Irish artist’s incredible Ed Sheeran portrait unveiled in London
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Irish artist’s incredible Ed Sheeran portrait unveiled in London

CHART topper Ed Sheeran has been immortalised in a giant painting at the National Portrait Gallery.

The London venue acquired the portrait of the star from renowned Northern Irish artist Colin Davidson, who has also painted Queen Elizabeth.

The larger-than-life canvas, which is the first painted of Sheeran since he began his career, goes on display to the public in London from today, May 3.

The four-foot square portrait, in oil on linen, is the result of an encounter between Davidson and Ed’s father John, an art historian and curator.

Sheeran agreed to sit for Davidson at his home in Suffolk in 2015, when the artist took reference photographs and made 20 drawings from life to paint the picture.

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Davidson studied Sheeran intently for up to three hours, which Ed found particularly fascinating given his own fast-paced lifestyle as a professional singer.

 

“When painting a portrait I am looking for the moment when the person is almost unaware of me being there and I feel I got it with Ed,” Mr Davidson said.

“I deliberately didn’t want Ed to perform and that was odd for him. But there is a youthful aspect to the portrait but also something experienced beyond his years.”

 

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The Shape of Me star was evidently impressed by the artwork, posting a picture of the painting to Instagram with the caption: "Portrait of me by the wonderful Colin Davidson is on exhibition from tomorrow onwards at the national portrait gallery, check it owwwwttt x.”

Mr Davidson also explained why all of his portraits are the same, giant size.

"The idea is that everyone I paint is an equal and that format allows the face to become something else," he told the BBC

"If you see a painting of a face that is life-size, it never becomes anything else, it is a head - if it is smaller or bigger it can become something else."