A Dunfermline artist has been named the winner of the prestigious Sutherland Independent Scottish Portrait Award in Fine Art 2023. 

Donna McGlynn took home the £5000 prize for her watercolour 'Self Portrait – Painting' despite not doing any watercolour portraits since she was in school.

The painting shows Donna surrounded by the tools and supplies needed to create the painting in what was described by the judges as ‘a masterclass in watercolour portraiture’.

Donna said: “This is a first for me, I’ve never won a major art prize. I’ve always loved the works in the exhibition, so the fact that I’ve won this year makes me feel that I might be doing something right.

Dunfermline Press: Donna McGlynn's self-portrait attracted glowing comments from the judges.Donna McGlynn's self-portrait attracted glowing comments from the judges. (Image: Donna McGlynn)

"I started using watercolour during lockdown. I don’t usually paint portraits in watercolour but I thought I would try it for the show. The winning work was specifically painted for the awards as it’s the first watercolour portrait I’ve done since I was at school and the first self-portrait since I was really young.”

Of Donna's work, the fine art judges commented: “It was the sheer skill of the artist that captured the attention of all the judges. It is remarkable to have created a work of such quality in that medium on such a scale.

"We loved the setting of the piece, in the heart of the artist’s studio. It feels so real. You get a real sense that yes, this is exactly how the artist saw herself during the moment of its creation.”

Donna's winning work can be seen at the Scottish Arts Club, Edinburgh, until September 30, before the free exhibition travels to Kirkcudbright Galleries, October 14, 2023, to 14 January, 2024, and the Charles Rennie Macintosh Gallery at the Glasgow Art Club, from January 19 to February 29, 2024.