Creating Paintings That Sell

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It’s not easy to make a living selling paintings. After all, the “starving artist” archetype exists for a reason.

But, in the age of the internet, it’s easier than ever to sell paintings. Using platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, eBay, and Etsy, painters are able to reach a wider audience than they would have been able to in the past.

However, not all paintings are created equal. Just because an artist has access to these platforms doesn’t mean that they’re guaranteed to sell their work.

Oil Painting from Etsy Artist

Oil Painting from Etsy Artist

Typically, art collectors want pieces that they can show off in their homes. Unless they’re the type of collector who donates work to museums, or they have an enormous house, they want work that fits on their walls. That way, they can look at their pieces everyday and show them off to guests who come over.

So, if it’s sales that you’re after, keep your works within the six-foot range. In other words, don’t make anything that exceeds six feet in either direction. That way, your paintings will fit comfortably on the wall of an average collector’s home.

Don’t stick to one size, either. Make works in a range of different sizes. That way, if a collector is interested in one of your paintings but doesn’t have a huge wall, then you have something smaller that might interest them.

Of course, if you enjoy making huge paintings, don’t let your collector base stop you. But, don’t expect too many people to inquire about them. Most people just don’t have the space.

Already have a painting and trying to figure out how to sell it? Check out our selling art guide here

Math Rothko Untitled

Math Rothko Untitled

Unfortunately, art collectors don’t seem to enjoy earth tones, muted colors, or grey scale works. This isn’t to say that no one buys work with these colors in it, but muted artworks don’t sell as well as brightly colored ones.

Of course, there is a collector base for artists who make black, white, brown, and gray paintings. But, if those are the primary colors in your work, it may be slightly more difficult to find interested buyers.

There’s an old art world saying that goes, “If it doesn’t sell, make it big. If that doesn’t work, paint it red.”

This truism comes from the fact that customers tend to buy artworks with certain colors in them. Of all of the colors, red is the best-selling color in art.

It’s not the only color that buyers buy, though. They also seem to enjoy bright greens, blues, and yellows.

Want to learn more about color and design? Check out this article…

oil painting

Popular Etsy Oil Painting

There isn’t one particular subject that does best in the art market. Some collectors like landscapes, seascapes, and still lives. Others enjoy portraits or abstract pictures.

So, whatever you decide to paint, someone out there will be interested in gazing upon it.

However, certain art subjects do better in certain locations. In small seaside towns, for example, galleries have the easiest time selling pictures of the ocean. So, many artists paint seascapes because its easiest to find buyers for those works.

Also, portraiture may be hard to sell because not everyone wants a picture of an unknown person in their home. Collectors who buy portraiture tend to have works commissioned. That way, they are able to own paintings that depict their family or friends.

Abstraction, however, tends to sell well everywhere. Abstract images usually look good in any home as long as the colors compliment each other.

What Types Of Paintings Sell The Best?

Generally, the best selling paintings are pieces that radiate light feelings. Most people buy paintings in order to have pieces to decorate their homes and carry out the themes of the colors and feelings within their homes or spaces. Therefore, pieces of realism, or even abstract pieces that match the color schemes are best selling paintings. Most people tend to avoid controversial, graphic, or really deep messages within paintings that can set off the aura or ambiance of the space. Having graphic or controversial paintings especially within peaceful places is not the best idea.

What Is The Most Popular Style Of Art?

The most popular style of art as a whole is realism, and other forms of or relating to realism. Realism is a form of art which is meant to depict the subject or object in which the art was inspired by.

Realism is also referred to as naturalism and uses a variety of lights, darks, colors, and tones in order to depict its subject in the realist way possible, without resembling a photograph. Another branch of realism is photo realism, which, in the same concept, depicts the subject. However, photorealism creates the illusion of the object but to a more elevated and heightened extent.

What Is The Most Popular Painting Size?

Canvas size and its popularity is all dependent upon the artist and what the overall end goal is. When it comes to size, the general rule of thumb is that medium sized canvases, ranging 8 x 12 to 12 x 16 are generally best suited for beginner artists.

This is because smaller canvases require more attention to detail and bigger canvases draw more attention to the entire piece as a whole. There are also irregularly shaped canvases which range in size. The most popular of shaped canvases are circle shaped, maybe even heart, or customized canvas shapes and sizes.

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