AN urban artist has created a sensational portrait of the late Helen McCrory to help raise money for a cancer charity.

Colchester-based artist Paul Cottie, who goes by the name EyeSaw, decided to pay homage to the actress who died from cancer last month aged 52.

During her successful career McCrory had starring roles in several much-loved films and television series.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Peaky Blinders, Harry Potter and James Bond film Skyfall were among the actress’s on-screen credits.

Following her untimely death, Paul created a portrait of McCrory as her Peaky Blinders character Aunt Polly Grey to auction off.

Paul became a fan of the gangster TV show, set in the 1900s, during the coronavirus lockdown period.

The show is centred around the dangerous Tommy Shelby who leads the Peaky Blinders, a gang based in Birmingham.

The 43-year-old said: “During lockdown I found I had a great deal of spare time on my hands and wanted to use this time productively.

“I have always had a love for all things creative, so dusting off my old paint brushes was a no-brainer.

“I’m a big fan of the TV show Peaky Blinders and when I heard the sad news of Helen McCrory’s death to cancer, I decided to do something positive.

“I painted her portrait as Aunt Polly Grey and decided to auction off the painting with 100 per cent of proceeds going to charity.”

The artwork was created with spray paint and brushed acrylic on canvas.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

It took Paul about a week to complete.

Proceeds of the 100cm by 70cm portrait will go to the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation.

The foundation was founded in memory of Tom Bowdidge, from West Bergholt.

Tom died of a tumour and extensive peritoneal disease aged 19 in 2013.

The Ebay auction for the painting is now open and it is running until Sunday at 8pm.

To view the auction or place a bid visit, or go to

Paul has also uploaded a video of how he created the portrait on YouTube.

To view it go to