NESCol art specialist shines on the national stage

October 30, 2023

The Sky Portrait Artist of the Year competition has provided NESCol art specialist David Herd with the platform to demonstrate his expertise. 

David is Curriculum Manager for Business Enterprise and Creative Industries at the College’s Fraserburgh Campus.

He is an accomplished artist and past credits include selection for the 2020 Scottish Portrait Awards shortlist and exhibition as well as being named as a finalist in the inaugural Scottish Landscape Awards on show this year at the City Arts Centre in Edinburgh.   

David has taken his skills to a worldwide audience after being chosen for the take part in Sky’s well-established showcase. 

Now in its 10th series, the heats for the televised Portrait Artist of the Year contest are filmed at the Battersea Arts Centre in London. 

David featured in the fourth episode, first screened on 25 October, and was tasked with producing a portrait of the distinctive politician, broadcaster and author Rory Stewart. 

He said: “I’m a private person by nature so putting myself out there on the TV has been a little out my comfort zone but you have to push that. Staying within our comfort zone never benefits us. 

“There’s so much to say about the whole experience and it’s difficult to convey what it feels like to be involved. There are simply no negatives. Whether you win or not it’s one of the most affirming experiences I’ve had as an artist. 

“The whole experience of being with a bunch of other artists in a high pressure public play-off was great, fantastically inspiring. The presenters were all very genuine and fun to speak to and the venue  is so iconic and atmospheric. It’s not very easy to get access to celebrity sitters at the best of times, this also makes it such a unique opportunity.” 

You can read more about David’s experiences in his personal blog