At the coalface: Trucker’s charcoal drawings of celebrities are a hit

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A Scots trucker is selling his amazing charcoal portraits of celebrities across the globe – just eight weeks after taking up art.

Barrie Paterson, from Dundee, left school at 16 and admits to having been stuck in dead-end jobs for 12 years.

Barrie, 28, who has no formal training as an artist, followed an impulse to take up drawing and now sells his images for £100 a time on the internet to places as far afield as New Zealand.

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He now hopes to be able to quit his job and earn a full-time living as an artist – following in the footsteps of Fife miner turned art sensation Jack Vettriano.

Barrie said he simply decided one day to pick up a pencil and the resulting sketch of a woman so impressed friends he decided to press on, quickly switching to charcoals.

A picture of music legend Johnny Cash was snapped up for £100 as soon as he posted it on Facebook.

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In just eight weeks he has received more than a dozen orders from as far as New Zealand and has already been able to cut back his hours driving HGVs.

He now receives requests from fans for film and TV characters such as James McAvoy as Bruce Robertson in Filth, Batman and Bane from The Dark Knight Rises, Brian Cranston’s Walter White from Breaking Bad and Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson as The Joker.

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Barrie said: “I left school at 16 and I’ve been in dead end jobs from there.

“I was a long distance lorry driver for three years but now I’ve been able to cut the days down.

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He added: “Every guy in my family is a lorry driver but it’s not something I’d want to do forever.”

He first began using charcoal to bring out backgrounds in his drawings before exclusively switching to the medium as it suits his “darker” style.

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Barrie’s art student friends have praised his work and he says he has surprised himself with the quality of the drawings, which he plans while on his long-haul journeys.

He said: “I’ve got a couple of friends at uni studying art, they say this is what they’re at uni to do.

“I’ve unleashed this talent I didn’t even know I had.”

Barrie has sold 14 drawings so far, with offers coming in from America and New Zealand, and now has a five-week waiting list for new commissions.

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He said of his success: “It’s really overwhelming. There’s nothing like this that’s happened to me before, especially in such a short space of time.”

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