Hand coloured cards and having fun

Yesterday while on duty at Purbeck Artisan Yard I took my materials to do some art. I was conscious that I had very little themed cards linked to seasonal events so I set about adding a; spring, Mother’s Day, Easter and flying Scotsman visit to Purbeck versions of my Studland bay land-rover defender card.

It will be interesting to see how many of these go by the end of April. This has been a great fun way to work on one picture and produce a series of one off pieces.

Spring

The idea of adding daffodils to the beach and a tree in blossom. It has been interesting how Instagram Defender groups have reacted to my frivolous designs.

Mother’s’ Day

Going with the flowers theme again and how lots of flowers are bought on the morning itself.

Easter

I admit the Easter bunny possibly looks more like a puppy. I loved the Defender design and an egg shaped sun.

Finally, the Flying Scotsman which is running steam trips on Swanage Heritage railway currently and bringing many visitors to Purbeck.

None of these ideas were planned before my deputy but they represent the chance to be creative and I love the idea of individual designs being out there and being enjoyed.

The final photo is of these cards, the original pen and ink card, still for sale too and a recent desert theme. I love the idea that people might buy my cards and add to them, I used to do this to others designs. Personalisation is great.

I was also happy and could be spotted doing a happy sales dance (the joy of the small business) when I also sold a framed copy of my giclee print of North across Swanage Bay that shows a range of boating types.

Feedback welcomed.

All of these are currently for sale in the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham – Open 7 days every week from 10 am to 5pm. The Spring, Easter and Mothers Fay cards are on the shelves inside the entrance at £3 each or £5 for 2 hand coloured cards. The Flying Scotsman, Desert and original card are in bay H with the remainder of my work. The original card sells for £2 or 3 for £5 with other printed cards.

I will be adding another print of the above picture when on duty on Tuesday 26th March.

Thanks

Andy

Taking steps…

It’s March and the next event I shall spend a lot of time at will be the Easter Weekender – Meet the Artists at the Purbeck Artisan Yard.

I have posted events on the Facebook page for Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday when I will be based in bay H upstairs at the yard offering the usual chance to have a go with the Promarker range of 148 colours to produce an art card or greetings card. All for free. The activity will target all ages who would like to have a go.

I will be in the yard from 10 until 5 on each of the days. On Easter Sunday I shall be at duty at Wareham Boat Hire and openly invite people to come and draw while boating, or draw others boating. I won’t be providing materials as I shall be wearing my boating “hat” / shorts – delete as applicable.

Between Easter and Purbeck Art Weeks 2019 when I am opening my studio as Studio 22 on the trail I hope to be doing an afternoon’s free art session in Swanage, details to be confirmed before I say anymore.

Then from May 25 to June 9 it will be my third Purbeck Art Weeks as an Open Studio based artist. As usual I shall be open for 16 / 16 days from 10 am to 5 pm. Today saw some preparation for PAW with the design of my new flier for this year’s event which is now off to the printers. I have also had electrical work done in the outbuilding, which now has working sockets and double the lighting of the last two years, so the art will be easier to see on any dimmer / wetter days.

Publicity is an ongoing skill that I hope I am pitching ok. It is great each time to have a range of newer images to include. This year there may be two spaces showing the art. Refreshments will be available again. Dogs as always are always welcome in my studio.

The new profile pic is one I tried for my first foray into using Procreate on my new iPad with an Apple Pencil – not an iPad Pro. New mentions this year also to some of my work being available on Etsy and Red Bubble under the name – AndyKnillArt.

Don’t forget feedback always welcomed.

Thanks

Andy

Merchandising and my art / photography

So far in the first two years I have sold original artwork in a number of formats from small easel style canvases, to pieces of work in a mount with backboard and cellophane wrapper to framed pieces. I have also sold wooden boxes had decorated in original art. Greetings cards and giclee prints printed for me by Art2card. Also original greetings cards and hand coloured versions of my pen and ink cards.

Apart from my first Purbeck Art Weeks in 2017 when I ordered a sample pack of merchandise and sold the fridge magnet, and key ring I have looked at but avoided introducing art based merchandise as the up-front costs present potentially a large financial outlay.

This week I have been reading about companies that “Print on Demand” from single items or more, I decided that as there is no upfront cost this would be a way to see if there is a market for AndyKnillArt merchandise. I have gone with “Red Bubble” and posted some artwork and photography, I will be adding more pieces to my portfolio. The system works by each product having a cost price, as the artist I then set the % markup for the public price and this is where I earn some income.

So I will be trying this method, plus Etsy and promoting sales in Facebook, Instagram and this blog /website too for 2019 at least and seeing what sales we can generate. Advice from others who have gone down this route before me your pointers would be gratefully received.

Weymouth – a non Purbeck subject

A friend posts pictures often of his travels. He recently visited Weymouth, a Dorset coastal resort we have visited several times and taken photos to use later. I decided to try one of his photos as it would give me a chance to practise my use of perspective, a skill that I am far better at now than I was previously. Like the wall styles post I now try to keep a set of progress picture to show how my work has evolved. Feedback is welcome.

So the original photo.

Some of the colours of buildings might change slightly and although the fishing boats are a common feature along the near bank here I decided to leave it out. I prefer pictures of boats to focus on the boat as the main subject.

My first task the fineliner pen and ink drawing. This is freehand and drawn straight into pen, this stage went well.

I started the colour layers on my first sitting while on duty at the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham, Dorset where I have a sample of my work in Bay H upstairs.

This was the end of my work on Wednesday’s duty. I was covering a duty for a fellow artisan who had covered for me at the last minute when ill post beach huts event. I hoped that I would get time to continue with the piece on Friday and maybe complete it.

Once adding colour to the vegetation I shared the piece thinking had finished. However I had left a tree in front of the top row of houses. I added this and improved (in my opinion) the main bank of shrubs. The second picture below is the completed piece which has had very positive response from friends. I was pleased with the additional work on shadows and lighting, something I need to use more now.

Drystone Wall Styles

Contrasting styles

Having completed my drystone wall piece in pen and ink on kraft paper I decided  to produce a second canvas piece at 80 x 30 cm. This time my focus was the two walling  styles adjacent to the drive to The English Stamp Company from the Langton – Kingston top road between Swanage and Corfe Castle. Only recently a local waller has rebuilt the wall adjacent to the road in the diagonal style particular to Langton Matravers.

My work was based on photos taken and then zoomed into particular sections. The pictures were taken earlier this month when we had snow in Purbeck.

The work started as a pen and ink drawing and may have stayed that way, in this project however, I found my idea about presentation changing as I developed the work. Now that I am more patient in producing pieces, specially these larger ones there is more time to think.

The surface of the canvas is rougher than the kraft paper I used on the previous piece which didn’t suit the Sakura Pigma Micron fineliners as well. I found the Copic fineliners worked better on this surface.

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At first I was notable to focus on a small section, then came an evening where I was very motivated and completed the older wall section and drew the entire diagonally laid piece in one session. At this point I was very pleased with the pen and ink work but couldn’t see how pen and ink would work at this scale with the landscape features behind the wall.

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The lines needed to be thicker so I went over the work in a thicker nib next.

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At this point the details of the tree in the field were developed, the addition of the two bus stops, the telegraph pole and tree to the right of the picture. The grass was done in several layers allowing different colour grasses and the snow areas being left blank. Having being so bold with the stone borders I decided that this would need to include colour in both walls to make sense.

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These images show how I added colour which was then given a second and in some cases third layer of marker. The last picture showed my companion the ladybird who kept appearing as I worked.

I was pleased at this point but was unsure how to show the shrubby tree/ bushes behind. This section started as fineliners branches, then the addition of marker pen. Eventually I coloured over the branches for the sky then returned to redo the branch and twig patterns – I was uncertain by now if this was just going to end up as a learning exercise and found this difficult to deal with initially, but know it is a skill I will need to take on board.

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The piece has now been completed and the sky is not as smooth as I would like but I need to look at using other media possibly for skies behind strong marker pieces – admitting I need to do some art that is not just pen based, possibly.

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Into February

Today I covered a fellow artisan’s duty at Purbeck Artisan Yard. A few visitors helped by the improved weather and a few interesting chats with ideas to follow up for me. I spent my day working on some new pieces.

I have now completed my two 2019 designs for this year’s additions to the #SantaOverPurbeck series of cards. In discussion with people at events since last Purbeck Art Weeks I have decided that Santa May venture further afield for a second series of cards that I will start producing from 2019 to 2021 initially. Once the proofs of these cards are ready I will release pictures of the designs especially as it is still only February.

I also started work on a pair of bib and braces as my third piece of original artwork on an item of clothing. Today at the yard I also wore my Artisans on the Beach boiler suit which was a good conversation starter.

The photos below show me working on the initial pen work and then coloured area completed so far. I am very pleased with the the detail of work achieved.

Happy birthday to AndyKnillArt

Today has marked the second birthday of AndyKnillArt. Reading an article online last week about keeping accounts for your artwork especially if selling and what the trigger point is to be called a self-employed artist (£1000+ in sales apparently).

I have utilised my IT skills gained when teaching to have two main art spreadsheets; my accounts and my stock. These have made life far easier to track and reduced ordering new card stock or prints until the figures say more are needed depending how sales are going. The stock sheet will be especially useful when I have my 2019 Open Studio for Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW) as I will know where copies of prints in mounts and / or frames can be found as these days I have stock at home in the studio, at Rollington Barn and in the bay at Purbeck Artisan Yard.

So two years as a self employed artist ( yes I pass the threshold income). Each year I am reducing outgoings as I develop a stock of tools and materials. My main costs become printing of cards, fine art print copies and frames, these are now better attuned to sales than when I started. The income has also increased and in Year 2 I have earnt 67% more from selling my work than in Year 1.

In Year 3 I aspire to record a profit for the year. Each of the three tax years have seen the gap between income and expenditure narrow.

Thank you to all my customers and supporters, two years in and many many more to come.

“Hillview Drystone I” is complete

My largest pen and ink piece to date – an upcycled canvas using brown kraft paper stapled over the canvas – 80 x 30 cms.

So how did I go about it?

I have a clear view of this from our utility room at the back of the house. The long wall is part of our garden boundary. The other wall acts as a barrier to a section of the garden. The boundary wall in particular contains at last three ages of walling during the plot’s life. It is a view I have wanted to draw for a while and wanted to do it justice. My final thought has been to leave the entire picture as a pen and ink piece and not introduce any colour.

I started with the outline of the walls without any inner detail. Each wall was then drawn as a flat view showing the stone patterns. Meanwhile the grass to the left was added and shadow outlines marked. The longest single section was the chippings. Our home is surrounded by a “moat” of chippings on all sides. I chose to draw these as angular pieces individually – both the chippings and stone patterns include an element of artistic license in their recording.

Once that section was completed (over several days to allow for eye strain) I added the cross hatching to indicate the gaps between the stones and shadows cast. Th surface texture of the stones was also added. The final action was to record the shrubs and try that are seen above the boundary wall.

Sale time

So now it will go up for sale and I have decided that I am keeping a photographic record of these pieces but not having prints made making each one that I do a true one off. First refuser has been contacted – if you are interested in pieces like this please contact me.

A Flight of Fancy…PAW19

A change of plan re sharing my main piece I have been working on this week. So each year Purbeck Art Weeks has a competition at the start of the year linked to the chosen theme for that year. Art 2D or 3D can be submitted that fulfils the theme brief and may be selected to be used for publicity for the programme that shares details of Open Studios, the brochure that describes the music and dance events, the poster used to promote the Art Weeks.

Within my current portfolio I have a range of pieces, including two drawn in 2018 that are relevant to a “Flight of Fancy” in my “Santa Over Purbeck” series of Christmas cards, although of course they are not relevant for an event spanning the end of May and start of June. Although, this year during my Open Studio I shall have copies of the series of four cards already available and the new 2019 designs which I have yet to draw, but have planned. It surprised me when people wanted to buy the new designs so early in the year and in fact my first Christmas card order was made on June 1st.

So another idea was needed if I was to submit a piece of work. During “Artisans on the Beach 2018” event I designed and drew on two boiler suits. On the practice one (a paper diy version) I drew a panorama that circled the body of the Purbeck Coast from Sandbanks as far as the north of Swanage bay. It was drawn from the view a bird might get or an “oblique aerial” view as I would have described it previously when teaching Geography. Much to the surprise of visitors who asked I drew said view from my head with no reference materials to hand. This was based on my knowledge of the coastline as; a geographer, rowing to Old Harry Rocks with Swanage Sea Rowing Club, reading Ordnance Survey maps, seeing drone based photography posted on Instagram and Facebook by photographers in or visiting Dorset.

I was very pleased with the execution of this piece and it linked to a previous idea I had been considering for the PAW19 theme.

So I was thinking of how a sketching artist could gain the same view as drones and based on seeing a number of paragliders above Ballard Down on the north side of Swanage Bay. So my idea would be to:

1) Use a tandem paraglider where the pilot flies the wing while the passenger is able to sketch.

2) The “wing” enables inclusion of the PAW logo and also reference to the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci.

Originally I thought that I would choose a coastal view, but then decided to show the view onto Rollington Barn where the main PAW exhibition is based. It also allowed inclusion of the Purbeck chalk ridge and the village of Corfe Castle. Unlike the work for the boiler suit I had to refer to some aerial photography so used “Google Earth” as a source. There is distortion of scale and perspective as my artistic interpretation is applied. I don’t know that a paraglider without a motor would actually be able to “fly” over this section of Purbeck.

Having a fixed deadline motivated me to develop the piece over a number of days and I even went on a cycle ride on Thursday to take additional photos from East Hill above Corfe village to gain additional detail to what I could see on “Google Earth”. The final piece is very pleasing and has now been submitted. This has been one of my most challenging art pieces to date and will be available as an original and possibly as a print during my Open Studio. Feedback is welcomed.

Now I can return to my other piece based on drystone walls on the boundary of our home, this has also attracted some interest already too.