Three portraits by Walthamstow-based artist Raul G are to be featured in The London Sketchbook exhibition at the Tapestry Gallery in Frith Street, west London.

The Walthamstow Trilogy – three portraits of Walthamstow locals painted with acrylic paint and black permanent marker – show the talent of this 36-year-old teacher, who has received national recognition for his work in the past. One of the protraits, entitled Brit Pop, was chosen from more than 2,000 entries to be part of the BP Portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2011.

This thoughtful depiction of Year 11 student James Myhill, at Rushcroft School, Chingford, where Raul teaches English as a second language, shows the 16-year-old surrounded by chairs with Walthamstow Stadium in the background.

The Walthamstow Trilogy Part III presents Soloman, a then Year 11 student of the same school. The landscape in the background features the railtracks of the overground train near Walthamstow Central station. Soloman is of Jamaican descent and the picture, completed last year, was partly intended as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica and other former European colonies.

Great Xpectations (a nod to Dickens) features Zac, a four-year-old boy, sitting in his mother´s car on the way back home from school, on a dark winter night.

Of his paintings, Raul says: “I was inspired by the fact that Soloman’s of Jamaican heritage, it reflects his double identity, people in England from other countries. I wanted to reflect him on the one side as a Jamaican and the other as an Eastender – both worlds joining in him, trying to live harmoniously.

“I would like people to feel a sense of recognition. I hope people see the romance of London, which is what always inspires me. It’s a great inspiration.”

Originally from Spain, and formerly a hotel entertainer, Raul says that painting is his passion. He adds: “I really admired Velazquez, he was my idol and in more recent years other people have inspired me too, including film director Martin Scorsese. The emotional intensity of Taxi Driver, and how he portrays cities, really made an impact on me.”

  • The London Sketchbook, Tapestry Gallery, Frith Street, W1, until Friday, July 19. Details: