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. Syd.tv 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.






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