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Pascal Painting the Big Painting Challenge: What’s the Hype?

Pascal Anson has taken the world by storm, showing the world that even an amateur artist can become an expert with the proper training. The Big Painting Challenge, which we’ll be discussing more shortly, saw Pascal come to the show in Series 2, where he became a mentor to the show’s painters.

But the show is much bigger than Pascal and what art sells best.

What is The Big Painting Challenge?

Originating in the United Kingdom, The Big Painting Challenge was first introduced in 2015. The show will remind viewers of The Great British Bake Off, but the program showcases painting instead of baking.

Richard Coles and Mariella Frostrup have taken over as the shows two presenters for Series 2 and 3. Judges Daphne Todd and Lachlan Goudie are responsible for judging the art pieces. Featuring British art, the show decided to bring in mentors to help the painters develop their skills.

You're not going to find a Kev Munday or Schubert painting, but you will find a lot of talent development.

Contestants will go through an intensive artistic boot camp that lasts six weeks. Amateur artists will use this boot camp to refine their skills and put them on display for the audience.
If you take a look at the most recent series, you’ll have a much better idea of how the show unfolds and what the artists will be able to learn. We'll look at the episode list, which includes:
  1. Still life is the first art piece that the 10 contestants will be creating.
  2. Nature will be the next show’s focus, and the number of contestants has been reduced by one.
  3. Portraiture challenges will be next. This episode is held at RAF Hendon and will require a two-portraiture challenge.
  4. Waterscapes will be the next art piece’s focus, and the artists will be able to gain inspiration from the beautiful Loch Lomond.
  5. Movement-themed pieces are next, and this is the episode that will decide who will go on to the final challenge.
  6. The final challenge will feature four contestants that will need to create a self-portrait to win the title of overall champion.
The series can be intense. It will be the series that sees many pieces added to online art selling sites and lead to a rise in European art for sale.

Public vote is also included in the show, which involves the people voting to save a contestant. This vote is often used for that one artist who is filled with talent and promise, but for some reason, they may have had an off week or couldn’t excel at a particular medium.

The public vote adds some excitement to the show, and It is used to keep the show fun and exciting.

Show Criticism

There’s a lot of criticism behind the show. Most of the criticism focuses on the show’s format and the “copying” of The Great British Bake Off. It may be hard to see the similarities, as one includes whisks, ingredients and delectable food creations, and the other includes paint brushes and canvas that bring someone’s vision to life.
But critics of the show claim that the format is very similar in that there are:

*Time tasks
*Contestants sent home

Of course, that’s a popular format for many reality shows. You have to understand as a viewer that these reality shows will be in formats that the audience is used to seeing.
Viewers seem to really like the boot camps that are offered in the show. These boot camps are very important, and they involve splitting all of the contestants into two main groups. These groups, or camps, will then bring out an artist in residence that works to mentor all of the contestants.
Mentors of the show include:

Pascal Anson. A designer and artist, Pascal was born in South London and studied three-dimensional design when attending Kingston University. He attended the Royal College of Art, and he is known for working across multiple mediums. His works have been shown across the world, especially in Australia, Japan, Greece, Italy and Singapore.


Diana Ali. An international phenom that was born in Manchester, and has degrees from Nottingham Trent University (BA of Fine Art) and from Sheffield Hallam University (Masters in Fine art curating). She has been in charge of curating 14 shows and she has been showcased in major events, including “Up & Coming,” a show with 60 national and international talents.



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These mentors lend their experience and expertise to these budding artists in an attempt to bring out their true talents. It's fun to watch how Pascal and Diana are able to help amateur artists turn their raw skills into polished skills rather quickly.

Discontinuity between episodes remains a serious issue, and that has been a major issue that we’re seeing.

Some episodes will have rapid exercises, where the artists seemingly fail yet still pass on to the next show. And when the next show requires an interior, the contestants aren’t taught perspective, which is the key to the episode.

Even the still life episode during one season seemed to be a setup against the artists, as they were painting dogs that wouldn’t remain still at all.

Diana’s method of teaching has also come under question, as she seems to scold contestants and only views her way as the right way. Some people have even suggested that the show would be better without her because she can be rather harsh on contestants, often putting them down instead of encouraging them.

Pascal really is one of the best additions to the show thanks to his ability to articulate better than most other mentors. He seems to have a refined way of speaking that is almost scripted and clear in nature.

Overall, the show remains a big hit among fans of art. The show has helped many pick up their paint brushes and begin their next art piece. It's a nice change of pace, and even if it is similar in nature to other shows, it does show the struggles of up-and-coming artists.
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