A SALTCOATS artist is a finalist in the prestigious BP Portrait Awards.

Kevin Cunninghame's work 'Self Portrait Outside Looking Inward' is now on display in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

It was selected from nearly 2000 entries from 69 countries around the world.

Kevin said: "Only 48 paintings were selected for the final exhibition. The BP Portrait awards in the Oscars for portrait painters, so I'm very honoured to have had my work chosen."

The former pupil of St Andrew's Academy in Saltcoats now works in London but regularly returns to the Three Towns, where his parents still live.

Kevin's work last appeared at the BP Portrait Awards in 2003, with his painting of the late art critic Brian Sewell. He won second prize at the awards in 1996 with his portrait of Phillip Knightley, the spy writer.

His work has also featured at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition and was part of the inaugural Scottish Portrait Awards in Edinburgh in 2017.

A great inspiration for Kevin's work over the years has been the well known portrait painter Sir John Lavery, who lived in Saltcoats in the late 19th century. There is a blue plaque in his honour outside Saltcoats Town Hall.

Lavery famously painted King George V and his painting of the Royal Family hangs in the National Portrait Gallery to this day.

Kevin said: "It's great to have my work hang in the same gallery as one of my artistic heroes."

Due to current restrictions, the exhibition can be viewed virtually at npg.org.uk/BP and will go on a nationwide tour, appearing at the Aberdeen Art Gallery later in the year.