Paul Hiles and The Derwent Art Prize – Oct 2013

Paul Hiles, second prize winner of the inaugural Derwent Art Prize, tells us a little about himself and how it felt to be part of the Prize.



For the past seven years or so I have focused on drawing. I enjoy painting in oils, but the past seven years or so I have worked in pencil along with the paintings. I love producing large pieces of work in graphite and have approx 100 pencils ready sharpened at any given time. I sketch out my plans then when I am happy with the composition I focus on the detail and subtle hidden stories and quirky bits of history which I enjoy adding.

As a child I was inspired by my Irish Grandfather who was very creative, (an Actor and Artist), I used to watch him paint in his flat near London Bridge. I met Henry Moore a few times while I studied for my A levels. He was the first Artist to inspire me and helped me look differently towards form and composition.

My greatest influences have been JWM Turner, for his use of colour and light, David Bomberg for his expressive drawings in charcoal of London and Frank Aurbach for his paintings which are loaded with paint and full of energy and passion with every brush stroke…

I am in the process of creating a series of drawings and paintings in oils, with London and the Thames as a focal point adding bits of subtle history and stories. I enjoy the research as well as the challenge of getting these images down on paper and canvas.

I went on Holiday to the States this year and will now produce a large cityscape of San Francisco, it was such a quirky and interesting City with trolley cars, beaches, etc a real challenge, which I relish.

I would like to have another one man show of this work either next year or 2015!

I am currently working on five large drawings; one is 2 x 3 metres long and several large canvases, which hopefully will be good enough to enter this year’s Royal Academy summer exhibition.


To have my work selected for the Derwent show was the highlight of 2013 for me, I was so thrilled to be part of the great exhibition at the Mall Galleries. I spent approx six months working on ‘London 2012’. Which was produced solely to enter the Derwent Art prize, I managed to complete the work, photograph and download the image an hour and a half before the deadline!

On the first day of the Derwent Prize exhibition I popped down and saw all the work on show. There were some incredible pieces of work on show, so to be awarded second prize amongst such great work knocked me for six!!! All I can say is thank you so much for such a great experience; I’m so happy my parents came along to the private view and shared such a great evening with me.

The Derwent Art Prize was a great opportunity for artists working in this simple but extremely versatile medium to express themselves and have such a prestigious show at the end of it was very exciting, the fact that there were 3600 entries worldwide shows the interest the competition has already gained I’m sure the competition and standard of entries will only improve year after year.


You can see more of Paul’s work here

For more information on the Derwent Art Prize visit