Simon Watkins

Born in London in 1988, Simon studied drawing in Florence for a year with American artist Charles H. Cecil. After a degree in History of Art from the University of York, he returned to Florence to continue studying oil painting, focusing particularly on portraiture. Following in the tradition of the great masters, this entailed rigorous training in drawing and painting from life 

He now lives and works in London, painting portraits and still lifes. He has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Society of Oil Painters, the Chelsea Art Society and the Portrait Society of America, in which he was a prizewinner in 2018. In 2017 his work was included in the Figurativas show at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona. Notable commissions include a portrait of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for Auckland Castle. His portraits hang in private collections around the UK and Europe. 

By spending time getting to know his sitters, his aim is always to create a painting that captures their character as well as a likeness, with the spark of life. Far from following any formula, each portrait is a unique work of art, reflecting the character of both the subject and the place it will hang. 

“Whether traditional or contemporary, radical or restrained, my intention is to make a successful portrait that is also a successful painting in its own right”. 

You were highly recommended by FAC and we can see why. You are brilliant Simon. It is perfect in every way and you even seem to have caught her in deep thought…behind her eyes!


Get in touch

You can see a selection of Simon’s works below. If you would like to commission Simon, please email or call the gallery on 020 7839 2792.

Portrait examples

Selected exhibitions

  • 2019 Group: Summer Portrait Exhibition, Fine Art Commissions              
  • 2018 Group: International Portrait Competition, Portrait Society of America – Winner of the Award of First Honour                                                                   
  • 2017 Group: Two person show, Sister Gallery                                           
  • 2017 Group: Figurativas, European Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona   
  • 2017 Group: Fresh Paint, Fine Art Commissions, Rossetti Studios                                   
  • 2016 Group: Royal Society of Portrait Painters                                          
  • 2013, 2016 Group: The Royal Institute of Oil Painters                                         
  • 2014 Group: Sargent Today, Morgan Hall                                      
  • 2013, 2014 Group: Chelsea Art Society   
  • 2013 Group: The National Open Art Exhibition