A PRESTWICK artist scooped the first place prize at an art competition last week for his amazing portrait of Billy Connolly.

Gordon Irving, 66, took home winnings of £1,000 for his stunning painting of The Big Yin.

The competition held at the iconic Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, tasked artists to produce portraits of some of the hotel’s famous guests.

Gordon decided on painting Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, John F Kennedy and Billy Connolly who he had met before at a folk club in Ayr.

The former art teacher told the Advertiser of his delight, he said: “It was great. I have say it was unexpected. Competitions can be a bit of a hit or miss so I was absolutely over the moon to win.”

The portrait of The Big Yin captures his look of recent years as the much loved entertainer battles Parkinsons.

And Gordon wanted to pay tribute to Billy Connolly through his painting.

He added: “Its a unique one of him. I painted a few for the competition but I was delighted that it was the Billy Connolly one that they chose as the winner .

“It’s based on a photo, but I actually met him years ago I used to sing in the folk clubs in Ayr. He came into the Abbottsford Hotel where I was playing.

“I am actually quite a tall guy so when I first saw him I thought ‘well you kind of look the part to be Billy Connolly but you’re not big enough’.

“I came back into the lounge where he was playing and right enough it was Billy Connolly and the place was buzzing. It was nice to actually have met him.

“I feel for the man because he’s got Parkinsons disease. I have always found him very funny, he’s always had such edgy humour.

“Most of all I wanted to capture his eyes as you never knew what was coming next from Billy and its that kind of wee look out of the corner of his eye when you think oh dear this could be a bit edgy.”

Gordon’s work will now be displayed outside on a wall next the famous lobby at the Grand Central Hotel.

He added: “It’s a great venue, world renown and a great showcase of my work.”