Sunday, November 30, 2014

Marketing and communication - how best to use Facebook Pages in 2015

Are you concerned about the changes in the rules for Facebook Pages being introduced in January 2015?

From January, everybody using a Facebook Page will need to come up with new ways of communicating using Facebook and their Facebook Page in a way which
  • engages an audience
  • stimulates interest which leads to enduring 'likes' and an ongoing following
  • avoids the Page being buried and disappearing from the newsfeed of followers due to any inadvertent breach of the new rules
Yesterday's post generated a few queries so I'll try and address these below before going on to review different ways of doing things.

What this means for artists

Will the new rules for Facebook Pages have a major impact on 
the livelihoods of artists, art teachers, gallery owners, workshop providers etc?

Every artist promoting their business or products on Facebook needs to have a long hard think about whether and what they need to change to conform with the new rules for Facebook Pages being introduced. (see yesterday's post Change in Facebook Pages Rules will affect artists marketing their art).

What the new rules cover

The scope of the NEW rules COULD cover:
  • art for sale (originals or reproductions)
  • commissions
  • art exhibitions, 
  • art workshops and 
  • art books 
  • new product/services you offer

Specifically what the new rules DEFINITELY INCLUDE are the following. Remember these were identified as practices which either people said they really didn't like and/or these were the type of posts which people hid or otherwise indicated they didn't want to see in their newsfeeds.
  • posts which want people to buy a product e.g. a painting or a workshop. In effect, it seems to me that Facebook think "adverts" for products or services which will generate income ought to be paid if you are using Facebook which is a site which you pay nothing to access. My view right now is you should AVOID:
    • language such as "Buy now" or "Go to wherever to buy my art" or "sign up for my workshop"
    • posting of links e.g. to an eBay auction or anywhere else you are selling your art
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context. The clue here are the words "no real context". 
    • Do not make your Page a "gaming" site with offers and promotions which are OTT.
    • Always make any promotion 100% relevant to the stated purpose of the Page e.g. an art magazine running a competition for artists whose art was going to be featured in "Top paintings of 2014" who were then going to be featured in an article in the magazine would, in my opinion, be OK. 
    • My advice would be to:
      • avoid sharing offers made by others which are specific to their sites but not yours
      • avoid sharing any third party content relating to competitions or sweepstakes
      • whatever the content if it looks "pushy" and/or "in your face" avoid it and do NOT share
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads - if the content is in an advert then it can't be on a Facebook Page. 
    • I think this is Facebook trying to "nab" people who start of advertising to get their follower numbers up - then they stop paying for their adverts and carry on using the content from their adverts. 
    • However what's odd about this is it might work against Facebook. Who now is ever going to include any text or links in an advert if this means they will never ever be able to use them again on Facebook? Why would anybody ever use their studio or gallery name and/or a website link in an advert?

Marketing & Communication - 10 Tips for using Facebook Pages in the future

I've been thinking about what opportunities remain for people to continue to use a Facebook Page to market their art in 2015 and below I have 10 tips for how best to approach marketing and communication in 2015 - and how best to use your Facebook Page in the future.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Change in Facebook Pages Rules will affect artists marketing their art

There's a major change coming for those who use Facebook to promote their art. Facebook is changing the rules and changing the way specific types of posts will show up in the news feed. I'm certainly going to be having a rethink of how I promote other people via my Facebook Page.

This is a RECOMMENDED READ for all those who have a Facebook Page and use it to market their art and/or exhibitions.

The announcement

Some numbers about Facebook and Facebook Pages

It's now very difficult to ignore Facebook when it comes to marketing art or the importance of mobile devices for accessing Facebook.
  • In October nearly a billion people visited Facebook Pages (as opposed to Facebook accounts)
  • More than 750 million (75+%) of those visits happened on mobile devices.
  • Facebook is on three of every four smartphones
  • More than half of the people on Facebook visit every day

Summary of the changes in January 2015

This is a summary of the upcoming changes to what's allowed on Facebook Pages and what this means for artists.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Video of the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2014

Last week I visited the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition towards the end of its run at the Mall Galleries. It continues online on the website.

I've mislaid the catalogue in which I made my notes which has made doing a review a bit more difficult than usual. However I'm loath to omit it from my reviews as I know a lot of people like to see what it looks like when thinking about an entry for next year - and not all of us live in London and can get to see it easily!

Hence this is a largely visual review - first a video and then a selection of photographs I took of pieces I liked.

ING Discerning Eye 2014 - view of parts of the exhibitions curated by Helen Sumpter and Nicole Green
Unfortunately the exhibition's website for some reason focuses on text and names rather than images - which frankly seems to me to be entirely the wrong way round - the emphasis surely ought to be on artists and the images!

Hence I can't look at the images quickly and identify the artist........ I will do my best.

2014 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition

The exhibition this year included a total of six hundred and fifty-seven works by three hundred and seventeen artists. This is more than in previous years and frankly parts of the galleries looked very crowded.

The website does NOT report the percentage of works which actually came from the open entry. (see ING Discerning Eye 2014 - Call for Entries). However this year the sponsors have become more transparent about the extent to which the exhibitions are selected from the open entry
Work is selected from open submission and from artists invited by the individual selectors.....The only restrictions are limitation of size (only small works are permitted) and to select at least 25% of their section from the open submission.
Frankly, I now hesitate to call this either an art competition or an open exhibition with a minimum for works from the open entry set as low as 25%.

For me an exhibition which characterises itself as an open entry should have at least 50% of the work from the open entry.

In some ways I think I'd almost rather see a straight properly curated exhibition by six individuals - with an injunction that this exhibition is not a rationale for giving your art students a leg up by selecting their work for the exhibition. The inclusion of students' work in those circumstances says nothing about its intrinsic worth - it's merely an accident of the selection of the curator. To my mind it's as bad as those open exhibitions where all the artists on the selection panel choose their friends for the prizes. At the end of the day such approaches only undermine the reputation of the exhibition and the jury process.

A transparent process would clearly indicate those artists who made it through the jury process on the labels and in the catalogue - and then we could see which curators really made an effort to seek out the best from the open entry and which stuck to the artists they already liked or wanted to favour.

My preference has always been for an exhibition which is 100% selected from the open entry. I'm not sure we'll ever get that - but the insidious downgrading of the open entry is, in my opinion, something which should be resisted.

A look round the exhibition

To me parts of the Galleries looked very crowded - particularly in the large West Gallery - while a few other areas looked sparsely hung.  One wonders whether the curators are given any advice as to how many works their space can comfortably accommodate.  I'm certainly no fan of small works being "skied".

I'm not trying to show you works in detail in the video so much as show you the character of the exhibition - which is six small exhibitions by different curators. You can see their names above their selection as the camera pans around. The curators this year were:
  • artists Nicola Green and Emma Stibborn RA
  • collectors Chris Ingram and Dr. Giles Brown
  • critics Simon Martin and Helen Sumpter

The order in which the small exhibitions are seen on the video are
  • Large West Gallery - Simon Martin, Helen Sumpter, Nicole Green, Emma Stibborn, 
  • Threadneedle Gallery - Giles Brown,
  • North Gallery - Chris Ingram
The exhibition I liked the best was by Chris Ingram - who also selected the work awarded the ING discerning Eye Prize, although there were individual works I liked in all of the exhibitions.


Can the organisers please do the decent thing (i.e. respect the artist) next year and
  • list the prizewinners on the website with their first name and their surname in the correct order.
  • give each of the prizewinning works a page with a unique URL so it can be clearly identified.
The 2014 prizewinners are listed below. The links in the titles of the work which has won the prize is supposed to go to the image of that work on the website. However the website is set up in such a way that the emphasis is on the artist and not the unique artwork - hence it goes to the first piece if it it's a group of work selected! Just keep clicking until you get to the one which matches the title!

The links in the artists' names below go their own personal websites where you can see more of their work.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

10 Golden Rules For Every Busy Artist

I'm sure some of you have probably seen the often quoted 10 Golden Rules for Every Busy Woman. I don't have a clue who wrote them as I've never seen an author acknowledged.

I thought I'd have a go at translating them into rules for a busy artist.

Why don't you take a look and then see if you can come up with your version. If you do please

  • either leave them as a comment
  • or write about them on your blog and link back to this one so I know you've done your own version.

So here's my....

Ten Golden Rules for Every Busy Artist

  1. Drawn in three minutes 
    after two years 
    of life drawing classes
    copyright Katherine Tyrrell
    When I'm 'in the zone' and in the studio I'm not available
  2. There's no such thing as the perfect drawing, painting, colour mix etc. - but practice helps me create art more effectively
  3. I am allowed to create a new way of making art - even if you and the gallery like what I used to do better
  4. Creating a tiff image as soon as I complete an artwork means I won't get upset when it sells and I realise I don't have a proper image of it
  5. I will always get through the admin and marketing faster and more effectively if I allocate a set time
  6. Time spent cleaning the studio is not downtime, it's thinking about the next piece time
  7. I don't have to say "Yes" to every offer or opportunity to exhibit or teach or demonstrate or give a talk
  8. I will stress less later if I file that paid invoice/expense receipt now
  9. Every now and again I should look up and say 'Hello' to friends and family and be thankful for my supporters
  10. I should always remember that galleristas and art critics can't do what I can!

These are very loosely based on

Ten Golden Rules for Every Busy Woman

  1. I am not on call to all people all of the time.
  2. I have needs of my own, which may not be the same as those of my family, my colleagues or my friends.
  3. I don’t have to say ‘yes’ to every request that is made of me.
  4. I don’t have to carry on doing something just because I’ve always done it.
  5. Time spent relaxing is time well spent.
  6. There’s no such thing as the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect child.
  7. Time spent feeling guilty could be spent doing more enjoyable things.
  8. I shouldn’t always do it for them if they are capable of doing it themselves.
  9. I should give myself the same care and consideration that I give to others.
  10. I should remember, at all times, especially in the face of criticism, difficulties and anxiety, that I am doing the best I can!
Why not have a go and see what you can come up with!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 - shortlisted artists and winner

I've just discovered that if you are in the UK you can access RTE - and hence you can watch a short preview on RTE of the inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014.  Here's the link to the programme. It should start at 4 minutes 42 second.

Hennessy Portrait Prize 

This is a new prize open to artists resident on the island of Ireland or an Irish citizen living abroad
The Hennessy Portrait Prize was launched in March 2014. Open to artists in all disciplines, the competition’s aim is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland.
These were the Rules of the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014. (pdf). Entry was digital. The only condition on media is that

The portrait must be of a size and medium that could reasonably be exhibited. 

Shortlisted artists

Educator Dr Declan Long, artist Donald Teskey RHA, art critic Cristín Leach Hughes and art author Janet McLean selected the shortlist of twelve finalists

Photograph courtesy RTÉ Presspack

The short-listed artworks and artists for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 - according the official website - are listed below. You can see all shortlisted works in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland until February 8th, 2015

Note that the artworks chosen are a mix of oil paintings, photographs and videos.  I rather like the idea that paintings are supposed to look like paintings and photos look like photos!

What do YOU think of the notion that a portrait competition should include photography and video?

Shortlisted artists - highlighting the winner

  • Links to the artist's website (if discoverable) are in the artist's name. 
  • Links to the artwork are also provided - and you'll find these also provide more details about the artist.

Monday, November 24, 2014

How to enter the £30,000 BP Portrait Award 2015 - and improve your chances of being selected

The website for the BP Portrait Exhibition 2015 is now online - complete with information about how to enter. As I have done in previous years, I've compiled my very popular Making A Mark Guide to help make sure you have spotted all the really relevant "need to know" facts.

Read my guide (below) first and you'll get the hang of the official pages more quickly! Or at least that's what a lot of the artists who enter tell me every year!

Thomas Kanter, winner of the BP Portrait Award 2014
meets Winner of the 2013 Award Susanne du Toit
This post covers:
  • the major change to the entry process for BP Portrait Award 2015 is the introduction of DIGITAL SUBMISSION for 100% of the entries. There is no more postal entries - which I've already alerted people about in BP Portrait Award 2015 entry goes digital
  • why this is a competition worth entering 
  • how to get selected
  • a review of the entry details for those who don't like very small white print on a black background! 
  • links to past posts about the BP Portrait Award and exhibition reviews on this blog

It is of course no substitute for the real thing and I won't cover every last detail - so you still have to read all the conditions.

Don't forget to let me know if your entry gets selected!

What's different in 2015

The major change for 2015 is that entry is going to be 100% via digital image submission.
We will no longer be accepting postal entries for the competition. All submissions must be made online via the website.
The entrants who are successful in this round will then be invited to hand-deliver or courier their work to a venue in London for the second round of judging and final exhibition selection. 

The benefits of the move to 100% digital submission are:
  • it opens up entry to artists who may be seriously deterred by the expenses associated with the previous requirement to submit the actual portrait painting. 
  • it's going to cut costs significantly for ALL those who submit - but don't make the cut for the second round of selection. 
    • The only cost will be the entry fee and any costs associated with a decent digital image. 
    • Most can eliminate the travel or courier costs totally and forget about the expense of framing for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
  • it saves time - no more visits to the framers for most artists, or the couriers or the National Portrait Gallery
  • it's much more cost-effective for artists, judges and the gallery!  You may be surprised when I say judges and gallery - but remember the paintings had to be stored - and the judges had to sit for a very long time while the portraits are paraded in front of them!  

The challenges associated with digital submission
  • the competition increases significantly. Last year, in the first year of digital submission - the entries increased by over 20%
  • you need access to a computer even if you don't have one or use one
  • you MUST submit a good quality digital image
  • if you can't afford the fees of a professional photographer you may need to learn about how to take photograph and create a digital image! Fortunately the competition organisers have provided a comprehensive guide to How to photograph your work.

Why enter the BP Portrait Award 2015?

10 reasons to enter this competition

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recording Britain Now - exhibition and prizewinner

Recording Britain Now is the John Ruskin Prize 2014 exhibition I never thought I'd get to see. However a generous sponsor enabled it to be brought from Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery where it was first shown on was. It can be seen until the end of the month at The Electricians Gallery at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

It's an exhibition of drawings, paintings, prints and textiles by 23 artists shortlisted for the second John Ruskin Prize

The theme of the second prize exhibition is Recording Britain Now. Artists were invited to
...present fresh, contemporary visions of their urban, rural or social environment.
There were some 600 entries and the selection panel agreed on 23 images that offer
an engaging mix of materials, techniques and topical commentary, exploring urban sprawl, dereliction and the endangered British countryside.
You have one more week to see it. The exhibition continues until 30th November and is free. 
  • Sun 23 Nov 12-5pm
  • Wed 26 Nov 12-5pm
  • Thu 27 Nov 4-8pm
  • Fri 28 Nov 12-5pm
  • Sat 29 Nov 12-5pm
  • Sun 30 Nov 12-5pm
Here are some of the photographs I took last weekend when sketching there.  Note:
  • how large some of the drawings are
  • how some large drawings are not framed but rather are suspended from fishing wire lopped through small bulldog clips which attach to the sheet of paper. This seems to be have become an accepted way of showing large works on paper - if for no other reason than everybody avoids the problems with weight and the risk of broken glass!

The John Ruskin Prize

Former scientist and recent art graduate, Maggie Hargreaves, was awarded the £1,000 prize for
"two huge drawings revealing nature’s revenge on man’s despoliation of the countryside."
(Right) 'Slowly Creeping' (2011) by Maggie Hargreaves
charcoal on paper, 150x212 cm
(Left) Changing Space II (2009) by Maggie Hargreaves
150x220 cm, charcoal on paper
Here, built structures encroach on natural environments but as those structures are abandoned, no longer required, the woods reclaim what was taken, creeping back and re-establishing territory.The level of detail and large scale of these drawings invites viewers to enter the space depicted and spend time exploring it. Concurrently, as the drawings are approached, the image dissolves and the materiality and process are established; the artifice of the image construction is revealed as a piece of paper with handmade marks, pinned to the gallery wall. Drawing and erasing with charcoal reflects the transient shifting nature of the relationship between people and the surrounding living environment.
Ruskin Prize for Drawing 2014 - Winner! Maggie Hargreaves' blog

More photographs from the exhibition. 

I'm afraid still trying to find the listing which identified which drawing is which artist

I LOVED the textile landscape drawing!
The selected artists in the exhibition are: Anny Evason, Alex Hamilton, Ben Lingard, Colin Maxwell, Catherine Sutcliffe-Fuller, Chris Shaw Hughes, Dr Dolores de Sade, Darren Reid, Evy Jokhova, Gillian Swan, Hannah Brown, Ian Chamberlain, Jennifer Morgan, Michael Cox, Maggie Hargreaves, Mandy Payne, Philip Sanderson, Ros Ford, Rebecca Upton, Roanna Wells, Sonia Stanyard, Sarah Taylor- Silverwood, Sean Williams.

The John Ruskin Prize 2014 Selection Panel:
  • Gill Saunders - Senior Curator of Prints, V&A
  • Laura Oldfield Ford - Artist
  • Sue Grayson Ford - Director, Campaign for Drawing
  • Kirstie Hamilton - Museums Sheffield
  • Clive Wilmer - Master, Guild of St George.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My book is "365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching" in Asia

The English language edition of my book in Asia has the title 365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching and is being published by Page One Publishing.

Below you can see the cover. I must say I rather like the diversity of drawings and sketches which, at the same time, work very well together. Congratulations to the designers at Page One - this one gets a thumbs up from me!

The spine and front cover of 365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching
The artwork gives a good sense of the different types of drawings and sketches you can find in the book.

The artists whose work is on the cover are as follows starting top left and going clockwise and finishing in the middle
You can see more information about them on the Facebook Page plus  links to their Facebook pages and websites at the end of this post.

This is a cropped version of the back cover

Cropped version of the back cover of "365 Hints & Tips for Drawing & Sketching" 
I liked their description on the back cover
"a far cry from other dry, run-of-the-mill art instruction books" 
mainly because that was a prime objective the while time I was writing it!

The book is (or will be) available at all Page One stores in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan and other major bookstores in Asia. It's also getting some publicity on the Page One HQ Facebook Page

Plus it's already got its first review by popular art book blogger Parkablogs

Here's the artists again

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Royal Drawing School

I found out yesterday that I can now say I'm an ex-student of the Royal Drawing School - so I promptly revised my bio pages! (see About the Artist and About Katherine Tyrrell)

The Prince's Drawing School, which was founded by the Prince of Wales in 2000, has been granted Royal status by the Queen. Its new logo retains the Prince of Wales feathers to denote his drive behind and interest in the School.

Six other arts educational establishments have also been granted royal status and this new mark of recognition puts the Drawing School on a par with the Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Royal Ballet School, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal School of Needlework.

Royal Drawing School website - the Courses Page
The school was ready to go with a brand new website (which I rather like), alongside a brand new logo!

About the Royal Drawing School

The Royal Drawing School was formerly known as the Prince's Drawing School and was housed in a former warehouse type building in Charlotte Street on the borders of Shoreditch and trendy 'White Cube' Hoxton. I used to trek along in the evening to do my "drawing a head" class with James Lloyd and to attend various lectures.
Studio 4 at the Princes Drawing School is on the top floor of an old commercial building in Charlotte Street on the Shoreditch/Hoxton borders. The top floor sits above its neighbours and consequently we have excellent light in the summer months and, naturally, it also changes as the session passes!
Drawing Class 8th June (2006)
a drawing done in 2006

Some features of the Drawing School

The Royal Drawing School is an independent, not-for-profit resource that aims to raise the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practice. We are one of only a few institutions in the world offering in-depth, quality tuition in drawing from observation.
One of the things I've always liked about the School is it's not "exclusive" - its aim has always been to expand opportunities for drawing.

The school has expanded enormously - and internationally - from when I was attending classes in Charlotte Street. I very reluctantly had to give up as my tenosynovitis is not fond of intensive drawing in concentrated bouts.
  • The school is an independent charity and consequently is able to make bursaries available and offer classes at discounted fees.
  • its premier Course is the The Drawing Year which is a one year postgraduate MA Course

    The Drawing Year is a full scholarship MA-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one academic year. There are no tuition fees for The Drawing Year – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free studio space in the iconic Tea Building in Shoreditch.
  • it runs a Foundation Year programme based at Trinity Buoy Wharf. A student from this programme won the Sunday Times Watercolour Prize this year (see Kathryn Maple wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014)
  • it has a wide range of public courses which are run as both daytime and evening courses.
    Their three main programmes are based at the Royal Drawing School Shoreditch, Drawing School Central in Oxford Street, and Royal Drawing School West in South Kensington. I'd very much recommend people reviewing their portfolio of courses as there is something there for everyone.
  • it also has a range of Saturday Courses and Programmes for Schools.
  • The Royal Drawing School is developing international collaborations. 
In 2014 the Royal Drawing School began building partnerships with some of the United States’ most renowned art schools. Together, we are developing residencies, workshops and exchange programmes to benefit art students on both sides of the Atlantic for whom drawing is central to their work. Currently, our partner art schools are:
The Arts Students League of New York
The New York Academy of Art
The New York Studio School
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
The Yale University School of Art

You can find out more about the school and its tutors and courses on its website

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My NEW book is "Drawing 365" in the USA

Today I'm going to show to the cover for the version of my book which is being published in the USA by North Light Books on 1 January 2015 with this title Drawing 365: Tips and Techniques to Build Your Confidence and Skills.

First of all - very many thanks to everybody for getting my version of a launch for my new book off to a good start. At the time of writing it's now up to 130 likes on my new Facebook Page in c. 18 hours - which is absolutely fabulous!

Check out the new page here - Katherine Tyrrell: 365 Tips for Drawing and Sketching.

Below you can find the front and back cover of the American edition of the book PLUS the Contents Page!

The North American version - Drawing 365

Here's the front cover of the book in the USA. As you can there are images by lots of different artists on the front page - of which three are mine.

Drawing 365 by Katherine Tyrrell
Tips and techniques to build your confidence and skills
Front cover and spine - copyright F&W Publishing (North Light Books)
So starting top left and going clockwise and finishing in the middle we have:
This is the back cover - with more images left to right
  • Coffee cans in the Conservatory (charcoal) by Felicity House
  • Audrey 2 (coloured pencil) by John Smolko. This image also gets a full page treatment so all those who wondered what John's work looks like close up can have a jolly good look!  I saw his work up close in a CPSA exhibition in Albuquerque and knew it was inspirational up front!
  • Early morning in January (coloured pencils) by Katherine Tyrrell
Drawing 365 by Katherine Tyrrell
A day to day companion and workshop
Back cover and spine - copyright F&W Publishing (North Light Books)

I liked their description of the book - which I didn't get to write!
Make drawing a part of your daily life, while turning every day into inspiration for your art. Designed to fit your life, Drawing 365 presents a comprehensive art course in bite-sized chunks—so it’s easy to dip in, even for just five minutes at a time. open it daily to find a new tip, idea, technique or challenge ... all aimed at getting you into the habit and mindset of an artist. You’ll find expert insights on everything from value, perspective and composition, to how to use a shadow box, compose a self- portrait in the form of a still life, and work from life.

The contents are presented in three sections:
  • The Basics: how to get started, achieve successful results and continue improving
  • Subjects : still life, people, animals, landscapes, interiors, flowers, water, skies ... the possibilities are all around you!
  • Mediums : sample a wide variety, including colored pencil, pastel, pen and ink and watercolor
This is the Contents Page - which helps people understand more about what the book is about. I was absolutely determined to keep the media to the end on the principle that you can draw with all sorts of different media - as the images in the book demonstrate.  The aim was to wet the appetite to find out more about different types of media as people go through the book!

Right click and open in a new tab to see the Contents Page of my book
Image: "Sketching media" by Liz Steel (pen, ink and watercolour)
Copyright Quarto (World) | North Light Books (USA)

As you can see, the book is priced at $24.99 - but it is already listed on Amazon for PRE-ORDERS and where you can also see a "look inside" version.

More about what I was trying to do when writing the book in the third post - which will highlight the cover of the Asian (English edition).

Note: This is my post about the UK version My NEW book is called 'Sketching 365' in the UK

Monday, November 17, 2014

My NEW book is called 'Sketching 365' in the UK

Would you like 365 Tips and Techniques to help build your confidence and skills in drawing and sketching?

Sketching 365 by Katherine Tyrrell
Tips and techniques to build your confidence and skills daily
Front cover and spine - copyright Rotovision
My NEW book provides 365 tips and techniques about drawing and sketching and is being published very shortly.

It's intended for beginners through to more advanced sketchers.

I now have one advance copy of each of the three different versions published in the UK, USA and Asia (in English). So that's three different publishers, three different titles and three different covers :) - but everything inside is absolutely the same apart from a few variations around spelling (colour, color etc).

The titles and publishers of the books are:
This week I'm going to introduce you to what the three different books look like and I'll also use the opportunity to highlight different aspects of the book.  

I've also set up a Facebook Page dedicated to the book - Katherine Tyrrell: 365 Tips for Drawing and Sketching. I intend to use this to highlight some of the different aspects of the book and some of the artists who contributed so if you'd like to find out even more I suggest you do the usual thing and follow it.

The UK Version - Sketching 365

The artists featured on the cover are:
  • Front Cover - St Pauls and the Thames from Tate Modern (pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils) Katherine Tyrrell 
  • Back Cover :
    • Sketching toolkit (pen and ink and watercolour) by Liz Steel 
    • Shadow Palms (pen and black ink) by Melissa B. Tubbs
    • Lippiano, Umbria (watercolour) by Mat Barber Kennedy - I was tickled pink to get this one from Mat as I've actually sat inside that colonnade and sketched the fountain - plus been up the tower to survey the countryside around about.
Sketching 365 by Katherine Tyrrell
Tips and techniques to build your confidence and skills daily
Back cover and spine - copyright Rotovision
As you can see it also tells you something about what the book is about.
  • Covering everything from different ways to hold a pencil through to drawing specific subjects such as people or landscapes
  • features the work of 50 contemporary, international artists
  • bit-sized tips and advice make improving your sketching simple and enjoyable
  • includes indispensable advice about how to work with different media
Tomorrow I'll tell you a bit more about what it covers in more detail

Thanks to 55 artists and illustrators!

Pictures speak louder than words! This book would have been nothing without the diversity of images within it!  The book contains some 300+ (I lost count!) drawings and sketches in graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, coloured pencils, watercolour and mixed media.

So, first of all I want to recognise and extend my appreciation and thanks to the 55 artists and illustrators - from very many different countries - who generously contributed images to this book - and I'm listing them below.  I think some of you may well know their names.

Artists who work as tutors and/or run workshops have a (T) after their name. Check out their websites for further details.








New Zealand





United Kingdom


There's also a few of my diagrams, drawings in dry media and sketches!

Next post will be about the USA version.

More about Katherine Tyrrell

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My book - a small teaser

This is by way of a teaser. I'm going to start doing some posts about my book next week.

That's the one about drawing and sketching which has three different publishers for three different English language areas (UK, USA and Asia) - and three different titles and three different covers! This is a crop of a photo of my advance copies of the three titles side by side.  As you can see the outsides are very different even thought the inside is identical - apart from a few changes for spelling preferences.

This week I've been finding out about how to set up
  • an Author Page on Amazon (which varies between and and 
  • a Facebook Page for a book - which is very different from setting up a Facebook Page for an artist.
Next week I'll be introducing the different titles and their publication date, showing you the covers for each book and a bit more I hope.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

David Titlow wins Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

The photograph which won the £12,000 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for 2014 is Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow by David Titlow.


The photographs of the prizewinners highlighted below can be seen as part of the competition's exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery which opened today and closes on 22 February 2015.

59 portraits have been selected for the exhibition from 4,193 submissions entered by 1,793 photographers.  (This competition is even more popular than the BP Portrait Award!). It seems to me that this competition becomes more international with every year that passes.
(This) showcases the work of some of the most exciting contemporary photographers from around the world, including emerging talent, established professionals, photography students and gifted amateurs.


I spoke with each of the prizewinners yesterday and this post contains the winning images and information about each photograph and the photographer - plus some views of the exhibition.  For recommendations as to how to get a photograph into this exhibition please take a look at last year's review - cited below.

Winner of the 2014 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize - £12,000

Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow
Copyright: David Titlow

The winning photograph reminds me very much of the chiaroscuro lighting seen in paintings by Caravaggio and other artists. It also has a lovely flow between the subjects.

However it wasn't set up. David's account of how it came about indicates the photo was taken very quickly. The subject is his son being introduced to a dog on the morning after the night before - which was a big party to celebrate Midsummer - on the longest day - on the farm of his Swedish girlfriend's parents (in Sweden).  They go every year - but this was the first time they'd been with their new born son.  His son has just been handed to a group of relatives and friends.

The light in the photograph is coming from the left - as it does in many classical paintings. He adjusted his camera to minimise the noise in what would be a photograph in low light.

In the foreground are the beer cans which have not yet been cleared away. The baby is outlined in rim lighting and is sitting on the knee of his girlfriend's sister. Another friend's eyes are seen peering over the top of the dog's neck. In the background is a Larsen like wall paper in very subdued light.

In summary it is both a totally natural moment and a very complex image with many of the attributes of a fine art painting.  David took lots of photos and when reviewing them this one jumped out straight away as "special".

David Titlow with his portrait of his son being introduced to a dog on a Midsummer morning in Sweden
David Titlow (b. 1963) works as a photographer in fashion and advertising. He has exhibited widely and has been commissioned by numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Vice and Vanity Fair. Originally a musician from Halesworth in Suffolk, Titlow switched to photography in the early nineties and has since worked in the industry.
David maintains a daily photo blog called Die Rache. He's represented by Skinny Dip.

John Kobal New Work Award - £4,000 

This is an Award given to a photographer under thirty whose work has been selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition. It's the second most valuable prize being worth a cash prize of £4,000 plus a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the National Portrait Gallery Collection.

The John Kobal New Work Award has been awarded to Laura Pannack for her photograph Chayla at Shul, a portrait of a young Jewish girl.

Chayla at Shul 
Copyright: Laura Pannack

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

So many poppies..... So many men lost......

At 11.00am GMT today a two minute silence marks the one of the more formal commemorations Armistice Day in 1918, following the end of the First World War

We visited the Tower of London yesterday and saw the completed Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 10 November 2014
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 10 November 2014
It was quite a sight against the sun and blue skies and the white walls of the Tower of London. In fact it's so enormous it was a little difficult to take in what it means. I read a comment yesterday that people are so overwhelmed by the impact of the ceramic poppies that they forget for a minute that these represent the 888,246 British military fatalities in the First World War - and that a fitting way of reminding people what that means would be for a tank to come in and break them all up. Which was certainly a comment which reminded me what this installation is all about

The view of the installation in two sides of the moat around the Tower of London
You can see a (rather big) video of the installation below - as seen from the air now the moats are filled.

The Wave -from the entrance to the Tower of London into the South Moat
a close up of the poppies in the sun next to the wall
of the Tower of London
All the poppies have now been sold - for £25 each - for the benefit of the six service charities.

However you can still make a dedication in the Roll of Honour with respect to the name of a fallen soldier

You can view the dedications on the website.

Viewing the Poppies

We went very early yesterday and there were huge crowds at 10am in the morning!

I suspected the crowds would be very big later in the day - as indeed they were - people were standing 5-6 deep around the perimeter of the moat.

The cascade of poppies from the Tower
I understand it will also take until the end of November to dismantle the installation - which obviously needs to be done carefully as all those poppies are now sold!

So if you still haven't seen it get along in the next week or so and you'll see as much as people did back in August!

and finally.... another video - this time by HM Forces News.

1. The installation has been created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins. He's be assisted by stage designer Tom Piper.
2. You can read more about the installation in my earlier post 888246 poppies - Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red).

Monday, November 10, 2014

£15,000 Lynn Painter Stainers Prize 2015 - Call for Entries

This is a rather late overview of the call for entries for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2015
Created in 2005, the Prize aims to encourage the very best creative representational painting and promote the skill of draftsmanship.
I must confess I have been thoroughly confused by the timetabling of the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize in recent years. It has moved dates for call for entries and exhibitions and even cancelled it one year. It would be great if the Prize could settle down and stick to a routine!

Anyway - the bottom line for 2015 is that the deadline for entries is 8th December 2015.

Here's what you need to know.

The Craggs at Dawn (from Carlton Hill)a section of the winning painting in 2014
by Catherine Davison


I normally only post about art competitions where the first prize exceeds £10,000. In this instance the prizes are as follows:
  • First Prize: £15,000
  • 5 Runner-Up Prizes: £1,500 each
  • Young Artist Award: £2,500 (For an artist who is 25 years of age or under)
  • Brian Botting Prize for Figurative Drawing: £5,000 (For an artist who is 30 years of age or under)
You'll note this is a good competition for younger artists to enter!

The Exhibition

For the 2014 Exhibition, 85 drawings and paintings by 78 artists were selected.

This year's advice is that c.100 artworks will be exhibited at the Mall Galleries between 16th and 21st February 2015. (Free admission).

Viewing the prizewinning paintings 2014

Information for Artists

Who can enter

  • Living artists over the age of 18, who are resident in the British Isles - irrespective of whether or not they are a British citizen.
  • British citizens living abroad cannot enter.

Eligible artwork

  • Original, two-dimensional works in any painting or drawing media. 
  • These MUST have been completed in the last three years and not previously exhibited.
  • You can submit up to 4 works
  • All works must be for sale, except for commissioned portraits.
  • The longest dimension of each entry - including frame - must not exceed 60 inches (152 cms).

Entry fees and commission

  • Entry is £20 per work (£8 per work for students).
  • You can pay by Paypal or via Paypal using your credit card
  • Commission of 40% + VAT @ 20% will be charged on works sold during or as a result of the exhibition, or by means of the website. This means that you will receive a net sum equivalent to 52% of the price you state.

How to enter

Online image constraints

  • Your digital image for every artwork entered should have a resolution of 300dpi but with a maximum file size of 500KB. 
  • Only the following file formats are acceptable: JPEGs, TIFFs or PNGs.  
  • Each image file must be named with your surname, first name and brief title e.g. SmithJohn_Title.jpeg
(Personally I find this nonsensical - but then I've just submitted a 300 dpi pic to London Transport for my Boriscard and I know what the actual size of that was!  The problem with a file size limit of 500kb @300 dpi is it will be TINY!) I don't understand why the organisers don't use Dropbox which would allow much bigger images to be uploaded all of which can then be viewed in Dropbox by all the judges! 

Key Dates

  • 8th December 2014 - Deadline for online entries, by 5pm
  • 19th December 2014 - Results of initial judging emailed to artists by this date
  • 9th January 2015 - Shortlisted artists submit works to FBA - not so wonderful for those with jobs and/or living elsewhere in the UK (however do take a look at off-peak train fares via theTrainline.com which have become a lot more reasonable if you travel off peak and get the timing right). A list of approved art carriers who can offer collection and delivery services for the final judging will also be available to all shortlisted artists.
  •  14th January 2015 - Results of final round judging emailed to artists by this date
  •  17th January 2015 - Unaccepted short listed works available for collection at the FBA 10am-5pm
  •  16th February - Private View and Prize Giving
  •  16th - 21st February - Exhibition at Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1, 10am-5pm daily

The 2015 Selection Panel

The selectors will be looking for work that demonstrates the very best in creative representational painting and promotes the skill of draughtsmanship.
The 2015 judges include:
  • Angela Flowers, Founder, Flowers Gallery
  • Ken Howard OBE RA NEAC, Artist
  • Brian Sewell, Critic
  • Ruth Stage, Artist and winner of the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize 2013
  • Andrew Wilton, Visiting Research Fellow at Tate Britain


The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers dates back to 1502.
The Painters received an Inspeximus in 1466 and a Grant of Arms in 1486 and in 1502 the Paynters united with the Steyners, to form the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.
Past members of the Company have included Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Godfrey Kneller, Sir Peter Lely, Sir James Thornhill, William Dobson, Peter Monamy, Lord Leighton, Sir John Millais, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir Alfred Munnings, Sir Thomas Monnington, Sir Gerald Kelly, Sir Charles Wheeler, Sir Hugh Casson and Sir Roger de Grey.

It supports the art and craft of painting - primarily through this Prize. 

The Lynn Foundation is a charity devoted to children, the disabled, music and the arts. Its contribution is the prize money totalling £25,000 and an engraved gold medal for the winner of the First Prize.

Previous Years of the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize

Links to previous Making A Mark posts about the Lynn Painter Stainer Prize and Exhibition