Tom and Lily appear at the entrance to the show and on labels around it, highlighting paintings that might interest children. The characters are part of the gallery’s Family Trail programme, which is a set of games devised to encourage children and families to engage with the portraits.
Hopgood is working with two animators for an event on 17 July called Family Faces: Moving Portraits. Children will be invited to create self-portraits, which will then be animated to create a film of changing faces.
The National Portrait Gallery appointed Hopgood on the strength of his story books, which include Our Big Blue Sofa, Wow! Said the Owl and Top Tap Went The Crab.
Hopgood’s characters are being applied to merchandise, including badges and bags, which will be on sale at the gallery during the exhibition, along with his books.
The BP Portrait Award show opened yesterday and runs until 19 September.