Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Brief History of the Iconic VW Volkswagen Type II Bus turned Campervan

Believe it or not the roots of the VW Volkswagen Type II can be traced all the way back to World War II. After the german defeat the british found themselves as the custodians to the VW factory in Wolfsburg. In this factory a dutch VW importer called Ben Pon noticed that the motorised trollies built and used to ferry equipment around the factory had been inventively made from a stripped down VW Beetle chassis. The cobbled together trolley looked rather like a Beetle van with wheels. This early vision inspired Pon to push the new chief executive of Volkswagen to officially design a van. Like all great inventions the campervans routes came from chance rather than strategy.

Official production of ten vehicles a day began in 1950, with the basics of the design staying the same for around 40 years. In all close to 5 million vehicles were produced as they catered for an area of the market that matched peoples requirements after the second world war. Motorists needed a simple inexpensive vehicle for transporation of goods and people at a low cost.
The retro designs so craved after today sported the iconic 'splitscreen' or 'splitties', these distinctive looking VW's were sold between 1949 and 1967. A Splitscreen front window was housed by a sweepeing front v line and a very large Volkswagen logo. This vehicle had the axles of the VW beetle but had a rigid unitary construction supported by a ladder frame rather then a central plinth. This ladder frame was pariculary good at spreading the load and shifting up the engine , suspension transmission etc. The trade off is handling, these little buses were and are beasts to steer!

Generally the spiltscreens could carry up to eight people and the seats could be removed to carry large single loads. Its this flexibiltiy that really set up the vehicles place in peoples hearts both in the past and now. Anyone with a certain amount of mechanical know how could take the basic design and adapt it. Hence ambulances, ice cream vans, coal trucks, fire engines, pick ups, delivery vans, beer wagons and then.... wait for it.... the very familiar and incredicbly cool campervan design.

50 years after its first creation the popularity of the splitscreen v dub grows and grows. It got a boost by its obvious adoption by the surfing community worldwide. Surf board, VW camper, gasoline... that all thats required in life ? Its this obvious growing link to freedom thats enhanced its demand over the past ten years. Own a vw campervan and your making a statement about what you stand for! Thats why the image of a campervan has become so popular over the last few years.
Even if your names not Jamie Oliver (and you dont have £25,000 to spare) then you can still buy a slice of the VW freedom dream with a suitable canvas art pictures on your house wall.

Have a look in our store and witness the love that Art By People have for the timeless VW campervan.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A very rough guide to how artists might produce their artwork. (which we then transform into canvas pictures!)

How does an artist work ?

We are always being asked about our artists, and how do they produce such quality pictures? This section of our site came about in response to the many questions about our artwork from our very interested customers. At Artbypeople we are not interested in producing the standard type of canvas art pictures that can be found on the Internet. Our passion is for original work, produced by talented artists, translated into canvas art at a reasonable price. All of our artists are keen for their artwork to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

In this section of the site our artists talk about their ideas, methods and aims of the finished artwork.


Getting started


The first ideas for pictures are always the hardest to find. Sometimes it comes from a situation that the artist wants to comment on. is an example of the political commentator with a wry sense of humour. We love his sometimes-startling graffiti art that stops the passing viewer in their tracks. Our favourite example of his street artwork is the ‘credit crunch’ that can be found on a barn in Wiltshire. Syd talks with such vigour about his work and is a great story teller that our team always have to allow extra time when he come to us with new work. Truth to tell we usually finish up in the pub !


Other artists use the camera to record ideas. The advent of digital photography has revolutionised the artists search for inspiration. The photograph can become the artwork in itself; high quality photography is always in demand. At Artbypeople we are not satisfied with the usual and carefully check all photographs looking for the picture that is more than just a photograph. We are contacted by many photographers to view their pictures but we are very selective. Don’t let this put you off. If you have something different let us see it! We view every idea in our search for the best.



Many artists use a combination of sketches and photographs. Just reproducing a picture in paint is not enough. If it is an exact copy there is very little point in doing the work. The photograph would have been enough in itself.


Jonathan Lucie is a good example of an artist who may begin with photographs and then uses these to produce a series of watercolour sketches. These preliminary pictures are usually a combination of sketches produced on site, digital photographs taken at the same time and sketches later made in the studio. The watercolour-sketched ideas are then studied by Lucie and used as the basis of the finished work.


Another artist may actually use the photograph and move it on  using digital enhancement. This is especially successful with some of our stunning adrenaline sports canvas art.  One of our favourite examples is the ‘Snowboard Explosion’; by selecting and cropping a great photograph and then applying digital skills, a photograph has become a work of art. Our mountaineering pictures are another example of how a photograph, through the skills of the digital artist becomes a great artistic picture. These pictures are sure to be appreciated by anyone who has experienced the thrill of the conquest of fear.


Moving on


The artist has an idea that is driving them to produce that illusive next piece of work; where to they go to next? The sketches are made, the palette of colours decided on, the shape and size of the canvas selected, now to begin.


 Most of our artists talk of the white paper syndrome! Making the first marks is the hardest as the dice is then cast and the work must proceed. Some begin with a background wash of colour indication where the main places of the composition are. This is a good way to begin as the ideas can begin to flow at the same time as being adjusted as the artist sees the work become clearer in the ‘minds eye’. Artists often talk of ‘seeing’ the finished work evolving as they work. The artist also begins to visualise the finished work and this motivates them to work to a high standard always challenging themselves. 



Other artists may use the preliminary sketches to begin to accurately position the main subjects and lines of composition on to the canvas. Changes may again suggest themselves to the working artist. What worked in a sketchbook does not always work on a larger scale! 

What appears to be a spontaneous piece of artwork is often a carefully thought out picture. 


Now the Fun Part Begins….


Having planned and outlined the composition and visualised the finished work our artists all talk of the enjoyment they experience as the final art is created. All have different techniques that have been developed over many years but the common experience of the joy in the actual creation of their work.


It is this that drives the artist to work often very long and continuous hours. As the picture begins to take shape it will give each artist its own challenges. There is always something different to absorb the working artist. Gradually they reach a point where it is time to leave the work for a while.


Usually a painter is constantly stepping back from a piece of artwork. If he or she is too close physically to the easel it is difficult to assess the overall effect of the work. They will have been moving close and then moving to a distance as they have applied to layers of colour. Eventually however a point is reached where the work has the feel of being finished.


The final touches.


Many of our artists talk of leaving the picture for a few days, but at the same time looking at it at regular intervals. They are trying to decide if a piece of artwork needs just something extra. Often on an abstract study it is that final addition that can make or break the picture. An example of this is the final touches of colour used by Martin Shelley when he painted his very popular ‘Brown Swirls’. The light highlights were added two days after the picture was finished and it is these final touches that really brought the picture together.



You will realise from reading this short explanation the canvas art pictures sold by Artbypeople have been chosen by ourselves with care. Our artists are working to produce more exciting pictures for our limited edition canvas prints. Check our web site over the coming months to see their work.





Urban Art Origins, Ramblings and Explanation...

Understanding Urban Street Art

Essentially at the root of all art work is a need to convey a message or emotion to an audience. Urban street art is no different; it is still an artistic form of delivery but with a much greater chance of getting heard as it isn`t solely resigned to galleries and standard art pictures display locations.

Although art on the streets may have started with graffiti, urban street picture art has evolved the movement by introducing many mediums with which to create visual pieces such as street installations, mosaic tiling, video projecting/LED art and stencil work.

Artists have realised that a much larger target audience can be reached by making art available to the masses, and what better way to reach a large chunk of the population than by placing art amongst heavily populated areas such as streets and walkways, train stations and even lamp posts.

It`s not only artists that have realized that relevant and accessible art can reach a wide range of people, advertising companies have also jumped on the urban art bandwagon and in some cases have taken on particularly prominent street artists as graphic designers for their campaigns. This is somewhat frowned upon in the urban art field as the majority of artists wish to keep their work unaffiliated with brands allowing them to keep their messages cutting and with no hold barred. Another reason for the secrecy and anonymity within the artistic movement is that more often than not the art works are completed in public places without the proper permission of governing bodies, another slap in the face for the ruling forces they so often satirise in their work.

It is believed amongst some circles that the first street artist was GĂ©rfrom Zlotykamien from France but since then many artists have started to become more aware in the mainstream public art world such as Banksy, Swoon, Ellis Gallagher, Syd TV, and Nick Walker . It is common place for artists to maintain their privacy with false names such as the well publicised and often sought after D face.

Although most towns and cities now have areas dedicated to street art, whether this has been authorised or not, there are certain hot spots around the globe that urban art fans flock to for their cult appeal. Bristol in the Uk has become one of the Uks urban art key areas thanks to Banksy and his ever expanding fan base.

Sao Paulo in Brazil is often considered one of the capitals of street art in particular its large collection of artistic murals completed in a variety of mediums. The bubbling and vibrant feel and atmosphere of the city is clearly apparent in the works depicted in its street art scene. San paulo has speedily transformed into one of the most prominent and most technically gifted showcases around the globe, hence many street artists making the journey to become a part of the brazillian urban art scene.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Che Guerava Graffiti Style Stencil Canvas Art in the Art By People on line gallery...

Che Guevara, the argentine marxist revolutionary who started his career under the leadership of Fidel Castro but later branched out all on his own in places such as Bolivia and the Congo. A feared leader in Guerilla warfare who also had a big hand in the 60's cuban missile crisis. 

Its ironic that his image has become a capitalist product in its own right, huge demand on t shirts, mugs, and of course canvas picture artworks. Some would say its poetic justice. 

Our Che Guevara images are all handsprayed onto canvas by one of our artists. The canvases themselves are cotton and have an image printed and stretched over a 4cm frame. We then spray the strong black, white and cream image straight over the top. You can see the bubbles and blemishes... in fact we make sure these are part of the sprayed design as this randomness is what makes an artwork individual and valued. 

A rough canvas picture guide to the Art By People gallery.

 Photograph Pictures

At Art by People we pride ourselves on looking out for the unusual for the photographic print section of our canvas art pictures. We realise that many companies producing canvas art, like to produce pictures that are just like posters for walls. At art by people we have a passion for the dynamic picture. Our favourite pictures show sports in action and lift the photograph into an artwork. Our outdoor sports pictures reflect the adrenaline rush of the more daring sports we feature. We take pride in our skiing, surfing, rollerblading and climbing pictures knowing they are exciting images that add to the life of any room where they are displayed.



When we select a more scenic picture to print on canvas, we again want it to be more than just an image on a wall. Our New Zealand picture is a good example of this. Split into 3 sections this stunning picture of sunset in that magical country is so much more than any average picture. It is a photographic artwork. 

A good photograph creates and atmosphere and when we select a picture it does just that. Using the vast space of the sky and contrasting this with the small cyclist image our photographer has created something different from the usual. Our canvas art pictures are exclusive to us so you can always buy with confidence.

Digital images

In the 21st century, art is moving in a multitude of directions and artists are quick to seize on all modern technology to create images that will tell the story of out century to future generations. The digital image made possible by computer generation has offered a new outlet for the artistic talents of contemporary artists. Quick to use the facilities, on demand at the click of a mouse, the artistic skill lies in the way these images are manipulated in new and original ways. Imagine how Andy Warhol would have relished the technology of today.


Stencil Art



Street Art is a fascinating art form, growing out of the rebellion of the graffiti artist expressing his individual view of our society. Artists such as Banksy, Eeles and have turned to the stencil as a way of reproducing their edgy street art for a mass market. There are often elements of humour in the work coupled with insightful comment on the issues of our times. Art by People believe this contemporary movement is producing some of the most interesting and collectable canvas art of today.


Abstract Art


This movement that reached its peak in the 20th century is still producing some of the most effective art of today. The way any of the multimedia used by artists can speak to the inner spirit of the viewer, through the abstract forms on a canvas is a constant miracle. The use of the abstract form to express inner feelings provides some of the most successful work sold by Art by People. Translated to canvas art prints and pictures, abstract art is always a popular subject.




We loosely call some of the artwork featured on our web site as ‘impressionistic’ because it is hard to describe. The artwork does not aim to be photographic, there is no point in doing what a camera can do better than an artist. Our artists try to add to the vision by bringing their own style and technique into the picture. The canvas art prints, available exclusively through Art by People, enable art to be available for home display at a very affordable price. The vision of the individual artist is there to be shared and enjoyed by all.



A picture of the sunset sky painted with fluid brush strokes, a sunlit sea with dolphins or a cheering football crowd painted with vigour is in the spirit of the impressionist movement. We hope you both agree and enjoy as much as we do.




Traditionally black and white sketches have been used by artists as a quick way of recording their observation of objects or scenes. There has always been a place in art collections for good draughtsmanship. In the modern interior this is still a good way of creating that corner of interest reflecting the interest of the owner. The media of the canvas art print gives the sketches a contemporary feel. 



Square Art


Art with a very modern feel is often painted or printed on a square shaped canvas. This shape has a very contemporary look. Artists in the 21st century are conscious of the way art is displayed today. The simple square offers that essential sleek look belonging to an uncluttered room, clean, simple and yet drawing the eye in to look. 


Another distinct advantage of the square canvas is the pictures can be grouped well. A block of four pictures all square with colours that harmonise become a statement piece. Two or three pictures side by side can be stunning in their effect. At Art by People, we know that people buying from us are really interested in art. They will display our canvas art pictures with as much care as the artists who created them. 


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter