Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Marmite masterpiece is the toast of the web
Nathan Wyburn
Nathan appeared on BBC's children's programme Blue Peter with his artwork

An art student from Ebbw Vale has gained a cult following on the internet with his portrait of X Factor judge Simon Cowell in toast and Marmite.

Nathan Wyburn posted a video of himself creating the portrait on the video sharing website YouTube after being inspired by other toast-related art.

"I read that you either love Simon Cowell or hate him," said Nathan.

"That's where the idea to use Marmite came from - it spurred on the idea in my mind, so I made the video."

Twenty year old Nathan is currently studying fine art at the University of Wales Institute of Cardiff.

He recently appeared with his work on the children's TV programme Blue Peter.

In a process which takes about an hour and a half, Nathan works from a photograph and then divides it up into a grid, which he then uses as a template for the toast.

Nathan Wyburn

He then starts from a corner and works his way down, revealing that the eyes and the mouth are the most complicated bits to get right.

Nathan says it takes around 35 slices of toast to create his art, but he adds that he's not tempted to eat the finished product. "I usually have to bin it as I'm not really a fan of Marmite".

He films himself creating his edible art using time lapse video and then speeds the whole process up to create the 2-3 minute long films he puts onto the internet.

Over 40,000 people have viewed his Simon Cowell toast portrait and his YouTube channel featuring all of his work has been viewed over a million times.

Colonel Sanders portrait using ketchup
Nathan has also created portraits using chocolate and ketchup

The popularity of Nathan's artwork has come to the attention of the manufacturers of Marmite who have been in touch with him about the possibility of working on a forthcoming advertising campaign.

However, Nathan doesn't just limit his artistic experiments to the yeast based extract. He did an art project on food shortage as part of his college course work.

"The irony of it was that I was in the position where I could waste food enough to use it for my own work and I created portraits using chocolate syrup and ketchup."

Nathan hopes that his quirky ideas might lead in the future to a career on children's televison on an art show.

"It's quite similar to what I do on YouTube - I enjoy working with children and it's nice to give something back".

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