Stirling Based Calum Stevenson Takes Centre Stage

Hailing from his very own studio at STEP’s Stirling Enterprise Park, Calum Stevenson is the youngest and first Scottish artist to be crowned the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year in 2021. He was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to paint Nicola Benedetti and has since added his work to numerous public and private collections including the Kia Oval in London and the City Chambers in Glasgow.

Now with Sky Portrait Artist of the Year celebrating its 10th season, Calum along with the other previous winners returned to compete for the title of Portrait Artist of the Decade.

In this special episode commemorating a decade of artistic excellence, Calum faced the challenge of capturing Dame Judi Dench’s essence within a four-hour timeframe. Despite initial nerves, Calum’s artistic prowess shone through as he showcased not only his ability to work within constraints but also the depth of his talent with the presentation of ‘Colours of Sound,’ a piece featured in the decade episode.

The event took a star-studded turn as Dame Judi Dench, an icon of the stage and screen, became the subject of Calum’s brush. Expressing his awe at meeting such a distinguished figure, Calum highlighted the honour he felt painting the legendary Dame, whose presence exceeded even his expectations for such a grand occasion.

Calum’s portrait of Dame Judi Dench can now be found in the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery in London. This achievement, coupled with Calum’s Stirling studio at STEP, adds a unique and local flair to the broader celebration of the Portrait Artist of the Decade.

In Calum’s own words, “Meeting Dame Judi Dench was incredible; Judi was a great sitter, and it was an honour to paint her.” As the episode unfolds, viewers will witness not only the artistic excellence of Stirling-based Calum Stevenson but also a proud representation of the city’s creative spirit on the Sky Arts stage.

Find out mor about Calum Stevenson at

Read the full edition of TALK 20 here:



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