Portrait of Asher Keddie proves the popular winner from this year’s Archibald exhibition.

Vincent Fantauzzo has won the 2013 Archibald People’s Choice for Love Face, a portrait of his sweetheart, actor Asher Keddie.

Keddie, who is one of Australia’s most popular actors, is best known for her award-winning performances in the television shows Offspring and Paper Giants: the Birth of Cleo, in which she played the legendary Ita Buttrose.

“I had so many ideas about how to paint it that I didn’t quite know which way to go”, says Fantauzzo. “In the end I decided it needed to be honest and simple. A face can display so much emotion and Asher’s eyes tell you so much of the story.” Arriving home from work late one evening, Keddie gave Fantauzzo the look, which proved to be the key to the portrait. “I knew she’d had a hard day and so was relieved to be home”, says Fantauzzo. “It was a look of real happiness.”

The wash that Fantauzzo used for the background is intended to represent the chaos of a hectic life. Against that Keddie is a picture of composure and contentment.

This is Fantauzzo’s fifth time as an Archibald Prize finalist having won the 2011 Packing Room Prize with a painting of Matt Moran and the People’s Choice Award in 2008 and 2009 for paintings of actor Heath Ledger and child actor Brandon Walters from the film Australia.

The artist receives $2500 and a $1000 ANZ Visa Gift Card while Lou Pulvirenti, one of the winning portrait’s lucky voters, wins a prize of $2500, a $1000 ANZ Visa Gift Card and one night’s accommodation at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.

21,141 people voted in this year’s People’s Choice.