About Page

About Sophie Huddlestone

Sophie Huddlestone is based in a village called Burbage, Leicestershire and enjoys painting daily in her art studio as a full time artist. Sophie has over a decade of experience painting pet commissions and whimsical florals, recently branching into abstract portraits and contemporary landscapes. This artist’s newly evolving direction is certainly one to keep your eye on. Being fortunate enough to have autism and dyslexic thinking there are plenty of quirky creative ideas bursting into fruition.

Copyright Sophie Huddlestone

Where to Purchase a Painting:

Buy Online:

Current available paintings in a variety of sizes and prices, are listed for sale at Swirly Soph’s paintings sale website swirlysoph.com Buy them now at:

buy a painting from sophie huddlestone

Or Buy In Person:

Some artworks are displayed in Sophie’s art studio window in Burbage, on Grove Road near to Love Lane. Take a look the next time you are passing by. If you see Sophie through the window then pop in to purchase a painting there and then, or book a visit (text or phone: 07932 606867).

Burbage artist sophie art studio
Copyright Sophie Huddlestone

Artist Authentication

Each artwork will include a certificate of authenticity, which can remain along with the painting for generations to come

Paintings certificate by Artist Sophie Huddlestone
Copyright Sophie Huddlestone

Being An Artist

An interest in art began at eleven years of age with complex themes that were not your typical house, tree and rainbow. Sophie was in ore of Salvador Dali and would daydream in his pictures for hours. School years led to a Batchelor of arts degree with honors in industial ceramics, but a career in art started much later in life as a hobby. Painting in spare time while employed as an embroidery computer digitizer for manufacturing machines, and only becoming an artist in 2011 as Sophie Appleton (and later on as Sophie Huddlestone).

sky arts wildcard2024 landscape artist of the year liverpool waterfront Sophie in tent huddlestone albert docks Liverpool

Painting Is Oxygen

Creating paintings is like a deep breath of oxygen for the soul. For over a decade Sophie has had an endless fascination with painting, the patterns that form in each individual artwork never cease to amaze her.

Read about Sophie’s painting career from 2011 to the present day on the news page. read more …….

sarah lancashire example of portrait painting by Sophie Huddlestone


The paintings page has a few examples of painting techniques explored, including watercolour texture paste.

Painting Your Pet

Below are four examples of the pet commission painting process, a more careful and slower painting technique is used when creating pet portraits. It is always a joy capturing the personality with each individual brush stroke.

pet commissions painted by burbage artist sophie
progress of pet commissions painted by burbage artist sophie
painting animals from photos, pet commissions painted by burbage artist sophie
pets painted by burbage artist sophie huddlestone

Examples of completed pet commissions, price and size details are on the commissions page. 

Painting Your Portrait

You become a work of art rather than just a painting from a photograph. Portraits are painted in oil paints, watercolours or mixed media. Abstract Portraits are developed from spontaneous painting techniques with textural patterns in a contemporary modern style. More examples are on the portraits page.

Sophie HuddleStone photo 2023
get your portrait painted in a contemporary oil painting by Sophie Huddlestone

Soph’s Social Media

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Facebook page ‘Artist Sophie Appleton Huddlestone’ with Facebook messenger @SwirlySophArt

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Sophie Huddlestone is now on TikTok as @swirlysophart

Keep the comments coming on social media, otherwise Sophie’s next post will not show up in your feed !!!

Sky Arts Landscape Artist Of The Year Television Show

Wildcard artist on Landscape artist of the year 2024 Liverpool , burbage artist Sophie Huddlestone

In June 2023 Sophie went to Liverpool to be filmed for the next series of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of The Year television show, it will be aired in Jan / Feb 2024 (on everyone’s TV on channel 11 / Sky Arts channel). They filmed two episodes while there, the one Sophie took part in was The Three Graces with a giant pink octopus. New to landscape painting it was a wonderful opportunity to experience painting outside, and great fun including the giant blown up octopus into the painting. Thousands applied all over England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland so it was a real achievement to be included as one of the 50 wildcard painters. Read more about how the day went on the wildcard page.

Portraits on Sky TV

In April 2020 Sky Arts ‘Portrait Artist Of The Week’ television show became live during the lock down. Thousands worldwide join in each week painting the celebrity sitter on line from their own homes, selecting some to be shown in the following episode.

Rankin portrait by Sophie Huddlestone on TV Sky Arts

Sophie was thrilled when she spotted her portrait painting of Rankin which had been selected as one of the portraits to be displayed on the floating wall gallery of Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Week, Series one episode three with Robert Rinder.

sophie huddlestone portrait on sky arts tv 12.6.20

Then again, Sophie’s portrait painting of Noel Fielding and also a pen sketch was displayed on the floating wall gallery of Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Week. Series one episode six with Clare Balding.

PAOTY noel fielding pen sketch by Sophie Huddlestone

Celebrity Pet Commissions

Matt Goss dog commission by Sophie Huddlestone

Above is a painting Sophie created of ‘Reggie’ a dog belonging to Matt Goss (from the U.K. music band Bross). View the original post on Sophie’s @swirlysophart Instagram and view the comment from Matt Goss.

Celebrity Portrait Commission

Sophie often paints animal, bird and flower commissions but was a little nervous when asked to create her first portrait commission in March 2019.

It was for Russell Osman – he acted in the film Escape to Victory, Indian Super league football expert, TV Co-commentator, former footballer for England etc. The finished commission portrait can be viewed on his Instagram @russosman and his Twitter @RussellOs5

commission portrait Russell Osman by Sophie Huddlestone

Given free rein to create the portrait with any theme Sophie decided to combine his past film as the background, the England colours in the shirt he wore for the film and painting him as he looks today, plus some of her signature style swirly patterns. To her relief he thought it was wonderful.

Google Arts And Culture

Hayley Bissett 40x40cm oils on canvas board

Google Arts and Culture – Paintings in Hospitals

The commission portrait painting above is an NHS oil portrait which Sophie created as part of the wonderful initiative instigated by Tom Croft. It is a portrait of ‘Hayley ICU nurse’ which was then selected to be included in the permanent record of ‘Portraits for NHS Heroes’ which is an online exhibition by Google Arts & Culture with Paintings in Hospitals. 

Get Your Bespoke Commission Painting Started

Painting sale by Sophie Huddlestone

Contact Sophie

Sophie tends to switch off her phone while working, please send a text or leave a message. Text or Phone: 07932 606867 All other contact methods are on the contact page.


Artist Sophie Huddlestone Bio

Sophie Huddlestone specializes in watercolour, oil and mixed media paintings. Having a decade of experience painting pet portraits and whimsical florals Sophie is only just beginning to branch out into abstract contemporary portraiture and landscapes.

From school years having a Batchelor of Arts degree with honors for industrial ceramics (Staffordshire University) and working with Wedgwood as a student, Sophie went on to sell pattern designs to Staffordshire Tableware. It was when she won the university’s Stuttgart surface pattern competition that the love and enthusiasm for creating swirly artworks took over the ceramics. Focusing on family life painting was on hold until her mid 30’s. The blue tinted glasses that Sophie wears are for Irlen Syndrome and dyslexia which was diagnosed in her late 30’s

Past exhibitions from 2011 were at galleries in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire until 2013 when having her second child the online sites became more convenient with child care. Currently Sophie’s whimsical animal artworks remain on display in all the corridors of Vision House in Leicestershire.

Sophie has created paintings for a few well known celebrities such as Matt Goss (from music band Bross), Author Lynda Page and England Footballer / sports commentator Russell Osman, Graham Rowntree former England Rugby union player and coach.

In 2020 during the lock down a couple of Sophie’s portraits were on the floating gallery wall on Sky Arts portrait artist of the week television show among other talented artists portraits.

August 2020 Sophie’s NHS commissioned Portrait of Hayley ICU Nurse was selected for the ‘Portraits for NHS Heroes’ online exhibition by Google Arts & Culture with Paintings in Hospitals. A permanent historical record via paintings.

2023 With her children growing up fast Sophie now has less demands from family life and is looking into returning to galleries. Sophie is also gaining the confidence to apply for a variety of Art competitions (such as the Sky Arts Artist of The Year and the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize).

March 2023 Sophie became a member of ‘The Hinckley & District Society of Arts’.

April 29th to July 8th 2023 exhibition. Sophie won a ‘highly commended’ award and also came 3rd in the peoples choice (a public vote from all the gallery visitors), for a self portrait painting called “Dyslexic thinking, Irlen syndrome glasses” which was exhibited in the Ten2 gallery in Leicestershire as part of the “My Special Item” exhibition’. A photograph of this painting is at the top of this Bio section.

2024 Jan/Feb Sophie was on the television program ‘Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the year” series 9, plein air landscape painting at Liverpool with 50 wildcard artists and an inflatable pink octopus!

Kingfisher Painted by Sophie Huddlestone

In loving memory of my dad

Above is a kingfisher watercolour which I painted in a more realistic style. I painted it as an early birthday gift for my dad Norman Appleton. He inspired me to paint and draw from such a young age and I will always treasure memories of his eyes lighting up when seeing my paintings (he sadly passed away mid March 2020 with cancer, just as the corona virus made changes to society’s way of living).

sophie huddlestone paintings

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