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.

Daily art again

Carrying on from my last post I am currently working on two main pieces. In addition I am sketching when out in my sketchbook and / or on napkins as last week showed. The two main pieces are:

Panoramic drystone wall piece which also features a large expanse of stone chippings in the foreground. The last few days have focused on gradually infilling the chippings area, working upto an hour at a time before a break is needed to rest my eyes. Once this area is complete I need to develop the vegetation above the wall. That will work include trees and shrubs immediately behind the wall and then plants beyond them. I am still considering whether to keep the piece as a pure pen and ink piece or to use colour for the grass and vegetation areas.

The second piece is on the theme of “Flight of fancy” linked to Purbeck Art Weeks 2019. I had an idea that I developed and started to plan while based at the beach huts in December. The work has been added to over the last 3 days. I am very pleased with the progress. The idea is complex and is coming off well so far. I have shared online the initial subject of a paraglider and dual passengers. The rest I will keep a record of but not share publicly until the decision is made about which images PAW19 will use. I aspire to having my piece chosen but I doubt it.

So more information and images next time of pieces progress.

Getting busier

This week I have drawn three separate #napkinart pieces in two different cafes. This aspect of my art is a great release using a surface material that is not always easy. I am starting to get feedback from staff in two cafes about the art pieces, I do not know if the third one today were even aware of what I had done.

I have started a panoramic canvas piece 80 by 30 Cm that so far initially is a pure pen and ink pic but may include colour for some elements. The scale of it is so much larger than pieces done previously, so for example this afternoon I spent two out of what may be four or even five hours potentially of drawing stone chippings. I have it in mind to develop a number of larger pieces this year to display and possibly sell during Purbeck art Weeks in May/June.

Thirdly I researched a number of aspects that I wish to use to produce a pic for the theme of PAW2019. His meds to be done by the 31st if I am to enter it for consideration for the three publications that carry artists pieces achieved year. The publicity would be useful for my work, however the key idea for me is to draw a ice that challenges my skills and a concept that links my geographical, artistic and outdoor sporting interests in the Purbeck landscape.

So there are going to be plenty of pieces of new art that I hope to be sharing through this blog over the next three months especially in the lead up to PAW2019.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments please just add them after the post or send me a message using the contact form or a direct email at andy@andyknillart.com.