Painter Lincoln Townley has encouraged other artists to get online after his website sold out £100,000 worth of his work in less than an hour.

The 30 works, which ranged in price from £650 to £13,500, included prints and sketches and were intended to bring in buyers put off by the high prices his work often fetches.

He said: “My online shop was designed to open my studio up to the world.

“It’s essential for artists in genres to expand sales using the biggest middle man on earth, the internet!

“With the closing of many galleries artists need to embrace technology to grow their business and reach more collectors.

“We have been planning this online platform for a year and it’s now proving to be one of the best things I’ve done.”

A British artist who made his name painting Hollywood royalty is launching his latest show, about “people who take risks”, in Venice.

It comes after Townley, who is best known for portraits of celebrities such as Kate Moss and David Bowie, unveiled a Chelsea apartment which is filled with his work allowing would-be buyers to spend time with it away from the more pressured atmosphere of a commercial art gallery.

He also uses Instagram to advertise directly to buyers and also previews work for a select group of collectors admitted to a WhatsApp group he runs.

Last year he sold a diamond encrusted portrait of the late Princess Diana for a personal record of £1 million.

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