Isabella Watling, Gina and Cristiano, 2014, oil on canvas, [no dimensions], currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
This was my personal favourite from this year’s BP Portrait Awards. I love everything about it: the figure’s tall, dark form; his outstretched hand; that gorgeous white dog; the glint from the gentleman’s earring; and his slightly tense, yet accepting, expression. Anything that alludes to the work of the Old Masters is going to be good in my eyes! You can’t look at this painting and not think of Van Dyck or Gainsborough or Reynolds.