An artist who, by his own admission ‘paints backwards’ has won this year’s Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize for contemporary British representative art.

Pablo Castañeda Santana, originally from Cadiz, Spain but now living in Finchley, impressed the judges with his entry’s “commanding presence” and the extremely unusual technique he uses to create his art.

Unlike most artists who paint the background first and then add foreground details, Castañeda Santana uses acrylic paint on glass.

He paints the foreground first and then covers it with layer after layer of background until he can peel the entire flexible sheet of acrylic paint off the glass, which gives him a mirror image of his original idea.

Pablo Castañeda Santana said: “I got the idea for this technique when I was working on a project in Spain painting murals on large walls. After that, I began to experiment with it.

“I had a lot of failures and accidents, but little by little I’ve tried to improve the technique.

“Sometimes it goes wrong and, after a month’s work, my painting doesn’t work.

“I paint backwards. I have to do everything against my instincts, which is sometimes very hard. I’ve had lots of failures.”

Castañeda Santana also takes the images he uses in his work from the digital world including websites and social media.

Chair of the judges Daphne Todd OBE, leading painter and judge on BBC One’s The Big Painting Challenge, praised the work.

She says: “Pablo’s work has real presence It’s both commanding and intriguing. In fact, it commanded the entire room.”

Castañeda Santana was presented with his cheque for £15,000 and a gold medal at an event at London’s Mall Galleries earlier this month.

Castañeda Santana’s winning painting EHS is being exhibited at the Mall Galleries until March 17 as part of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize exhibition.

The painting took two months to complete.

Visitors to the exhibition can vote for the People’s Prize of £2,000, which will be announced on March 21.

A total of 83 artists were shortlisted for the Prize out of 1,144 who entered this year’s competition.

Altogether a total of 2,194 works of art were entered into this year’s competition.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize for creative representational art – art that seeks to capture the real world – offers total prize money of £30,000.

The competition is open to any artist resident in the UK painting or drawing works of creative representational art and over 18-years-old.

Created in 2005 by The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and The Lynn Foundation, the open competition continues to champion the skill of draughtsmanship painting.

The exhibition aims to reflect the breadth of approaches and materials from across the artistic spectrum.

Mall Galleries, The Mall, St James’s, London, SW1A 2BN, until March 17. Details: 020 7930 6844