A Chippenham artist has had his work showcased on a global platform.

Del Llewellyn, of Llewellyn Illustrations, was commissioned to produce his first portrait when he quit his job as a postman in 2018.

He has now created stunning hand-drawn portraits of footballers, such as legend Lionel Messi and the late Diego Maradona, that are on sale for thousands of pounds.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Del signing his Messi portraitDel signing his Messi portrait

His portraits – alongside signed limited edition reproductions and prints – has become available following a socially-distanced signing session at Messi’s home last month.

Mr Llewellyn said: “I started creating portraits of footballing stars to combine my passion for art and football. I’ve always loved drawing and never thought it would be something I’d be able to turn into a career. To produce portraits of Messi and Maradona is a real honour.”

Mr Llewellyn had been approached by Malmesbury-based Gordon MacPherson, at The Retailer Group ahead of the commissions.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Del and Gordon Messi and MaradonaDel and Gordon Messi and Maradona

The Retailer Group then joined forces with Icons Shop Ltd, owner of brands Icons.com and A1 Sporting Memorabilia, to profile the Chippenham-based artist’s portraits on their global platforms.

Mr MacPherson said: “Llewellyn’s talent is phenomenal and plans are in place to extend the project to involve top sports stars across the globe, including the biggest names in British football with an exciting legends range set to become available too.”

Dan Jamieson, CEO at Icons.com and A1 Sporting Memorabilia, said: “We hold exclusive memorabilia licences and contracts with Leo Messi, Diego Maradona, FC Barcelona and the FIFA World Cup. So, The idea of working with Del and The Retailer Group to create an iconic and exclusive range of signed artworks really appealed to us.

"We’re sure our customers will love these incredible items. We always say our products are “signed by the world’s best” and in this case it refers to both the player and the artist.”

The artwork is available here