Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn paints portrait of rising star Louis Rees-Zammit using rugby ball

Nathan Wyburn said he wanted to document Six Nations star Rees-Zammit in his artwork. Credit: Nathan Wyburn / PA Images

A Welsh artist has celebrated rising rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit by painting a portrait of him using a rugby ball instead of a paintbrush.

Nathan Wyburn, from Ebbw Vale, is known for his unique methods of creating art and previously appeared on the ITV show Britain's Got Talent.

The 31-year-old's latest creation comes as Wayne Pivac's men prepare to travel to Paris for Saturday's Six Nations clash with France.

Wales will secure a sixth Six Nations crown and a fifth Grand Slam if they topple Les Bleus.

  • Watch how Nathan Wyburn created his portrait here:

Gloucester wing Rees-Zammit has emerged as one of the most exciting new players in the tournament.

He only turned 20 last month and has played just eight games for Wales, but his startling impact on international rugby shows no sign of slowing down.

Nathan Wyburn told ITV News: "As an artist that makes work based around pop culture and current affairs, the huge rise of Louis Rees-Zammit in Welsh rugby had to be documented in my work.

"Choosing how to create him in my unique way was fun - using a rugby ball instead of a paint brush was exciting!

"Huge strokes of paint is always exciting, and there’s so much movement in the final piece."

The finished portrait and the rugby ball used instead of a paintbrush. Credit: Nathan Wyburn

Nathan said he is "thrilled" with the response to his latest piece, which has been widely liked and shared online - including by the man himself.

Rees-Zammit posted Nathan's video of the portrait to his Twitter account, adding: "Wow, this is amazing!"

Nathan's work is often light-hearted - former pieces include TV personality Simon Cowell made out of Marmite and toast, and supermodel Kate Moss depicted in moss.

But the artist often uses his work to highlight important issues and causes too.Days into the first lockdown, he paid tribute to the NHS with a piece of artwork made up of hundreds of photographs of health workers.

A few weeks later, he celebrated the late NHS fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore by creating a portrait of him made up of footsteps.

Nathan has also created an image of environmental activist Greta Thunberg using discarded face masks and recycling, as well as depicting the bruised face of a frontline healthcare worker using words of abuse sent to them online.

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