Sir Patrick Stewart learning to paint with young Scots artist

Sir Patrick Stewart is being taught how to paint properly by a Scots artist after his wife gave him a box of watercolours.

Sir Patrick Stewart with Scottish artist Frank To. Picture: SWNS

Frank To, 34, has been giving the Star Trek actor private lessons after the pair struck up an unusual friendship.

They first met at the University of Huddersfield where Frank was studying fine art and the Shakespearean actor became the vice-chancellor.

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And when Sir Patrick was gifted with a set of watercolour paints from his wife Sunny, he enlisted the help of long-time friend Frank to teach him.

Work by artist Frank To called Shadow Games made by ignited gunpowder on handmade paper. Picture: SWNS

The pair reunited at the English university last summer when Frank suggested that he could show him a few different techniques.

And due to their hectic schedules, lessons are largely carried out over email and in letters.

But when both are in the country, they will get together for a painting session.

Frank, from Glasgow, said he largely passes on techniques that he uses with his students at the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Perth College.

Work by artist Frank To called Shadow Games made by ignited gunpowder on handmade paper. Picture: SWNS

He said: “We were talking at Huddersfield University last summer and he mentioned that his wife had bought him some watercolours for Christmas.

“I think a regular art class wouldn’t be appropriate for him because he’d keep getting asked for autographs.

“So, I suggested that I could teach him some drawing and painting techniques.

“Once he sets his mind to something then he has to go through with it.

“He’s taken to his lessons quite well and seems to have taken a lot of what I’ve taught him on board.

“I’m showing him techniques that I learned at university and I think he appreciates it coming from another person because art books can be quite daunting when you’re learning.

“I use the same lessons that I teach my students in Perth with Patrick and he seems to be enjoying it so I must be doing something right.

“He paints whatever he wants to but I can’t get specific because that’s private. He really enjoys watercolours and drawing.”

After Frank graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a Fine Arts degree, he went on to gain a Masters from the Duncan of Jordanstone Art College.

He has remained in touch with the famous voice actor and even sold him two paintings prior to their teaching arrangement.

Two of Frank’s paintings take pride of place in Sir Patrick’s London home to this day.

In a recent interview, the actor said he was enjoying the lessons “immensely”.

Sir Patrick said: “I spotted him (Frank) early on when I was chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and saw this young man’s work in his final degree show.

“His career is really beginning to take off; his work is very bold, adventurous, unusual and distinctive.

“I’m now actually taking painting lessons from him myself, and enjoying myself immensely.”