A TEACHER’S painting has been chosen from thousands to appear in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

The portrait of James Myhill by Raul Guerrero, 33, a teacher at Rushcroft School in Rush Croft Road, Chingford, is currently on show as part of one of the most prestigious portrait competitions in the world.

Mr Guerrero, who teaches English as a foreign language, said he chose the year 11 student because of his striking features, and the portrait features the 16-year-old surrounded by chairs in front of a window with a view of Walthamstow Stadium.

The piece, which aims to depict emptiness, was inspired by the Romantic paintings of the 19th Century, which featured a melancholy figure placed against a striking background.

The painting took a month to complete.

Originally from Spain and a previously a hotel entertainer, Mr Gurrero has enjoyed painting since he was a child.

He decided to enter into the BP Portrait Award exhibition, and his painting was one of 55 chosen from 2,372 entries from across the world.

Mr Guerrero said: “When I found out, I was excited and I just could not believe it.

“To be chosen out of thousands is amazing. I am very happy.

“Painting has always been a passion of mine.” The four works shortlisted for the award are by Wim Heldens, Sertan Saltan, Louis Smith and Paul Beel.

The BP Portrait exhibition is on at the National Portrait Gallery until September 18. Entry is free.