Category Archives: News

Face of the year

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Matt Morgan who kindly agreed to do a sitting for me. You may have seen him in Ed’s video for ‘ynmidny’. I was actually quite excited to meet Matt as some peoples faces are so unique  they are simply exquisite. What I like about drawing Matt was his eyes. They are as big, round and quite piercing, innocent and startling. Here’s some sketches i did of him, unposed and raw. These were done using a chunky graphite stick. If you don’t have one please go out an buy one. They really free up your drawing.  I will be doing some more drawings on Matt, so stay tuned in!

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Sky News

So I tend to watch Sky News really late at night and I’d thought I share their newest newsreader with you. Now if your reading this in the States your probably thinking, what’s the big deal? However the last Afro/Caribbean male newsreader I remember in the U.K. was Sir Trevor McDonald. An finally on Sky News here he is Gamal Fahnbulleh, I don’t know much about this dude but I was so happy to see him up there reading the news. You can get inspired from anywhere.

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Fan Art

I had to post this amazing drawing by an Ed Sheeran fan called Ashleigh Charlton. Sometimes you can’t own an album or poster enough an you have to draw it to truly make it your own. This is something I used to do with all the albums I owned back in the day. Other than being a fantastic drawing, I felt hugely flattered, so keep up the cool work Ashleigh! You can follow Ashleigh @Ash_Charlton1

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You Need Me I Don’t Need You

Here’s the second single from Ed Sheeran’s number 1 album  + .  I made this portrait after I visited the video shoot for ‘ynmidny‘ and did the drawing from a composite of stills from the video promo. I was originally going to do a portrait of the guy featured in the video Matt, but I changed my mind in favour of this portrait of Ed.  However, I still will be making some work of Matthew Morgan, which I will be posting later this year. This portrait I feel captures the mood and rawness of the video. Thanks for all your comments, I read them all and reply all my tweets x




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London 360

So I recently was asked by the Community Channel team to feature on London 360 as Londoner of the Week. I jumped at the chance and you can see my interview on the Community Channel Sky 539 on Mondays, Thursdays and Sunday throughout the day or online. This is my first ever televised interview, thank you to Jasmine Dotiwala, and the whole team and I hope you enjoy it!!!

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BP Portrait Award 2011

The BP Portrait Award is upon us and just keeps getting better each year. If you haven’t been yet you still have time as it closes on September 18th. I can only describe the exhibition as a real treat for your eyes that showcases portraitures comeback. The works go from quite sketchy to hyperrealism, case in point ‘ Perspiration and Pores ‘ by Jan Mikulka is a mind boggling study. This portrait of a mans head shows off the artists talent, skill, and craft to breaking point. You’ll probably wonder as I did, how long it took to produce or as I overheard someone say ” being so lifelike why not just get a photo blown up “.

Well on that last point I disagree, this portrait shows not only that a painting can stand toe to toe with photography, but I think it goes further as its almost frightening to see that a human hand is capable of such striking detail. It’s a genre of art that stops you and holds your gaze as long as it wants, cause you have that ” wait a minute ” moment when you realise your looking at a painting, which I think is part of the purpose of make us witness the Divine….anyway enough of my preaching lol ; ).

My favourite portrait by far in the exhibition was Louis Smith’s ‘ Holly ‘ which only came second. Somehow the name Holly doesn’t seem to quite fit how monumental this epic portrait is! Then again its a modest simple name for a grandiose portrait which is kinda cool. I mean its like looking at the artists work of a lifetime an its called Holly ?!? Well after I did my double take at the name, I spent the most time standing in front of this scene trying to unravel the story an detail.

What puts this portrait far beyond all the other work is the fact thats its a nod to the Renaissance. The world created by the artist is mysterious, sexual, foreboding and tense the naked woman is breathtaking and looks to me like she’s almost in a trance like state, waiting for the inevitable. Its so beautifully painted this will definitely stay with you once you leave.

The winner of the BP Portrait Award though was Wim Heldens whose portrait ‘ Distracted ‘ is magnificent! The hair detail is definitely a highlight. This portrait is so plane that it shows portraiture at its pure roots, just capturing what the artist sees. It’s almost an anticlimax but it shows everyone who will see it that portraits don’t have to be overcomplicated and worked to perfection cause at the end of the day none of us are perfect, the honesty in the piece is what portraiture should be really about. What a good way to leave the exhibition and a worthwhile message for anyone with a vague interest in art or wanting to do it as a hobby or for a lifetime.

BP Portrait Award 2011 at the National Portrait Gallery, WC2 (020 7306 0055, until September 18. Open Sat-Weds, 10am-6pm, Thurs-Fri, 10am-9pm. Admission free.

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Ed Sheeran +

So I’ve been working on some artwork for Ed’s new album  + . This portrait is the front cover for what is undoubtedly the most anticipated album of the year. It’s pastel on coloured paper an shows Ed’s face emerging as his career has been also. I’ll be putting more facts about the album artwork on twitter so follow me @phillipbutah. Also thank you for all the wonderful comments you’ve been sending me. God bless and stay tuned!

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Angelica Zambrano ’23 hours in Heaven and Hell’

This is the incredible testimony of a young Ecuadorian girl named Angelica Zambrano who was shown the kingdoms of Heaven and Hell. This is a complete must see for everyone who has ever had questions about the afterlife. Does God exist? Is the Devil actually real? Is Heaven a real place? Is Hell a real place? If so why would God allow anyone to go to Hell? This isn’t easy viewing but as controversial as it is, it will make you question your own life and your own salvation.

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The A Team

Ed Sheeran is releasing his new single soon for ‘ The A Team ‘ so when my brother asked me to be part of this new album and create work, it was a no brainer. Working with Ed is great, he has grown up around art and really understands it in a way that is hard to come across. This portrait I did is based on the actual video for the single. The song itself is compelling, emotional and sad to say quite a common story in the city. I like the devotional feel of the portrait and the desperation of it all.

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Hands say more….

So recently I had the complete privilege to do a photo shoot with my friend Leon Thompson. Leon is a very talented photographer who I’ve wanted to work with for a long while now. Being comfortable infront of the camera was a struggle for me, as I’m so used to looking at others when I draw. However Leon is very passionate about his craft an we shot all afternoon. He said how he can tell so much about a person from their hands. Here’s one of his pieces he shot of my hands.

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