Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown February 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Well, that’s how you’d look if you were as overworked as me at the moment. Three new large acrylic-on-canvas portraits – my Mother, me, my Father – ready for my exhibition at the Hossack Gallery, Charlotte St, central London. They look after my paintings and sell prints and originals for anyone who has the wall-space and the stomach to want one at home. The exhibition runs from Thursday (Feb 24th) until March 12th. Details are here.

The self-portrait has been tricky, and involved a complete false start. I realise it may not be the image of quite the sparky so-and-so that you know and love… but hey, things don’t get more introspective than self-portraiture and I find this more interesting. And yes, that’s a more honest representation of my hairline once the very kind make-up artist has removed her handiwork after filming. I’ve been tweeting them as they’ve come together over the past few weeks, which has been much fun. And difficult in some ways: it’s normally the case that I wouldn’t show anything until it was ready.

After many fun years, I’m going to close down the print-sale site and gallery, and hand over all sales and management to the Hossack Gallery. Aside from the originals, they will most likely only sell a very limited range of high-end Giclée prints, so if you’ve been thinking of getting a less expensive digi print, or any style of print of a particular portrait, it might be worth browsing the art site in the next few days while it still exists and they’re still for sale. Meanwhile a small gallery of some of the caricatures from that site along with new paintings will soon be viewable on my main site ( – part of which you are currently reading). And any new paintings will be posted, as they appear, on this blog.

Right! That done , I must use the rest of my Sunday to sign off the Faith Healer documentary special and work on the Svengali script. We open soon. Eek.

Must dash.

February 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Love em, They are absolutely amazing. <3 🙂 I love the one of your dad, Bless. x

February 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm
Mark says:

Oooh it’s the man himself!! Hello. 😀

On another note, awesome work on the paintings, sit back and feel chuffed for all that hard work.

Good luck with Svengali etc and bring on faith healer!

February 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Lynn says:

Absolutely incredible. I’ve loved watching as you’ve did these, when you update Twitter. I can’t wait to see Svengali. 😀

February 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Angela says:

These are absolutely brilliant paintings – thank you very much for letting us stand behind you and watch you paint as I’m sure most artists wouldn’t like that one bit!

February 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Chantelle says:

Oohh love the pic of you Derren it’s amazing 😀 just like you darling 😀 xxx

Really admire your art as much as your illusions they’re all superbly fantastic xxx

Really so excited about seeing you again in Grimsby I’m absolutely bursting with excitement. I’ve missed seeing you tonnes, it’s been far too long.

Enjoy the rest of your sunday, take care love ya xxx


February 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Diane Brown says:


Thank you for allowing us to see your work progress, i’ve certainly loved watching them develop into amazing pieces of art.

I am also lucky enough to be coming down to London to see your work at the exhibition. Can’t wait for that!

Oh and cannot wait for Svengali!

Diane X

February 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm
nettmac says:

Love the paintings and really looking forward to seeing them “in the flesh” on the 5th. Thanks for the heads up about the art store I’ll have to check what pennies I have left. Good luck with Svengali xxx

February 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Really wonderful work! You’re very gifted x

February 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm
Sophia says:

These are crazily amazing!, like photographs.. you’re talented. I wish i lived near london so i could go to the gallery and buy one of youre amazing pieces.
wow, i sound so sucking-up-ish.

February 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm
Jay says:

As always you’ve produced some great work. Was a little puzzled on the hair line, so thanks for the eplination.
Can’t believe you can fit everything in, you’re one amazing man Derren. Keep up the good work.
Ps It’s a shame to see the art part of the website go but hey-ho.

February 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm
Chase says:

Interesting about the self portrait. Is that a reflection of you taken from a particular time, i.e. knackered, or a general state?

February 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Ryan says:

Fascinating portraits from a fascinating man. Well done.
Shame that they will no longer be available on general sale, but feel privileged to have two in my possession.
Good luck with final prep for Svengali, see you in Liverpool on 22 March.
All the best.

February 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

The paintings are just magnificent, Derren. Wonderful work. And I am immensely grateful to you for your taking the time to photograph & then tweet your portraits at different times as you painted them. I found it very interesting & a real insight into what goes into the various stages of each one (and dare I say, almost brave of you, esp re your self-portrait).
I think you have an incredibly deft touch with the brushwork on your portraits, a real elegance of hand which is clearly evident in all of the detail. Beautiful.

I’m sorry to hear of the closing down of your art site. I’ve only managed to buy the postcards so far but I may be tempted to treat myself to a print. 🙂

Good luck with the exhibition, the Faith Healer show & Svengali when it opens!

Take good care,

LC x

February 20, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Anna says:

I enjoyed the pictures of the painting been, well painted and can I say what a amazing paintings they are. 🙂 x

February 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm
Tish lamb says:

There excellent. However my friends and I were debating whether you have thrown us some kind of mind game???

February 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm
Zoë says:

DERREN you are actually quite simply FANTABULOCIOUSLY AMAZING. These pictures are brilliant as are your others! I cannot wait until SVENGALI! aaaaahhh I’m sooooooo excited!
Well done Derren, good luck with rehearsals! 😀

February 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm
Lorna says:

I thought your self portrait was going to include Rasputin?

They’re all so incredible though. If i could paint/draw portraits that well i’d be sorted for presents for years to come 😛


February 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm
Paul Harrison says:

Absolutely fantastic Derren. That portrait of you in particular is so realistic and three-dimentional.

It would be nice to see a portrait of your brother too when you have the time, to add to this wonderful collection.

Looking forward to seeing your Faith Healer documentary already, and best of luck with your forthcoming Svengali tour. I have my tickets for your show in Stoke.

Best wishes, Paul

February 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm
roz says:

those are so realistic, it’s scary. especially the little ripley-was-here troll staring out from behind the top of yer self-portrait! 😛

February 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Derren I don’t know a great deal about art but have very much enjoyed watching your paintings come to life via twitter, I think they are fantastic and wish you luck with the gallery. JR

February 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm
Larkspur says:

It’s been really enjoyable to watch these portraits take shape, especially the self portrait. I know most artists are very sensitive about letting anyone see their work before it’s completely finished.

As an American, and a religious one at that, I’m fascinated by the faith healer special. Just watched Messiah recently too, and it was as good as ever. Is this why Derren hasn’t become known in the US, so he can continue to use us as guinea pigs? 🙂 Should be a very interesting sociological experiment. Wish I could have bumped into Derren during filming! 🙂

February 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm
angela says:

You do look tired but great paintings.

February 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm
angela says:

You look tired but the paintings look great!

February 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Loving your potraits, saw you in Glasgow this year at Enigma tour cant wait to come see you again, opening a shop on 1st March and would like something to hang in it from you not sure what though

February 20, 2011 at 11:53 pm
Helen C says:

Love the artwork AND the skeletal poster on your wall.



February 20, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Gosh, even a man of the atheistic religion has talent.

February 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm
karen says:

love the fact that your peeking over the top of the pics xxx

February 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Hugely impressive Derren and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that paints really serious looking self-portraits 😉

February 21, 2011 at 12:02 am
Hollie McCarthy says:

I’d gush but i’m not a great gusher as it were. there isn’t much i say that doesn’t to come out in a snarky sarcastic sort of way. However, these paintings are absoloutley wonderful, and as always so are you.

February 21, 2011 at 12:20 am
Fern McCracken says:

lovely paintings they have soul

February 21, 2011 at 6:00 am
Jenny says:

You must be proud of that?! Your eyes are not at all even, they have their own shape independant of the other. I haven’t noticed that before. I think you look empty. They way I suppose I look when I have been staring at my breakfast porridge for several minutes whitout seeing it?Sort of contemplating the worlds more serious questions. A bit angry.

February 21, 2011 at 6:02 am
Jenny says:

Oh, your parent are looking slightly down at the viewer! They´re beautiful.

February 21, 2011 at 7:39 am
Tracy says:

I cam see your Dad in your face, you have a great talent in painting, I bet you have many more talents you are hiding. Look forward to seeing more. Well done they are amazing.x

February 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

There’s something about the tiny Derren peering over the top that fits this scene.

February 21, 2011 at 9:15 am
Gary Page says:

Amazing Derren. I am inspired by your paintings. I saw your caricatures not long ago and sought to match them. I feel I am very close to that standard but on a small scale. Now you are doing these masterpieces. One day I may do portraits. But, not now. I am being pulled to other things.
You paint like a master and have captured the raw personal aspect in these paintings.
Amazing, one day, perhaps I will have access to attempt something like this myself.

I feel your empathy, mirror neurons and ability to read people has aided this great skill.
One talent complimenting another.

I will see you May 10 in the Royal Alex.

Thank you for the amazement and excellence


February 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm
Hannah says:

It only really dawned on me just how big these are once I saw you peeping over the top.

Thank you for the little as-you-work updates, they’ve been fascinating!

February 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm
George says:

Good luck with Svengali and then perhaps you can sleep. I think it will be a well deserved nap.

I got a print off the site and I can highly recommend them to everyone! Although occasionally the marble severed head of Michelangelo stares at me when I’m in the flat on my own and its dark……anyway as I said highly recommend getting one and giving it pride of place in your homestead.

Best wishes


(And Mike the Head)

February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm
JayKay says:

I can’t believe what you can do in the time you do it. Brilliant. You’re a wee inspiration. x

February 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm
Elise says:

Yeah, those were done really fast! Cool! Love the ones of your parents. Its funny, I don’t think the one of you looks anything like you but there you go , lol. And it kind of makes me feel a bit low. Maybe its just me.
Can’t wait ’til Faith Healer, oooo exciting! xxxxxxxxx Adore you. You are awesome….and gorgeous 😉 Haha.

February 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm
Matt says:

please please please.
Let us see a Christopher Walken face.

February 22, 2011 at 11:01 am
kzk says:

Derren’s new portraits of his family and himself show an amazingly potential skill and truly impressed.
I always admire him. I’d like to buy his original portrait the size is not my concern my paintings on the walls are mainly 10 foot H and 6 foot W. However sorry to say this there is an evident sense of sadness
and loneliness to it a berely perceptible. It’s on reflection of the artist’s mind?
I’d ask him to paint whenever he feels happy and harmoney.

Best wishes and I’m always with you. xxx

February 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Amazing creations Derren, I am always in awe of your talent and work. You could do with a break sometime you know. Be well.

February 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Peter says:

What’s left to say after the 45 comments above me … can’t get my brain back to work?

In such short time these 3 paintings .. Man .. I could not even make one in … erm .. a whole life time?

I love them, let’s put it that simple then.

February 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm
Marcus says:

Oh, may I add that your mother kept watching the person aside of you? Or who ever once shot that picture.
Makes me wonder .. who/what was there. The others look at me .. that’s obvious (and makes sense .. me .. a sight for sore eyes …) .. but your mother … something else caught her eye for sure …

You look indeed different than erm .. e.g. being on stage but that is not that abnormal .. although .. I wonder .. is it you yourself that makes you look like that? Oh, simply exhausted ?

February 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm
Thistooshallpass says:

Really beautiful paintings Derren. I’ve had so much going on I haven’t visited in awhile but here you are still working hard and doing a thousand things at once…amazing. I’m so looking forward to ‘Svengali and ‘Faith Healer’…you sound really ‘pleased’ with that particular piece of work….cant wait to see it.
How are you going to celebrate your 40th Mr B?

February 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm
spiderabc1 says:

As a science teacher taught me, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I agree they have soul. A real element of dramatic normality. Beautiful. Congratulations Derren. (I wonder what type of shop Sharon is to open : )

February 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm
Vicky says:

way to steal all the talent
you utter legend
love it!

February 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm
cindy says:

Wonderful work! I think they are your best so far along with Dame Judy’s portrait. Your art has changed from caricature portraits to realistic painting, hasn’t it. Well done Derry and good luck with the art exhibition and tour. See you in march in Liverpool.xx

February 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm
alan says:

Ever tried the trick of placing a mirror halfway across the picture of a face? Then observing what results from that bogus symmetry? Curiously, the Mona Lisa looks like a man and a woman. Do you think Leo was trying to tell us something?

February 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’ve always wanted to know if portraits on this sort of scale pose a problem during transit?

March 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Charlie Watson says:

I popped in to the gallery yesterday and spent a good long while looking at the very impressive portraits. I was intrigued – have you always painted? Are you self taught? How long do you spend on each one…..?

The technique/ application is very accomplished but I’m interested in the sitter – each one has a lens perspective – are they all from stills or a frame grab from a moving image. Do you digitally manipulate them before using as you’re template – if indeed this is the technique.

Anyway they’re excellent and each has an impact – a way of engaging and a quality that there to be interpreted but not obviously so. I’m sure I could discover more about the process by looking thoroughly through your site.


March 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm
Helen says:

More Amazing talent, . You facinate me.

March 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

I didn’t know you were an artist as well! You clever man. They are extremely good. As for the self portrait, it’s wonderful but you don’t do yourself justice. You are very handsome.

All the best


May 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm
ellie blackburn says:

wow these are amazing my fave is the one of your mum!!!! your very gifted. cant wait to go to the hossack gallery