Sean Connery

Sean Connery was probably not just the most famous Scot of the 20th century, but maybe of all time – with the possible exception of a couple of royals. His death earlier today will undoubtedly be felt by people all over the world but will be especially so in Scotland, where he is affectionately known as Big Tam and latterly 'Shir Shean'.

Being such a major figure in Scottish culture, his inclusion in my Scottish Icons range was one of the first I considered. I chose to draw him as we see his face for the first time in 1962's Dr No. This unforgettable cinema moment is the also first time he utters the words 'Bond… James Bond.' 

Each drawing in my icons range pairs the portrait with a familial tartan. For Sir Sean I chose MacDonald of Clanranald, which is one of his matriarchal tartans. His mother was Effie McLean, from Skye, and the McLeans are a sept of the MacDonalds. 

(In the above picture, I'm holding the first ever A2 print made from the series. I was delighted to see the drawing on this size of print. The colour reproduction created by the combination of inks and paper in these giclées has to be see to be believed. Photos just do not do them justice.)

Big Tam also appears in one more of my drawings, although you'd need to be paying close attention to notice. (I'm only aware of one or two people who have in the year or so since I drew this.) When I was creating a vintage advert for an airline I made up, I needed a face for the piper that was era-appropriate. Who better, I quickly realised, than the most famous Scot of the time? Or would you say he was the most famous Scot of all time?

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