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How to Sell Your Art and Make Money From Painting! Professional Secrets Revealed


Want to Sell Your Art and Make Lots of Money From Your Artistic Talents?

Many artists fail to make any significant money. If you want to avoid the same fate, then you might like to read about the top 10 methods I recommend, as commonly used by professional artists around the world.

I also include a number of core strategies and useful tips that can catapult your earning potential and career prospects to a whole new level.

If you can paint well, you should never starve or be short of money for very long. Having said that, it is very unlikely people will beat a path to your door to buy your art. You will first need to get known for what you do, and follow some of the known practices that lead to success as an artist. Many are listed below.

There are many ways to earn income from your art. And with the advent of online galleries and low cost digital printing methods, there have never been so many ways to easily promote and sell your art. Whether a spare-time income or a full time career, there are plenty of opportunities to capitalize on your talent.

When people start paying good money for your paintings, this is the ultimate endorsement as to the value of your art, and confirms its appeal to others. This page shows you how to get sales and find success as an artist.

As an artist, I have sold many paintings via various methods, including galleries and eBay.

As an art dealer, I have sold a good many paintings through eBay, and also through auctions such as Christies, and so have plentiful experience and insights to pass on in the field of selling art. In this article I reveal the little-known stratagies employed by many top selling professional artists.

Having sold many of my own paintings down the years, (since the age of 13), I hope that I can pass on some tips tricks and useful insights that may be of help to others. I have bookshelves full of books on art ,and have studied other artists careers. I have learned much about how to sell paintings., and I also deal in art, which gives me further insights as to what people want to buy, and why they buy.

To be successful, first you must reach a SALEABLE STANDARD, then learn various smart ways to market and sell yourself and your wonderful artwork. Whether you are young or someone wanting to earn extra money in retirement, you should find some helpful information below.

Okay, not everyone wishes to turn pro, some may simply want to make some useful money spare-time, and get extra income to afford more holidays, or a new car, home improvements, or just obtain a better standard of living. If you struggle to sell your art and make decent income as an artist... then this info is designed for you..

Do you have friends or relatives who are artists? If you know a painter who
may benefit from this information, then they may be grateful if you send them this link:


Like to learn to paint like this?

Like to learn to paint like this?


Can you imagine painting pictures that people instantly fall in love with? Paintings that sell easily for decent money?

As someone who deals in art, I can assure you I see a good many naff paintings! - Paintings only the artist's mother could love!

In fact I walked past a local art store recently, and saw a couple of big watercolors for sale in the window... and it was clear that this artist was reasonably competent, but apart from lacking much colour, there were quite obvious errors in terms of composition, (commonly evident with untrained artists). By untrained I don't mean those that haven't been to art school, but those that have done little to EDUCATE THEMSELVES in the finer principals of painting, including the vital area of composition. Such artists lack vital knowledge of the basics, which of course is not exactly helpful to ones career.

Putting artwork up for sale, while making such errors is to sabotage any chance of getting any significant success. Yet for some reason, some artists don't bother to seriously learn these things!

Further education:

My most important tip for making more money from painting is to improve your skills, to become technically more masterful, and get to a point where painting becomes less of a struggle, and more about pleasure and achievement. And... reaching a point where admirers and buyers can't wait to see your latest pictures. There are plenty of courses available.

Could such tuition dramatically improve your work and earning potential? No-one can guarantee you'll instantly become a top selling artist, but obviously the odds can be dramatically improved by mastering and absorbing the core principals of successful painting. Such know-how breeds essential confidence in every brushstroke....and that vital confidence shines through in every work produced..Be honest with yourself; do you really know your craft? Buyers instinctively buy into confident art.

Is there a magic formula or secret code exploited by all successful artists?
In a way yes. Whether through intensive study, or by way of intuition, successful artist's often employ core principals that make their art outstanding and irresistible to buyers. It isn't chance.

Their unsuccessful counterparts offer pictures that lack these vital qualities. The main difference is down to learnable principals.

Richard Robinson:

One of the best art courses I've seen on the internet is available from artist and teacher Richard Robinson. This collection of DVD Masterclass courses are also available via instant download for convenience at his website. Richard's courses are largely video based, and are easily absorbed and quickly understood, - unlike some internet courses I've looked into, which can be overly technical and academic for most of us, - not to mention darn expensive!

However, it is most important to choose the right mentor for you...and your particular style. Therefore I suggest you choose a course that suits your own personal taste and ambitions as an artist.

Enhancing your prospects:

Scroll to Continue

Whatever route you take, once the fundimental secrets of painting are learned and absorbed, ones chances of success obviously go up. This means you could be in a much improved position to sell your work more easily, and for much better prices.

Imagine never again being nervous about approaching a gallery, or being embarrassed about asking good money for your pictures. Imagine galleries looking forward to your latest work with open arms. This may not happen overnight, but prospects could significantly improve.

Nothing much beats the feeling of pride when people stop and admire your art. Gaining peoples respect and admiration is just one aspect of being a successful artist. Trouble is, most of us had a very poor art education at school, and most of the great traditional methods and techniques of previous masters were lost to our generation following the "modern art" era.

Gaining such knowledge can provide a tipping point whereby your work goes from barely saleable to very saleable, and remember, you will be acquiring these skills for life. Check out the free painting lessons (delivered via email). You will need to give your first name and email details only. If you are serious about your art, there are also a number of painting courses available from Richard at very affordable prices, which might prove a worthwhile investment.

Free Painting Lessons by Richard Robinson:

Personally, I like the Richards' friendly easy-going style, and have enjoyed the free video lessons and regular correspondence. This includes tips and videos of his various painting adventures and trips, making it fun to learn.

Claim your free Richard Robinson painting lessons now - while still available... Please note there is zero obligation to buy anything. This is why I recommend it.

Look out also for Richards DVD on making a living from your art and running a Successful Art Business, which could also pay dividends.



Below I reveal a HOT-LIST detailing some of the most popular ways you can make money as an artist. Whether you wish to sell your art as a SPARE-TIME sideline income, or build a more significant career, the list below is full of money-making opportunities to be exploited to your financial advantage.

Each method is tried, tested, and proven as a good source of income by artists everywhere.

Most modern-day artists you have ever heard of will probably employ a few of these methods. Unfortunately living just on picture sales alone is often not easy, except for the most successful among us. Many teach, write books, make videos etc etc. This is known as diversifying, and is often out of necessity, or sometimes due to preference. To diversify in this way provides several income streams, and means that when income from one is sluggish, another may bring home the bacon, as they say.

Jack Vettriano for instance, has made a fortune from vast print sales and royalties. (Even a tiny fraction of such success would mean a decent income). Success in the print market can dramatically magnify an artists earning potential. Creating a number of related income streams is how most successful artists manage to survive and eventually thrive.

Below I list some of the best ways to create extra income and build the necessary viability for becoming a part-time or full time artist. Most are worth serious consideration. And the internet has opened up many more new options for artists in the last few years. I present 10 of the best ways to capitalize on your talent, and earn money from a variety of income streams. Some may appeal to you more than others, but that will depend on your ambition and personal preferences.

This article was created for....:

* Those wanting a second income from art.

* Those who aspire to become a professional artist.

* Those who want an income from their art in retirement.

* Artists that wish to upgrade their earning potential.

* Artists who are stuck in a rut., or failing to make any money.



Fancy Selling your art through galleries? This is something most artists ultimately aspire to. This is the most obvious place for an artist to sell, but there's more to this than meets the eye. For example; How do you get in? How do you sell? and for how much? who will buy you pictures? To get you started, the best option is usually to sell through a local gallery, or galleries in your area. But will you get in?

Painting subjects local to your area can become a good way to get your foot in the door of local galleries who may have a good market for such works, especially if no other artists are providing pictures if this type, and there might be a gap in the market waiting for you to exploit. Again, if your work is to the right standard, then your pictures (and you) could be welcomed with open arms!!

Potential income? Allowing for commission + tax, you will normally end up with approximately 50% of the retail selling price. (This element becomes more negotiable as you become more successful and better known) But of course the gallery can ask far higher prices for your art than you normally would, given their prestige and setting. Building a good relationship with a gallery owner is key, and together you can hopefully make things happen. You might also progress to do solo exhibitions.

Choose your gallery wisely, if you are just starting out, you may need to try less prestigeous galleries to begin with, and gain a foot-hold first. Obviously it would take a book to give all the vital basics and professional tips required to prepare yourself for success in this endeavour. Thus I recommend a great book on this topic called Starving to Successful.The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art which I review later in this lens. Reading this you will gain insight into what a gallery owner is thinking.... as he or she reviews your art or portfolio. You will learn why the most common approaches artists make to galleries are largely ineffective. Learn what most artists fail to do when preparing their artwork for sale.

Own this book, and give yourself the best possible chance of being successful.

Starving to Successful.The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art



Become a portrait artist: The portrait business can be very lucrative, - if you have a genuine talent in this area. People will pay good money for beautiful portraits of their loved ones. What better loving gift? Personal contact is recommended. For a while I was getting portrait commissions from a small ad in my local weekly paper, which worked far better than expected!

Online business is possible, but there seems to be a lot of low price competition, and the buyer is taking a pretty big chance not knowing the artist personally or seeing the work in the flesh.. Online portraits usually means working from photographs, which can be somewhat difficult, especially if the photo is dire! But if you make sure the photo is suitable before taking the commission, then you should be okay. Your best advertising is often word of mouth recommendations, and personal contact is a big plus for this type of work. Taking some good quality photo's of the sitter yourself is far better, and essential for obtaining good results, when a number of personal sittings is not practical.

If you want to become a serious portrait artist, the you owe it to yourself to learn as much as possible about this craft, and all the necessary technical issues and principals you must understand. There is nothing worse than presenting someone with their commissioned portrait and getting a negative reaction, especially if the technical standard is the issue.

On the other hand, a good portrait artist is highly regarded and admired. They are in demand, and get plenty of highly paid work.



The Pet Portraits Business: Do you love animals? Here is another angle on the above portraiture theme whereby people are happy to pay good money for a genuine likeness rendered in paint by a competent artist.

People love their pets, and lavish time, attention and lots of money on them. They hold them in great affection, - especially dogs. (Mans best friend) Owners will often talk to them like they are their children. They cuddle them and console them when distressed.

In fact dogs can make for great paintings, and have been enjoyed throughout history. (Some big auctionrooms even dedicate specialist sales to dog pictures!) In the 19th century wealthy farmers would commission artists to paint their prize cattle, pigs, sheep etc, - all in the name of pride - whereas they wouldn't usually think of doing the same for the wife!

Dogs seem to be the number one hot market. To start, you need to do some "sample" dog paintings to command attention of potential customers and advertise your artistic services. However you should obviously choose animals you are most happy to paint. Get known as an animal painter. If you have a skill in this area, don't overlook this as a great way to make money. Obviously a love of animals is quite essential.. As with all these concepts, your reputation will grow as time goes by, and your experience will grow too. Practice will inevitably mean better, more accomplished paintings. This evolution means bigger prices can be realised and justified.



Fine art commissions: Obviously the word commission is most commonly associated with portraits, (previously covered). However, people can commission you to paint a wide variety of things relating to their own specific interests. This can include their favourite place, their home, their boat, or whatever rocks their world.

This is usually easier for an artist with established status. Word of mouth is often the way commissions are gained - as your reputation becomes well known. (Once you become famous you'll probably be turning them away)

However, to get started initially you can advertise locally, or even online, I have done this and arrived with just a few good examples of my work, and usually got a commission after discussing the exact requirements of the customer. (Nowadays, it may be more practical to show images of your work on a tablet).

I once turned up to see a woman regarding a portrait of her beautiful daughter, but was instead given a commission to paint her two pet budgies!! (Some people are strange!) After her satisfaction with this, I was allowed to go ahead with the portrait of her beloved daughter.

One client commissioned a landscape painting for his home, then later wanted me to paint a portrait of his mothers country cottage! This cottage was set in idylic woodland and made for a special birthday gift. (Another good market)

Specializing can be a good idea, and means you are likely to be sought-after by those interested in that particular field. Property portraits, as mentioned above, can be lucrative, but there are a range of options, depending on your own preferences.

I've found that many customers have gone on to commission further works if delighted with the first, so remember you can get more than one sale per customer, and these customers also have friends, colleagues and neighbours!

My advice is to look reasonably professional when meeting a potential client, (Remember first impressions count) and show them some examples of your best art.

Keep your pitch focused on what the client wants. (Important word there). Remember to pitch a strong price at first, and see what the response is. People don't normally expect to commission an artwork for peanuts. You can always negotiate from that high point, and throw in some sweeteners, such as a special deal on framing perhaps. Some of my customers lived in wealthy areas, so it would have been silly in those circumstances to charge a bargain-basement price. They would think I must be second rate.

Finally, you will need a good camera to help with reference material, and always take more than enough pictures. It is also wise to carry a notebook and take notes regarding the spacifics of your clients requirements., and agreed terms.



Painting Local Views and locally inspired subjects: If you have acquired the skill and ability to paint to a high standard, with attractive style, you are virtually certain to be able to sell LOCAL scenes in any area of outstanding beauty or visual interest. If you live in (or near to) a prime location, with a lot of seasonal visitors, there is a ready-made hungry market, and this is obviously something easily exploited by the savvy artist.

When people visit such places, they tend to see things through rose-tinted spectacles, with romantic eyes, and are charmed by all they set eyes upon. This is why they buy remind them of their special moments and special places.

Therefore it follows, that artists who happen to live in (or near to) popular areas of of this kind, - that get visited daily by swarms of fanatical admirers - have significant advantage over those that don't.

Artists aren't fools. They often have to live on their wits! Artists throughout history have earned money from this lucrative activity. Well you have to pay the bills... and eat!. Proof of this lucrative trade can be found in every auctionroom and even on ebay, where you will find many views in oils or watercolor depicting the most popular places of note. This obviously continued into the 20th century, and continues today.

In places like Venice, and more notably Paris, you will find many artists cashing in on the hordes of tourists who happily get their wallets out.... drunk on the majestic beauty of the scenery, or perhaps just drunk, full stop! (Too much vino)

Two markets normally exist:

A/ Local people who proudly love their locality. and

B/ Visitors touring the area, especially those who return again and again.

Prints of these can also be sold, - and can be quite lucrative, - if demand looks good. (See below for exciting options) I have even seen swift 'line and wash' type watercolors of a location turned into affordabe little prints and postcards, - which is a further possible sideline.
Many such artists build a portfolio of stock in the winter months, and sell throughout the summer months.

Check out the statistics online for any nearby local area or tourist destination. The annual visitor numbers are usually measured in MILLIONS! so just could be tapping into a small percentage of that huge market! (A multidude of people who..... by definition, LOVE that locality!)

And finally, as already stated, producing local pictures can sometimes be an easier way to get your art into a local gallery!



Publish Your Art as Prints! (Self-publishing) Why sell one picture when you could sell 500 or a thousand!?
Yes, with the advent of new Giclee Printing technology, you can get your art privately printed far cheaper than previously possible. You can do very small limited runs, then sell to local galleries etc, and keep all the profits. In effect, you become a wholesaler for your own Fine Art products.

Galleries will often handle the framing. If you wish you can produce (signed) Limited Editions to add further to collectability of your prints, and add further perceived value.Seek Giclee printing sevices in your local area. Get quotes. But be sure there's a market for your work first. If originals don't sell, then prints may not. Conversely if demand for originals is good, then prints should be viable and profitable. More on this business concept - in detail - later in this article.



How to Get Your Art Published! (Via a Fine Art Print Publisher) Can you imagine your art in many thousands of homes worldwide? Art Publishers are always looking out for new talent and opportunities. Once you become more established and enjoy some success, you are in a good position to approach art print publishing companies. Even if you haven't had any significant success, you have little to lose by approaching them on the off chance that they like your style, and they see significant potential. It's a throw of the dice. However, you will need to be able to back it up with a portfolio of similar works, to suggest you have some commercial viability in their eyes, and are not just a proverbial one-trick pony.

Publishers are always on the look out for new artistic talent. Simply get in touch by post or email, providing some good photo's of your best work. But only if you believe it is truly commercial and similar in substance or approximate style to works they already promote and sell. Search the internet for Publishers and also Art Market Magazines. Only approach Publishers that generally suit your work and content. Shop around. Royalties vary, as does the amount of promotion given to new emerging artists. Needless to say, if you get lucky your work will be sold by the thousands.

Just one successful print could bring you consistent income for years to come!
(A bit like a hit pop song!)



Sell your artwork on the internet: There are many good ways to sell art online. A good variety of online galleries exist which will sell your art for you. Some charge listing fees, others charge commission on work sold, others a variety of the two. Nevertheless, they normally offer you the chance of selling work at minimal outlay. Remember, selling through most high street galleries costs you 40% or more from each sale. So there are always costs involved when selling. Get used to it.

Obviously we want to minimize cost where possible, especially when starting out. So shop around, and find the online gallery that suits your particular requirements. My personal favourite is which I feature below in some considerable detail. There is a link if you wish to visit or join, or better still, enjoy a free trial. Another option for selling art online is to try online auction sites. Some are dedicated to selling artwork exclusively, others, like EBAY

I confess I am not very up-to-date with all the best sites for selling your artwork online, and new options are evolving all the time. Therefore I suggest reading a good book on this topic to get a good overview of these options, and get all the facts you might need before potentially wasting massive amounts of time with trial and error, or going down the wrong path.




Teach painting classes: Teaching Art to Others can be an enjoyable way to earn extra income. Comes a time when you have gained a lot of valuable experience and have learned much about painting and art, and thus have a huge store of knowledge to pass on to others. (Especially if you have invested in books and videos or art courses over the years).

Many of the best known professional painters we know of earn money from teaching, and some also teach through video format too, as we all know. (not to mention 'painting vacations' or holidays on exotic locations).

Most enjoy passing on what they have learned, and helping others enjoy learning a new skill or improving on what they've already achieved . Whether you consider offering private tuition, (one on one) or perhaps can obtain an opening within your local community, you may get an opportunity to teach. Setting up a workshop to teach those that want to learn a new skill or hobby, (perhaps in their golden years), may be quite worthwhile and rewarding, and not only in terms of money. For reasons of credability, it's favourable to have had some reasonable commercial success beforehand of course..

Another lucrative spin on this is to offer Painting Vacations, whereby you offer tutoring plus accommadation to small groups or parties, which can be quite profitable if one lives in a great location for painters. A minibus for exploring is also a good idea for such a venture.



Writing About Art: Most successful (current day) artists you could name have probably written a book or two on art, or at least earned money from contributing articles to Art Magazines. Well, if you have the knowledge and some reasonable writing skills, this could one day be an option for yourself. Find a niche angle and write about some approach or method or techniques you commonly employ, or some other subject that's not too ubiquitous, along with your paintings at various stages (well photographed) to demonstrate each topic you cover. You may need to buy a good book on writing, but it could become a part-time career.

Approach a Publisher, or many. Don't hold breath. With persistence you may get lucky. Tip: First Build your reputation submitting good articles.(Such articles can sometimes lead to book offers). Promote yourself in various other ways perhaps with squidoo, an artist's blog, etc, - and via online galleries such as Yessy. Such writing can earn you money, but also quickly magnify your 'fame' or public recognition - and will also act as a showcase for your art to be seen in hundreds of book stores! ( Priceless advertising for your brand!). I'm sure some artist's write illustrated articles mainly to showcase their work . And why not. (Especially as writing articles isn't exactly highly paid). One needs exposure!

There are many other ways to promote and sell your artwork, depending on your position. Examples include: Entering exhibitions.... Painting competitions.... Market stall.... Set up your own gallery.... Your own website or blog.... Facebook.... Twitter.... Join a local group of artists, etc etc...


Read on for an abundance of tips and tricks for aspiring artists.



Why do people buy art?
There are many reasons or motivating factors involved when people buy art.

People commonly buy pictures that have a significant "feel good" factor. They are hit by a rush of pleasing emotions often linked to subconscious memories from deep in their soul, perhaps from childhood, or some other part of their lives. This can create an irresistible impulse to buy the artwork. (If affordable) - See below to resolve that snag.

An abstract - or semi-abstract picture might do the same in a more abstracted way. Also, using certain colours is a clever way to promote certain emotions within people. (Learn about colour theory) Ultimately if you paint to express and stir your own emotions, your work will probably do the same for others.

Quality and workmanship are obviously pretty important.

People also buy art relating to a favourite subject, or category, such as maritime, or animals, horses etc.

Sometimes people buy art simply because it tends to match the décor of a room!

Some people buy art as a status symbol. A big factor, especially when buying a famous name or expensive piece of modern art, can be prestige, or status, and showing the world how great or sophisticated their taste is. (Similar impulses to those that compel people to buy a posh watch or flashy car).

Others buy art for investment. In fact nowadays good art by an up and coming artist can often far exceed returns from things like savings accounts, stocks and shares, or bonds, etc, - and they get to enjoy the art for a number of years in the meantime.

However, most people simply buy art because they fall in love with it!

Richard Robinson Still Life

Like to learn to paint like this?

Like to learn to paint like this?


What's stopping you climbing the ladder of success? Scared of heights? Or do your paintings lack the X factor. (An extra something that sets you apart) Don't despair if you feel that might be true, much of what you may lack can be learned. Have you ever visited an amateur painting exhibition? The most common problem with amateur paintings is the lack of visual appeal. Something is lacking. This is often due to not understanding basic core principals of painting, such as design, perspective, colour, tone and visual harmony, etc..

If only these artists were given some help from an established professional, they may be able to capitalize on their artistic ability. Without it, they may get no further than amateur art exhibitions.... Stuck at the bottom rung forever. Don't let this happen to YOU.

Common Features of Paintings that sell well:


The painting makes you feel something.
(You have an emotional response to the
painting.) Hopefully uplifted.

The painting shows you how beautiful
some object, person, or scene is, that you
had barely noticed before.

The painting has harmony and good balance.

Your mind starts to daydream or imagine stories behind the
painting. You get mesmerized.

Shows confident workmanship in every stroke.

Common Symptoms of Paintings that don't sell::


You feel nothing when looking at the
painting. It just leaves you emotionally
detatched, even if quite clever.

You may see a nice picture... but nothing specific captures your
attention in the painting.

You cannot tell what interested the artist.
Nothing but recorded facts.

The colors look wrong; or ugly or dull.

Human figures or animals look unreal or out of

Something does not feel right or beleivable
creating visual discomfort.

It looks a bit like a child's painting, but not in a good way.

The abstract shapes look awkward and don't bring to mind
any real sense of landscape, place, or object.

It lacks balance.

It lacks colour harmony

Tones are disturbing and unbalanced.

In short, it has all the hallmarks of the amateur.

This is just an outline of AMATEURISM and problems that render paintings difficult to sell in any serious way... and sales may possibly be limited to close relatives only!

Over the years I have met some very keen artists with ambitions to sell their work yet to my surprise they have never bothered to invest in some decent books or further education on the subject! No wonder they tend to stay at the same level and enjoy only marginal success.



eBay is a huge 'virtual gallery' or marketplace for your art. Your art can be seen in all four corners of the globe. For a small fee you can offer your art for sale.

To start you need to;

1/ Sign up for an eBay account. (If not already a member) This is simply a matter of filling out a short registration form. Await confirmation.

2/ Click on sell to get started. Then fill in the details in the online listing form.

3/ Upload a good digital image of your art.

4/ Write a headline, followed by an interesting description giving basic details, size, medium etc, and any personal information you may wish to add.. Give the artwork a title, to imply professionalism. (It may be wise to copy somewhat from other successful artists listings, to ensure you have covered all the essentials.) Double check before going on. (However, you can actually alter your listing after it goes live on ebay, and make adjustments, prior to getting any bids. After bids, you are able only to add further notes.)

5/ Insert a starting price for your auction, or instead a "Buy it Now" price, if you prefer to offer your work with a fixed price. (optional) Then add postage cost in the box provided.

6/ When (if) the item is sold, you will receive most payments by Paypal, - you will need to set up a PayPal account, to encourage easy care-free payment. - and you can also opt to be paid by cheque/postal order if you wish.

7/ You then post out your artwork within next few days.

Important Note: I find it wise to send your pictures by recorded delivery / insured service, as things can get lost, stolen, or damaged in the post, which can be very upsetting! - and costly.

eBay Guidelines:
In your Listing Description, make sure to include both basic information and details about your item.
A good description is concise, well organized, and easy to read. Create bold section headlines, bulleted lists if warranted, and be sure to restate the information featured in your title plus more details such as dimensions, framed or unframed, condition, estimated value, artist history, and any other interesting features. You can also insert photos or links to videos that highlight the unique attributes of your item. Think about your listing from the buyer's perspective. The more information you provide, the more likely the buyer will be to place a bid on your item.

Click any eBay logo link to sign up today.



Good question. But my research leads me to understand that according to various gallery owners, the consensus seems to be that larger size paintings will normally tend to sell better than small ones. It is also the case that it's easier to ask decent money for a big painting, - if not an outrageous price, - due to the extra perceived value, and actual impact of a larger work.


(Obviously a well established artist can often sell small works for decent money, due to reputation, and because some buyers /admirers cannot afford to buy the artist's larger works, which might be very expensive.)

Otherwise... It has been suggested, (not scientific you understand) that most buyers can be tempted to purchase something in the realm of about say 20 x 30 inches, just right for going over the mantlepiece in the living room or lounge. This is true of the UK, but the US market may prefer larger works than this, given the average home is significantly larger, as a general rule. But I believe the general principal is probably true.

Depending on the artists style of working, sometimes a larger painting doent always take much more actual time or effort that a little one. In fact some find small paintings more difficult. So another good reason to work bigger, if it suits you of course.

Obviously small paintings that are modestly priced can sell ok, and I wouldn't want to suggest they arent worthwhile. But on balance, all things being equal, working larger has significant advantage.

Note: If shipping your work. Posting larger paintings can be much more of a bind, especially for those without experience. So for selling on eBay etc, it makes sense to keep works at a smaller size that you can cope with, - and send without catastrophe. ( Until you have gained some experience, and access to ideal materials for shipping art of significant size).


While big paintings can steal the limelight, smaller paintings have a lot going for them too:

* Can often sell as gifts, which opens up a whole new market.

* Much more affordable to the majority of buyers.

* More likely to get casual spontanious purchases.

* Easier for tourist to take home in the car.

* Buyers' home more likely to have space for a small painting.

* Much quicker and easier to paint.

* Much cheaper to frame.

* Easier to pack and ship re online sales.

If you wist to sell your paintings online, then obviously it is far better to stick to smaller paintings, at least at first, as they are far easier to pack and post, and less likely to get harmed. Shipping larger paintings requires some experience and know-how, and would advise specialist packing materials designed for shipping pictures.

With small paintings, you can offer to ship worldwide at low cost, whereas with larger works, the cost of shipping can be prohibitive. This means you have a far bigger potential market!

Paint Small to Jump-start Your Creativity and Sales

Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist. Kindle Edition

A unique system for jump-starting artistic creativity, encouraging experimentation and growth, and increasing sales for artists of all levels, from novices to professionals.

Have you landed in a frustrating rut? Are you having trouble selling paintings in galleries, getting bogged down by projects you can’t seem to finish or abandon, or finding excuses to avoid working in the studio? Author Carol Marine knows exactly how you feel—she herself suffered from painter’s block, until she discovered “daily painting.” The idea is simple: do art (usually small) often (how often is up to you), and if you’d like, post and sell it online. Soon you’ll find that your block dissolves and you’re painting work you love—and more of it than you ever thought possible!

With her encouraging tone and useful exercises, Marine teaches you to:
-Master composition and value
-Become confident in any medium including oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolors, and other media
-Choose subjects wisely
-Stay fresh and loose
-Photograph, post, and sell your art online
-Become connected to the growing movement of daily painters around the world

From the Trade Paperback edition.



The sad truth about retirement is that most people end up with much less money to live on than they ever expected. This can be a big shock.

This is why IF you have always had an obvious talent for art, it might be wise to bone up on your old skills and upgrade your knowledge, so you are able to enjoy a second income.... selling your art!!

Just having a 'stab at it' might not get you very far. But if you endeavour to learn your craft and become highly competent, while you may not win the Turner prize, you may well be able to earn a decent second income! At the very least, you can have fun trying!!

Many with a talent for art, dream of becoming an artist ONE DAY, but never get around to it. Life gets in the way. (family, work, long hours, and the daily grind!) However, retirement can liberate you from much of this, and give you the opportunity set up your easel - and paint!

It you have the desire to paint and have a little talent...
then perhaps with a bit of further study, (and practice) you may be in a position to sell your art and make a secondary income. Many artists simply get bogged down in other careers, and never get round to doing what they hoped. (Being an artist) They never have the time. But now, once retired, or semi-retired, you may have much more time on your hands for this part of you to develop and flourish.

There have been a good many famous cases whereby painters who started late in life became houshold names, and very successful respected artists.


#1: Upgrade your skills. Get some lessons if needed, even if just to get back into things with some moral support, and you may also meet some new friends. (Fellow artists etc.)

#2: Get some books or DVD's by artists that interest you so you can learn at home too.

#3: Check how much you are officially allowed to earn under State Pension rules, which may vary according to State or Country.

#4: Ditto taxman. But these two items are obviously of little concern until you have started, and proven to have some sort of business under your belt, - otherwise we are just talking "pinmoney".. However, if you start to get significant regular income, then one must declare it to avoid potential trouble. (Probably not likely for a good while!!)

To sum up, if you are around retirement age or older, what is stopping you from having a go? What have you got to lose? If you have an almost forgotten talent in this field, and can perhaps brush-up your old skills, then you may have an enjoyable pastime that makes some useful extra money, and perhaps even a few new friends.


Final Thoughts...

Like any other business, you may want to assess your attributes in regard to becoming a serious artist, whether part-time or full time.

A few questions:

  1. Are you serious about your art?
  2. Do you feel you have what it takes?
  3. Do you have the drive and commitment?
  4. Have you sold your art before?
  5. Can you produce enough art to be viable?
  6. Do you need further training?
  7. Is the standard high enough to prosper?

If you feel positive about your ability to earn money as an artist, then there is nothing to stop you from giving things a try, preferably on a part-time basis at first, to see which way the wind blows. Rome wasn't built in a day, and most artists start off on a spare-time basis. If art is your passion, then you owe it to yourself to give it your best shot!

Remember, anything you invest in your talent will profit you for the rest of your life.



Cathy Fidelibus - Creative Touch Art from New Jersey on May 15, 2018:

Thank you for all the wonderful information.

Joan on October 14, 2017:

Great advice with very useful tips. Have really given me great ideas and much to think about. Tanks:)

Natalia D. on September 26, 2017:

I'am not professional in arts,but I always want to paint.I start in 2001.I newer even think about to sell(only for my soul-it's inspire me).All my painting(big &small sizes)from my dream,images from my meditations, inspirations... Some of my clients and people,who see my paints very touched and recommended to sell .I even didn't know how to do? Today I had read all recommendations and tips.It lifted me.

Thank you for help.I wish to sell and will do my best.

Gareth Andrew on March 29, 2017:

This was a really good read - finding balance and objectivity between logic and passion.

H Lax on March 16, 2017:

Thanks for all the useful tips. You cover a lot. I haven't had a chance to finish it all but I pinned it so I can go back to it. I like that you talked about artists not learning enough before they start trying to paint and sell it and what consequences that can bring. I also love all your tips on how to make money from your paintings and your ideas on what sells well like pets or neighborhood scenes.

GreenMind Guides from USA on December 25, 2016:

Smart advice for any artist. Thank you for sharing!

Stevie Tan on October 30, 2016:

Wow! Thanks for the wonderful article and advice. I love it :-) Thank you.

Marc Anderson from United States on August 11, 2016:

Great info, thanks..

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