Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman painted by co-star Una Stubbs

Stubbs' portraits of the actors will be on display at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

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The Independent Culture

Sherlock leads Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are appearing at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, as watercolour portraits.

The popular actors, who play Holmes and John Watson respectively, were painted by their co-star Una Stubbs, with particular attention paid to Cumberbatch's striking blue eyes and curly mop of hair.

Stubbs, 77, plays Mrs Hudson in the BBC detective drama and calls Cumberbatch and Freeman, who star as Holmes and John Watson respectively, “my boys”.

She has had her work selected for the celebrated annual display in London after submitting the two pieces digitally along with 12,000 entries.

The English actress has spoken in the past of her love for art, saying in an interview that she would like to have been a figurative painter had she not pursued acting as a career.

“I would love to have gone to art school,” she said. “I’ve had two exhibitions and I’ve sold quite a lot but I usually paint people in the street or in cafes.”


More than 1,250 artworks have been chosen for inclusion this year, with Stubbs’ paintings featuring alongside prominent art world figures such as Conrad Shawcross, Yinka Shonibare and Ed Ruscha.

Unlike many of the Summer Exhibition works, Stubbs’ paintings are not available for sale.