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How to Sell My Paintings and Drawings?

By: Catherine Burrows - Updated: 1 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Art Buy Artists Exhibition Market

Q.

I am a 21 year old housewife living in Norfolk. I am thinking of painting/drawing watercolour, pastel and pencil realism artwork and selling it for a living. I would be doing pictures of shooting dogs and game animals. With one image I would be creating a pencil drawing, a pastel drawing, and a watercolour painting. Once I have a good selection of artwork I am not sure how to sell it, and how much to sell it for and was wondering if you could help me. Also should I sell the originals or do prints and keep the originals?

(R.H, 13 July 2009)

A.

The first and most important thing you need to do is some thorough market research. You must establish there is a solid and large enough audience for your work, where the market is and how they like to buy their art.

Market Research

Start by finding similar examples to your art and tracking down outlets for the work. You may find examples listed on online auction sites, at craft fairs or galleries. Don’t be afraid to ask fellow artists questions. Once you have identified your market, you have some idea of the style of art they purchase and the prices they are prepared to pay, as well as the places where they source art. If you are happy there is enough custom to support your financial costs and needs, you can start to produce art in earnest.

How to Sell Your Art

The golden rule when you start out is to keep it simple. Depending on the findings of your market research, consider setting up your own website to promote and publicise your work and to provide a sales forum with minimum financial outlay for you. A website will also extend your work into international markets.

Other great sales outlets for 'starter' artists are craft fairs, particularly if your work has local interest, fetes or markets. These are very low-cost outlets. You may even be able to arrange a small-scale exhibition of your work at various civic amenities or libraries.

The trick is to start out by ‘renting’ sales space at the above outlets or online. When sales, markets and confidence have all grown, you can begin to consider more permanent options.

Pricing Your Art

The prime reference for pricing your art will be the findings of your initial market research. With each piece of work, you must take into account its size, the cost of materials, artistic techniques used, complexity and production time.

Prints or Originals?

Prints will retail at a lower price than originals but may achieve higher sales volumes. The lower the print run of limited editions the higher the price you’ll be able to charge. Refer back to your original market research, if there is definitely a good market, the best approach may be to try a small limited edition print run. You can then test the sales and the popularity of the prints, which will have a favourable effect on the price of the original.

Above all, keep it simple, make sure you research, research and research a little more. Test the market and take it slowly. Best of luck!

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
anna-81 - Your Question:
Hi, I need help how can I sale my paintings and drawings and I want to know if my work is really good or not. I'm just amateur, never atends any class of art just I drawing or painting what is in my mind or what I see. I love it.

Our Response:
Why not try renting a table at a craft stall or local artisan market etc? You can then talk to passers by about your work and get a feel for whether it's what people like. You could also try joining a local artists group for ideas and opinions.
BuddingArtist - 2-May-17 @ 12:52 PM
Hi, i need help how can i sale my paintings and drawings and i want to know if my work is really good or not. I'm just amateur, never atends any class of art just i drawing or painting what is in my mind or what i see. I love it.
anna-81 - 1-May-17 @ 10:18 PM
i want to sell my drawing give me the idea.
Lakshmi - 14-Oct-16 @ 3:05 PM
I am 15 years old and i would like to sell my pencil drawing
sagu - 28-Apr-16 @ 5:29 PM
toni - Your Question:
Hi I have recently stared drawing and I think im good people have said how great my drawings are I am still learning but if I put my mind to it I can force in wot im doing. I enjoy my drawing and it make me feel good that I can draw something. Im just wondering could I go far with my drawing. It just makes me feel good in myself.

Our Response:
Keep on doing what you love. It might be worth joining some art classes and your local art association (many towns have these). This will help you develop your own style and give you an idea of what people are prepared to buy etc.
BuddingArtist - 27-Apr-16 @ 10:08 AM
Hi i have recently stared drawing and i think im good people have said how great my drawings are i am still learning but if i put my mind to it i can force in wot im doing. I enjoy my drawing and it make me feel good that i can draw something. Im just wondering could i go far with my drawing. It just makes me feel good in myself.
toni - 26-Apr-16 @ 7:29 AM
@monu. Start off as the above answer says by obtaining stalls at local craft fairs, particularly if your work has local interest, fetes or markets. These are very low-cost outlets. You may even be able to arrange a small-scale exhibition of your work at various civic amenities or libraries.
BuddingArtist - 27-Mar-15 @ 12:03 PM
hii want to sale my drawings and paintings.how can I sale them?i want to knowthanks and regards
monu - 25-Mar-15 @ 3:47 AM
Hello, I was just wondering if someone can give me some advice, I've recently started drawing again and people have complimented me and said that I should look into selling some so just interested in what other people think and if you have any suggestions, thanks.
Ell - 7-Sep-14 @ 3:55 PM
i would like to sell my works what do you advice me to do?
jenkumbe - 7-Feb-14 @ 1:06 PM
can you tell me where i can sell original F M BENNETT oil paintings from 1929
doc - 12-Dec-12 @ 11:32 AM
This is sensible,sober advice.So often artists are recommended to sign up with one of the massive portfolio sites, start a blog, then sit back & wait for the money to come rolling in ! Unfortunately that does not work but it is how these sites make their money.They are peddling a dream to a lot of gullible artists & getting rich doing so. The only thing that was not mentioned in the above advice that I think is important is to thoroughly learn your craft before attempting to sell work.This means maturing your style over years untill you know your self as an artist(your strenths & weaknesses) & can present a polished & coherent body of work In the style & subject matter you have found & perfected to be your best work. Only then are you ready to present your art to the buying public.Good luck! You'll certainly need it, on top of excellent craft & business skills to make any kind of living at it.
mike - 3-Jun-12 @ 9:24 AM
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