Archibald Prize entry for artist Donald Keys features Scott Radburn

Archibald Prize entrant Donald Keys works as Scott Radburn watches on. Picture: ROBERT PEET.

Archibald Prize entrant Donald Keys works as Scott Radburn watches on. Picture: ROBERT PEET.

A puppet, a dog, a pile of poker chips and an iconic grin - it is a combination Donald Keys hopes is a winning one for this year's Archibald Prize.

The Balgownie artist has entered a portrait of entertainer Scott Radburn, formerly of the Four Kinsmen, into the nation's best known art contest.

The portrait, including Mr Radburn's dog Houdini and his own Pinocchio puppet, marks Mr Keys's first entry into the Archibald.

"Scott is an entertainer. I've known him for about 30 years, and he's a local character known around the world," Mr Keys said.

"I thought Scott deserved a run in the Archibald. I think it captures his character."

Mr Keys has also submitted a triptych, or group of three paintings, into the Wynne Prize, the Archibald's sister competition for landscape painting.

Mount Warrigal talent Melissa Ritchie is another local who has entered the Archibald.

She submitted a portrait of rock legend Angry Anderson depicted as a circus strongman, the idea coming to her during Mr Anderson's campaign for election to the seat of Throsby in 2013.

"I saw him on the cover of a newspaper, and thought he would be perfect for a portrait," Ms Ritchie said.

"The strongman character works so well for him. He is a small bloke but so powerful, with a powerful voice. He's also very politically minded with strong opinions, so I thought it was a great metaphor for his personality."

Finalists in the Archibald will be announced on Thursday.

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