
At the end of the day, I'm walking away from this a completely different artist
from what I was six weeks ago.
I thought Suman was the prime candidate.
She's developed so much.
It's all over now. Excellent!
It won't be anything I'll ever forget.
It's like every little part has led to this
and now I have the confidence to get going and get painting
and I've learnt so much from the whole process. And it's great.
With the winning post in sight, the amateur artists have two nail-biting challenges remaining. With Mariella Frostrup and the Rev Richard Coles overseeing proceedings, it's the last chance for the finalists to impress the judges with everything they've learned throughout the series.
The starting point is Queen's House, Greenwich, where there's 400 years of history and art to soak up in the magnificent surroundings. There is a surprise in store for the artists as they are given their first test. They have to paint a portrait, but their sitters are only revealed to them at the start of the challenge. Will all of the artists be happy with who they come face to face with?
For the final challenge of the series, not only are the artists' skills put to the test but also their sea legs, with a trip on the Thames. They are faced with the magnificent view of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, practically unchanged since it inspired Italian master Canaletto over 250 years ago. If that wasn't enough to contend with, mentors Pascal Anson and Diana Ali take a step back to see who has absorbed their artistic advice and who will completely ignore it. Judges Daphne Todd, David Dibosa and Lachlan Goudie have the tricky task of deciding who will be the winner of the Big Painting Challenge 2017.