My latest commission delights it’s owner

A few weeks ago the owner of this beautiful spaniel called Pimms contacted me through my website to ask if I could do a commission of her. It was to be a birthday present for her partner Clive. She had found me by googling ” animal artists in Herefordshire” and chose me because she liked the quality of my work.

We travelled down to Dymock in Gloucestershire to met Victoria and Pimms, and my wife Cath took a series of photographs from which Victoria chose her favourite. I do prefer to take our own photos to get the best possible detail, light, contrast and character. The eyes are particularly important to get perfect as they can make or break a portrait. Victoria chose E but which would you have chosen?

which-would-you-chose

I completed this portrait using soft pastels and pastel pencils on Canson Mi-Tientes Touch pastel paper. The sharpened pencils create the detail and the background is blended using polystyrene sticks to give the three dimensional effect to the completed painting. A ( rather poor) quality video of how I created Pimms can be found HERE. Victoria collected Pimms yesterday and gave it to Clive last night as an early birthday present – but also as a Valentine’s gift……These photos are of Pimms, her portrait and Clive….a delighted and delightful family!

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Selling art online is difficult but catchy tags help enormously

This week I sold ” Dreaming of Fame” through the online art gallery “Artfinder.com” – the third painting I have sold with them in two years. Not a high hit rate but, with hundreds of artists and thousands of pieces of art for buyers to search through, it is no wonder!

What I found interesting was the comment from the buyer “It is a beautiful piece that has significance for us not least because my wife loves ballet and comes from a family of French lace makers!” Luckily there are not a large number of “ballerina” paintings ( 225 in the price bracket) on Artfinder but if I had added “lace” there would have been only 30 ( including mine )

So it has taught me a lesson – that even the simplest tag can improve your chance of being found. This may be commonsense to some but to someone new to online selling it is part of the journey of discovery…..

Artfinder seem to have a formula that works. No other site I have found encourages us to upload photos not just of the artwork but also of the signature, close up views, work in progress ( if available ) and of it in the frame…..

So I will keep adding new work to Artfinder, improve the tags I add to the description and upload quality photographs to improve my page. I keep my fingers crossed that someone else will find their perfect painting in my online gallery!

You can see more pastel artwork that I have sold ( both online and in galleries ) and have had commissioned on my website.…..

Artists beware……please read this!

This is about a lesson learned about an internet scam I experienced this week….

It started when an email came through from my website from a Theo Schwartz ( email address: theo1885@outlook.com ). He purported to come from Hamburg in Germany and wanted to buy two paintings. He said that he had a number of items to transport from the UK to Germany and would pay for the items ( we agreed a sum ) then arrange collection from my home.

I sent him a Paypal invoice for the paintings ( easy to do from a Paypal business account ) but he insisted paying cheque through his business account. When the cheque arrived it was for the equivalent of £2850 ( 3306 euros) and when I emailed him to say it was too much ( over £2000 too much!!) he insisted that I deposit it, wait until it had been through the negotiation process with the bank then his courier would collect the paintings…..

I was still very concerned about having someone else’s money in my bank account and my bank agreed with me so I did not deposit the cheque, instead emailed “Theo” requesting that he pay for the paintings through PayPal and send him a photo of the cheque being destroyed…..I have heard nothing from him since…..

Now comes the important part –  I have since heard that this is a very elaborate scam. If I had deposited the cheque, it would have cleared the bank negotiations in 1 to 6 weeks and I would have sent the paintings off ( or they would have been collected ) Then either the cheque would have bounced or “Theo” might have requested I purchase something else for him or any number of possibilities.

Lesson to learn – if your buyer pays in advance with a large cheque assume it is a scam. Only accept enough money to cover the cost of the item and postage, no more….Hope this saves a lot of heartache.

Please spread the word! 

Delighted to sell a painting on Artfinder.com

I was very pleased to receive notification of the sale of the black impala through the art sale website Artfinder.com It is the second piece of pastel artwork I have sold through this site and they deal with all the payments so that is good news, though they do take commission. The new owner lives in London and spent many years in South Africa so it should bring back good memories……