MULTI award-winning actor Sir Ian McKellen found himself in the frame for the finals of Sky Arts Protrait Artist of the Year 2014.

Artist Christian Hook won the title with his portraits of the X-Men star and the former Bolton School pupil and two time world champion boxer Amir Khan.

His portfolio of work was completed throughout the series including the portrait painted live in the National Portrait Gallery of the acclaimed actor.

The series judges, independent curator and art historian Kathleen Soriano, Director of the Fine Arts Society Kate Bryan, and portrait artist Tai-Shan Schierenberg, praised Hook’s body of work commented that he “struck gold with his portraits.”

The 43 year-old saw off competition from more than 1,600 artists to win a £10,000 commission to paint a portrait of award-winning actor Alan Cumming for The Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The competition started earlier this year and the semi-final saw seven artists paint a double portrait of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Anglican priest Sally Hitchiner.

Finalists Christian, Aine Divine and Laura Quinn were then set an individual portrait commission challenge, painting Khan — with filming taking place in Bolton — Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Cicely Berry and renowned soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Their work was displayed and judged at the National Portrait Gallery in the closely fought final, alongside their portrait of Sir Ian McKellen.

Christian said: " “Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 has been an incredibly challenging feat and I am very proud to have won. It has allowed me to dig deep and push myself to new limits. I am truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to take part in this fantastic series. I’ve had the chance to work aside some of UK’s finest portrait artists and learn from them.

"Painting Sir Ian McKellen live at the National Portrait Gallery was a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.”

Judge Kate Bryan said: “Christian creates work which interrogates the boundaries between figuration and abstraction beautifully, lending his sitters a unique sense of energy. I love the way his work is so filmic, it speaks of another era in some ways but yet feels totally new.”

Christian studied illustration at Middlesex University before establishing a career as an illustrator. After lecturing in illustration at the Royal College of Art and other universities his interest shifted to the fine arts. For the last few years Christian has been working as an artist focusing on depicting motion and time in his work.

Portrait Artist of The Year 2014 is available to watch via Sky on demand.