A NORTH-EAST artist and teacher will be showcasing his work throughout the course of December.

Andrew Hopwood's work will be displayed at Stockton's Central Library throughout this month, in a gallery of thought-provoking and colourful portraits.

Mr Hopwood first studied art and design at York College of Arts and Technology and later fashion communication and promotions at Epsom School of Art and Design.

He worked in industry, as a graphic designer and illustrator, before engaging in a full career in the Crown Services. He later returned to art as an educator – completing his formal art training at the University of Brighton, receiving an honours degree in art education – and currently teaches in County Durham.

Coming from a design heavy background, Mr Hopwood said his work began with a distinctive commercial feel, taking his inspiration from advertising and photographic media.

He said: "The early pieces return me to a theme of duality. I wanted to make something both striking and ethereal, but at the same time something flawed, damaged, distressed or derelict.

"None of the paintings directly represent any individual however people see or recognise the likeness of celebrities or people that they know."

The artist added that he has seen his work develop from his first pieces, straying from his graphic background.

He said: "The backgrounds are laid down using very thin layers of metallic acrylic paint and powdered waterproof ink floated on water. The detail is added with waterproof inks, which partially block the iridescence of the metallic paint underneath.

“Lately I have become interested in the way that Modernist painters, particularly Hopper, evoked high levels of tension in paintings originated from banal subject matter.

"Much of my earlier work had featured linear overlays of colour in the same way that a printed page is made, and I wanted to create images which were more organic in nature.

"These new paintings remain centred on the idea of producing a portrait from simple shapes and are originated from relatively small preparatory sketches."