#capturingalikeness – observation and perception

The portrait is the real test of an artist’s skills, and even if an artist never tackles the subject it will always be there before them as a challenge, so why not tackle it head on?

Portraits by artists from Rembrandt to Saville are among our greatest works of art; the observation and perception of character goes beyond mere paint on canvas. The ultimate test – the self-portrait.

Self-portrait with Maggie Town
Self-portrait with Maggie Town [Cat: 0309, San Pedro, 5 x 7″ / 13 x 18 cm, Watercolour on board, 2003]


Peter Town is a born storyteller, gifted with an ability to translate both everyday quirks and deeper philosophical musing through his work. Often using strong lines, striking colours and symbolism in his pictures, Town has built a vibrant portfolio. Born in Bethnal Green, he grew up in Liverpool and was later educated at Bath Academy of Art and the Royal College of Art. Taking advantage of his ability to communicate ideas visually, he went on to enjoy a successful career as a designer while he continued to paint and develop his artistic style through drawing, painting, photography, and printmaking. While many of Town’s paintings use strong shapes and primary colours, such as the Stairscapes series, others are quieter and more contemplative, representing a more tranquil inner space. His Abstracts series features works where the narrative is more ambiguous but ever-present. He sees landscapes, interior spaces and natural forms as abstract shapes and colours, transcribing these in his unique style onto paper and canvas.