Royal Couple Impressed by New Painting of Kate

Kate Portrait: Prince William and Wife Gifted with New Painting
Prince William and Kate with the new portrait
Eric McCabe/WildScot

05/30/2014 AT 03:30 PM EDT

The Duchess of Cambridge's official portrait, unveiled last year, was much-criticized.

But a new painting of Kate, given to Prince William and his wife this week, seems to have a much better shot at landing on the royals' wall.

The work, by local artist Tom Sutton-Smith, was handed to William and Kate as they toured the arts and crafts stalls at the Forteviot village fête Thursday.

Although Sutton-Smith wasn't at the event, near Perth, his friend and colleague Glenys Andrews made sure the painting was given to the couple on behalf of the Perthshire Open Studios.



"When William saw it, he said, 'Wow, it's brilliant. That's going up in my room,' " Andrews tells PEOPLE.

Royal Couple Impressed by New Painting of Kate| The British Royals, The Royals, Kate Middleton, Prince William

Duchess of Cambridge portrait

Courtesy Glenys Andrews

And Kate, 32, clearly loved it, too. "Her face lit up," Andrews, who's chairperson of the studios and curated the event in Forteviot, adds. "She was wowed by it. She reached out her arms to hold it and stared at it."

"When the official portrait went up, everyone who knows Tom said, 'You can do better than that.' So that was the challenge," Andrews says.

"He has had it in his garage since then and he didn't think about it, but when this fête came around we decided this is the time she has to have it." It will soon be bubble-wrapped and sent to Kensington Palace

Sutton-Smith says he was "excited" to hear that the couple are pleased with his work. "I was trying to convey her youthful spirit," he tells PEOPLE. "The official portrait was serious, and in all the photos one sees of her she is smiling and laughing. She is kind of sparkly and I was trying to convey that in the eyes and mouth, which are the essential features to give character.

"There seems to be a trend to do super-realistic portraits, and I was trying to opposite to get some freedom into it."

He adds, "It was rewarding to hear such a wonderful reaction to it, especially as they seem to be arguing about where the portrait is going to be resting!"



Earlier at the event, Kate had admired another portrait of the young royal family.

Made from Jelly Bellies and other candy, it was a labor of love for the wife of local confectioner Graham Donaldson. His wife, Caroline, had spent about 100 hours on the task and included the couple's Scottish title – the Earl and Countess of Strathearn above the likenesses – he tells PEOPLE.

And Kate thought someone else in the family might like to see it. She told Donaldson, "I'm sorry I didn't bring George with us."

Royal Couple Impressed by New Painting of Kate| The British Royals, The Royals, Kate Middleton, Prince William

The royal family candy portrait

Courtesy Simon Perry



CNN Newsource: Royal Trip Wrap Up

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