A PADGATE painter has introduced himself to the art world in a unique way after winning a battle of brush strokes in a live arena.

Cameron Brown has raised his profile after recently coming out on top in the first Art Battle outside of Manchester.

The event sees 10 artists go head-to-head with just half an hour to create their masterpieces before a live audience casts votes to find a winner.

It came to the Parr Hall – under Luke Jerram’s giant sculpture of the Moon – as part of Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival.

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And it was the highlight of an incredible month for Cameron who made the decision to become a full time artist just weeks before the competition.

Cameron, who used to run Warrington’s craft beer bar Hop Co in Bold Street, said: “I really enjoyed the whole experience, especially working under the Moon. It was mad because it felt like it was touching distance away looming over the top of us.

“I became quite focused. I’d done two practice runs and after 20 minutes I realised the one I was doing at the Art Battle was the best of the three.

“When I got to that point I relaxed a little bit. I’ve recently quit my job as I’m going to focus on trying to make a living out of this now.

“It was too good an opportunity to turn down.”

Cameron is well known among Warrington’s music community as he creates posters and album and single artwork for the likes of Psymmetry Collective and The Bid.

The former Cardinal Newman student is also commissioned for portrait work and he has just launched weekly drawing classes.

He added: “The Art Battle validated my decision. I thought: ‘I’ve won this, maybe I am good enough’.”

Cameron chose Michelangelo’s David for his piece and had to remain focused with a lot going on around him.

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The 25-year-old said: “It was amazing. When I walked into the building it was the first time I’d seen the Moon. It was quite dramatic and quite daunting actually.

“I was thinking: ‘How am I going to do a painting under here in 30 minutes in front of a crowd of people?’

“The DJ is also playing, the Moon is above you and then you’ve got the compere walking around you with a microphone telling you how long you’ve got left.

“The crowd are walking clockwise around you as well so you hear little snippets of what people are saying.

“It’s weird because you can’t see the other artists’ work so you have no idea if your work is going to stand up against theirs.

“But there was really good music, all the crowd are cheering you on – it pretty much makes you feel like you’re performing on stage.”

Cameron, who is influenced by Alberto Giacometti and William Kentridge, found he thrived under the pressure on the night.

He added: “I like the feeling of painting in front of people and them waiting on your next mark and your next brush stroke. It’s adrenaline inducing.

“The time went really fast but I’m quite lucky as when I’m painting or drawing I work quite quickly so it played to my strengths.

“I thought even if it’s terrible at least I’ve given it a go.

“I managed to get through the first heat which was a huge surprise and then I got to the final and somehow managed to win.”

Cameron is following in the footsteps – or brush strokes – of his mum Natalie.

He said: “My mum was an art teacher for a while so I was always given the opportunity to draw from a young age.

‘All the crowd are cheering you on – it pretty much makes you feel like you’re performing on stage’

“Then it was at Priestley College where I got really enthusiastic about art.

“That was where I got a taste for teaching as well because I went back and did a residency at the art department.

John Macaulay, who created Art Battle Manchester with his wife Sophie, added: “Cameron’s stunning portrait won the hearts of the crowd.

“He joined a small group of portrait painters that have won our Art Battle events. The fact his masterpiece only took 30 minutes was incredible.”