Creative Arts


Alastair Adams

Photo of  Alastair Adams

Lecturer in Graphic Communication & Illustration

Alastair Adams is a practicing portrait painter, contextualising his research and teaching with his role as President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP). He has worked for many organizations and individuals including the University of London, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Legal and General, the Metropolitan Police and the Supreme Court to name a few. In recent years he has produced portraits in collaboration with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and Changing Faces, the UK’s leading facial disfigurement charity, in order to identify the process of the production of a portrait as one that can provide insight in to the lives of others and provide social tools to address taboo subjects.

Alastair's work has been exhibited through the National Portrait Gallery NPG) and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He was most recently commissioned by the NPG to produce a portrait of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

SAB 446 Life Drawing for Illustration (3)
SAB 449 Life Drawing for Illustration (4)
SAB 444 Developing Illustration and Animation Practice (1)
SAB 450 Developing Illustration and Animation Practice (2)
SAP 104 Visualisation: 2D and 3D Opportunities

Alastair’s research is largely based around his studio practice and output for exhibition. As such publications are produced from the perspective of the practitioner. His published work has focused on contemporary illustration practice and portraiture; encompassing drawing education as part of a digital and social peer review process; how we read narrative in illustration; contemporary entrepreneurial illustration practice; institutional and private portrait commissioning; facial difference and; the role of photography within a representational portrait painting process.

His work with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters has enabled him to create a comprehensive on line resource, providing information on portrait painting practice, portrait commissions and an on line archive. Most recently he established the ‘Self’ portrait prize, a curated open exhibition and competition that attracted entries from artists globally. The exhibition took place at the Mall Galleries, London in May 2013. Alastair is also a Trustee of the Federation of British Artists.

Alastair is a director of TRACEY, the web-based research portal dedicated to exploring contemporary drawing and visualisation. He is also Chair of the TRACEY: School Members group, which provides support to PGR and PGT students, working on collaborative drawing centred projects like Triptych Papers and …6767…, the latter in conjunction with Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore.

Alastair’s current PhD supervisions include:

Susan Carr: Does the creation of a collaboratively designed painted portrait, enable people whose identities have been disrupted by life threatening and chronic illnesses, to create a more coherent sense of self and identity? Co-supervised with Professor Sarah Pink.

Michelle Fava: Drawing on the Brain, co-supervised with Dr Russ Marshall.

Alastair welcomes interest from researchers and organisations for collaborative research projects and postgraduate supervision with interests particularly in illustration, portraiture and drawing.