Artists & Illustrators|July 2020

The young Hungarian artist’s latest paintings speak of a world on lockdown. She reveals the methods, inspirations, and techniques behind her award-winning works

Bernadett Timko was born in Hungary in 1992. Aged 19, she moved to London and studied for diplomas in painting and then sculpture at Heatherley School of Fine Art.

Bernadett has won a number of major art awards, including first prize in the Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters’ annual exhibitions in 2015 and 2019. In April, her first solo show with London’s Panter & Hall gallery, These Days, was staged online.


Many of the paintings were painted since the lockdown began but I don’t think you can tell as this situation really didn’t change anything for me regarding my inspiration. I didn’t have to look for things to paint – beautiful moments are presenting themselves to me all the time. I don’t see how anything could be more special and inspiring to paint than people close to me, my husband, our rooms, our pets, our things, our daily life that we share. This is what I know and appreciate and see the most beauty in and what I feel the most comfortable painting. It just blows my mind that things can be so simple yet so complex and full of emotions. I just paint life, as it is, with its perfect imperfections. I don’t think too much about what I’m trying to capture – I just look up and immediately see something as a painting. It just appears as a strong vision and I don’t question it.

The colours I use are the kind I like to surround myself within my daily life as well. I had times when I had a limited palette and I wasn’t interested in trying out other colours but that started to change when I first received the Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award, I was given tonnes of oil paints and a few new colours got me excited.

My palette now has a lot of colour on it. I love dark colours that look like black, but I don’t often use black pigment. I much more prefer mixing my darks, there is such a wide variety of mixes that are “darker” than a black. I use Indigo, Prussian Blue, Prussian Green, Transparent Brown Oxide, Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Phthalo Blue or Phthalo Turquoise, and Alizarin Crimson.


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July 2020