Hornchurch schoolboy creates impressive portrait of retiring headteacher

�A Hornchurch boy who has impressive art skillshas created a portrait of his headteacher who is retiring.

Gurpreet Virdi, 15, from The Albany School, in Broadstone Road, has been sketching from a young age.

His lifelike drawings have won him praise from teachers, so he was asked to do a work depicting headteacher Paul Hasan-Richardson who is retiring after 17 years at the school.

Gurpreet’s pictures have included portraits of his favourite singers, rappers, friends, landscapes and imitations of works by artists he admires.

The Year 10 pupil, who hopes to become an artist or a designer, said a sketch can take about two weeks to complete and a detailed portrait about five weeks. His portrait of Mr Hasan-Richards took two months.


Gurpreet said: “I started drawing when I was about five or six when my sister taught me. She taught me techniques like shading and how to do details.

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“I like drawing anything, especially nature or portraits. The portrait of Mr Hasan-Richardson was the first time I have done something that big. It feels good to see it now it is finished because I didn’t know I could do a portrait that big.”

He drew the portrait standing up, and received some tips from the school’s head of art, John Kilday.

Mr Hasan-Richardson said: “I first became aware of Gurpreet’s talent earlier this year when some of his work was on display in the art department.

“Everyone is amazed at the maturity and quality of his drawings. I look forward to seeing him again in the future as a successful and well-known artist.”