Over 29,000 works of art were submitted to BBC Learning’s The Little Painting Challenge, a UK-wide competition launched to get the nation painting and drawing that ran alongside BBC One’s Sunday night series, The Big Painting Challenge.

For The Little Painting Challenge the public were asked to create their own masterpiece on a postcard and entries were received from all corners of the country, across all ages and experience levels, encompassing a wide range of techniques and subject matter.

Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning said: “The response to the challenge has been phenomenal and has completely exceeded our expectations. The quality of the entries shows there is a wealth of creativity right across the UK.”

Out of the 29,000 postcards submitted, three overall winners were chosen from the different categories: over 16 beginners; over 16 experienced; and 7 to 15 year olds. In addition, one thousand of the entrants will have their work displayed at The Whitworth, Manchester’s Gallery in the Park, in a special exhibition that opens on 1st May.

The judging panel, which included esteemed author-illustrator of the internationally bestselling How to Train Your Dragon series Cressida Cowell, were impressed by the scope of artistic styles and breath of imagination particularly in the 7- 15 year olds category where there was a great willingness to tell a story.

The three winners of The Little Painting Challenge are Seven to 15 years old: Amelia Johnson from Kent

The painting is a self-portrait of Amelia using techniques she’d seen on The Big Painting Challenge. 


She saw one of the artists on the programme using a flat brush and thought she’d like to try using a brush like that herself.

Cressida Cowell says: “I find the painting very haunting. It is so simply and graphically done… I feel emotionally drawn to it. It is a very strong and powerful picture.

Winner Over 16 Beginner: Charlotte Wood from Matlock

The picture was inspired by people that Charlotte saw on a train journey. She liked the way they mirrored each other and thought the composition worked really well. She did a sketch on the train and then worked on the piece when she got home.


Cressida Cowell says: “There’s a story beyond the painting…I like the way the couple appear so stationary compared to the movement of the train.”

Over 16 Experienced: Tim Matthews, Warrington

Tim couldn’t quite believe that he had won. He is a full time dad and the painting is of his four month-old son Nathaniel, he paints as a hobby and doesn’t usually do portraits.


Cressida Cowell says: “There’s a feeling of intimacy between the two. It could have been a sentimental painting but it is not – the strong and confident brush strokes prevent it from being sentimental. I like the idea that the hand is protecting the baby from the dark cold side of the picture.”


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