A Dales artist’s portrait of Alan Bennett is to be exhibited as part of a prestigious London event.

Sam Dalby, from Settle, is showing his portrait of the famous playwright at the 2013 annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) at the Mall Galleries.

The portrait has been chosen to feature in the illustrated catalogue, and is being used in the detailed promotion sent to the national press.

The portrait of Alan Bennett by Sam Dalby

The portrait of Alan Bennett by Sam Dalby

Sam, who won the Ashley Jackson Award for Achievement in Art at last year’s Dalesman Awards, hopes to achieve membership of the society.

His association with the RP began in 2009, when he was shortlisted for the Bulldog Bursary, (run in conjunction with the RP) which aims to develop the talent of an artist at an early stage in their career. Although unsuccessful, this lead to an offer of mentoring from RP members, and in the following year Sam visited many RP artists.

“It gave me precious insights into the way a portrait painter works, and I was able to see that making a living as a portrait artist was not just an impossible dream,” he said.

“It’s a small but prestigious society, around fifty members, which makes it difficult to gain entry.

“This is my fourth application for membership, but this year they invited me to apply so I’m hopeful. This year I’ve also completed my first commissions via the RP, a series of drawings of Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge, which will hopefully count in my favour”

Membership is voted on by the existing members at the AGM, which follows the annual exhibition on 24 May.

Sam Dalby, left, receives an award from Ashley Jackson at last year's Dalesman Awards. Also pictured is host Ian McMillan

Sam Dalby, left, receives an award from Ashley Jackson at last year’s Dalesman Awards. Also pictured is host Ian McMillan

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