James Buchanan-Smith

James completed a BA (Hons) Drawing at Camberwell College of Arts in 2007: it was the very beginning of an enquiry into the relationship between photography and photo-realist drawing that is still ongoing.

Since his work focuses on rendering the photographic environment he has developed a keen interest in photography, specifically in black + white urban cityscapes and portraits, citing some of his favourite photographers as the Observer Magazine's Jane Bown, Stephen Shore and the Dusseldorf School of Photography.

3 short time-lapse films document his drawing methods: The first Drawing David Bowie, a stop-motion film showing the hyper-realist rendition of the unflinching gaze of David Bowie, which poses questions about the nature of celebrity, hero worship and the sanctity of the copyrighted image; The second Why Photorealism? attempts to play with the notion of the 'perfect' drawing, and whether such efforts are worth the time spent on them. The last: Drawing the Greenford Heroes, is a showcase of the famous men and women whose names label the buildings at the school James taught as Head of Photography for 4 years.

Most recently James has had some success in getting his artwork seen, including being chosen amongst 1000s of applicants for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013 (the longest running drawing open exhibition in the UK), plus 2 artworks selected in 2013 and 3 artworks in the 2014 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition, held in London’s The Mall Galleries.

Always willing to explore new media, James is finishing a portrait in oil – seeking to be selected for the BP Portrait Awards after reaching the final stage of the 2012 selection process before being turned down with his work Eileen, which can be seen here on the site.

He has had several private commissions, but draws mostly because of some innate compulsion to keep pencil gliding over paper.

If there are any who would like to enquire as to commissioning a drawing, please head to the 'Contact' page of the site.

Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall (2008), graphite on paper