TWO talented artists have scooped royal awards under the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to develop their talents.

Cameron Short, a designer and maker of hand block-printed wallpaper, has received £8,600 to work alongside Marthe Armitage, a recognised master of the craft.

Alastair Barford has been awarded £15,000 to attend the Charles H Cecil Academy in Florence to study drawing and painting techniques in the traditional manner.

The Duke of Gloucester presented the scholarships to the Bridport duo at an awards luncheon in London.

Alastair will be following in the footsteps of a previous QEST scholar, Rupert Alexander, who has since painted the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

Alastair, 24, graduated with a first class degree in Fine Art from University College Falmouth and last September attended a two week course at the Charles H Cecil Studios funded by the Wilhemina Barnes Graham Travel to Italy Bursary. During this short course, he realised that it was this intense tuition he required to enable him to progress.

He said: “The sight size technique advocated by the studios is a process of drawing and painting whereby subject and image are depicted to scale as seen from a given distance.

“It is a technique that has been exploited as a portrait practice by masters since the seventeenth century.”

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) was endowed by the Royal Warrant Holders Association to advance education in modern and traditional crafts and trades in the UK. Scholarships of up to £15,000 are open to men and women of all ages and are awarded twice a year. Cameron, 40, worked as an art director for London’s leading advertising agencies, including McCann Erickson and Bartle Bogle Hegarty for 11 years.

But he decided to focus on the one aspect of design that he enjoyed the most and for the past two years has researched and studied hand-blocked wallpaper and created his own designs. He said: “There is more to a finished roll of artisanal wallpaper than purely the design.

“Cutting the blocks in relief and intaglio, using a number of gouges and techniques requires skill.”

Cameron will benefit from one-to-one workshops with Marthe Armitage, a past master of the Art Workers Guild and a lino-cutter, producing hand-printed wallpapers. She has agreed to mentor Cameron, impressed by his understanding of the art of designing repeat pattern and the lino cutting medium.