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If you subscribed to finish reading the blog posts on oil painting or selling art, they are printed below in the following order on this page:

  • 9 Top Oil Paints Rated for the Serious Oil Painter
  • Top 6 Ways to Create Texture in Oil Painting
  • Should You Use Black? For the Serious Oil Painter it is a Serious Question
  • Why Some People Almost Always Make Money Selling Their Art
  • Do You Know These 5 Oil Painting Health Risks?
  • 3 Color Palettes for the Serious Oil Painter
  • 3 Common Oil Painting Problems and How to Resolve Them
  • Top 6 Solvents for the Serious Oil Painter
  • 6 Color Schemes for the Serious Artist
  • Understanding Opacity, Transparency and Permanence for the Serious Oil Painter
  • Matte and Glossy Finishes in Oil Painting
  • How to Get Thousands of Free Twitter Followers
  • 4 Keys to Understanding Alkyds in Oil Painting
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Sell Your Art on Auction Websites

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9 Top Oil Paints Rated for the Serious Oil Painter

Have you ever found yourself in front of the rows and rows of oil paints unable to decide which ones were best suited for you? Have you found yourself confused by the many manufacturers of oil paints and their claims?

9 Top Oil Paints Rated

I’ve sorted through the many manufacturers and rated them so that it will make it easy for you next time you are making your supply list for your studio.

I first give you a brief description of Professional Grade vs. Student Grade. Knowing which oil paint is best suited for your particular needs will not only save you money but valuable time that you could otherwise be using to work in the studio.

Professional (Artist Grade) vs. Student Grade
You need to decide if you want to use Professional or Student grade paints. You need to think about why you are painting and how much cost you want to incur.

Student grade oil colors are lower quality than professional grades. They use less real pigments and lots of inexpensive fillers which dilutes the color. They tend to come in larger quantities and are quite economical.

You may choose to use these paints if you are a student, a beginner, or hobbyist. Or maybe your budget allows only for economical paint.

For discerning connoisseurs that won’t settle for anything less than the best, professional artist grade oil colors are the only way to go.

Old Holland is the best of 9 Top Oil Paints Rated
Old Holland oil colors are the highest quality and most expensive oil paints available

They are, however, expensive.

They are commonly cataloged into six series by rarity and value, Series 1 (or A) being the most plentiful and least expensive, and Series 6 (or F) being the most rare and most expensive.

Professional or Artist grade paint also tends to come in smaller tubes since they are mostly pure pigment with superior oil binders, and therefore extend a long way in contrast to student paints.

When using them to their fullest potential, you will certainly notice the difference in hue quality and intensity of professional paints.

Here are my 9 Top Oil Paints Rated:

#1. Old Holland Classic Oil Colors $$$$$$$$$$ (professional)
Old Holland prides itself on intensity of the colors and great covering power. Highest quality and highest price. They contain no fillers or waxes and use only lightfast pigments. This is the greatest oil paint for the true connoisseur.

#2. Holbein Artist’s Oils $$$$$$$ (professional)
Pure pigments at a lower price, Holbein boasts consistent viscosity, color, tone, application, and adhesion.

#3. Schmincke Mussini Oils $$$$$$(professional)
Schmincke Mussini Oils contain natural resins for a balanced drying process with reduced aging and long-term cracking. Good for painting in layers and for glazing techniques.

#4. Sennelier Oils $$$$$$(professional)
One of the oldest paint manufacturers in Europe, Sennelier was once the choice for Pablo Picasso. Combines highest quality pigments with highest quality manufacturing processes.

#5. Gamblin $$$ (student-professional)
Gamlin Artists Colors Company makes quality artist’s colors at reasonable prices. They contain lightfast pigments blended with linseed oil and create colors with luscious working properties. Many professionals use Gamblin oil colors as they combine the best of quality with the best of economy. I have used Gamblin for many years and it remains one of my favorites.

#6. Winsor & Newton Artist’s Oil Colors $$$ (student-professional) World renowned, Winsor & Newton is one my favorite brands of professional oil paint. They contain the highest level of pigmentation consistent with good handling properties, unsurpassed covering power and permanence.

#7. Rembrandt Extra Fine Oils $$ (student) Rembrandt oils are well-known for their economical color strength and excellent lightfastness.

#8. Grumbacher Oil Colors $$ (student) Comparable to Winsor & Newton’s Winton Artist’s Oil Colors in price and quality. Grumbacher at one time was a leader in manufacturing quality oil colors. But Tupperware has acquired Grumbacher, and let’s face it, what does Tupperware know about making oil paints? Grumbacher quality has declined significantly over the years.

#9. Winsor & Newton Winton Oils $ (student) Winton Oils combine fine raw materials and modern techniques to suit any painting style at an economical price. So the world of oil paint manufacturers isn’t really confusing after all. If you have a favorite oil paint that isn’t listed above, or if you think any of these are out-of-place or don’t belong here, I would certainly like to hear your suggestion in the comments.

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Top 6 Ways to Create Texture in Oil Painting

Have you ever wanted to experiment and create texture in your oil painting? Creating the right texture in oil painting can be a challenge as there as so many options from which to choose.

Oil color, with its mediums, lends well to glazing techniques with a smooth varnished finish. However, there are a large variety of texture effects that can be attained in oil painting using traditional techniques like impasto, or simply through experimentation. This article will browse through the several popular oil painting effects, and how they can be used in achieving texture.

Impasto

Prepare yourself with tons of oil color before embarking on an impasto oil painting journey.

You can create texture in oil painting with impasto

Impasto brush marks showing thick application of paint

Impasto is the technique of applying large quantities of paint with a brush or palette knife, usually with a very gestural quality. The effect is a three-dimensional aspect to the surface.

Often, specific mediums created for impasto painting are used to increase the thick texture of the paint while slightly reducing the amount of paint that would otherwise have been applied directly from the tube. Such mediums, like oleopasto, are also helpful in aiding in the drying process as they hold their shape as the paint dries.

Sometimes impasto can be used in traditional painting if done lightly in only certain pinnacle areas, like bright highlights.

Most effective application – Color mixed with oleopasto medium; no drying oils or solvents; palette knife or large brush

Scumbling

The procedure involved in scumbling oil paint is reminiscent of an art project you may have done in elementary school. It involves painting a fairly thick application of color, and then removing the paint with an absorbent textured object like a rag, sponge or dry brush. Using the term a little more loosely, scumbling can also refer to the process in which paint is blurred or blended on the surface with a rag. In scumbling, the more creative the texture used, the more interesting a texture it will create. Experimentation lovers will adore this painting style.

Most effective application – Color straight from the tube; no drying oils or solvents

Ala Prima

Painting ala prima typically refers to the process of painting in one sitting. The application of color is quick, and commonly full of expression. The texture is created in an impromptu way through the manipulation of a thicker layer of paint.

Ala prima technique does not involve layers or glazing. As such, the rule of “flexible over inflexible” or “Fat over Lean” does not necessarily apply. However, dull areas and cracking can still occur, so it is imperative that when painting ala prima that too many solvents or mediums are not used. Instead, paintings in an ala prima style are usually painted with color straight from the tube or with a minimal use of drying oil or solvents.

Most effective application – Color straight from the tube; limited amount of drying oils or solvents

Pulling

Pulling the paint across the surface in a carefree, unapologetic way is common amongst expressionist painting. The color is dragged with a brush quickly, with the intention of leaving exposed areas of the layer underneath. The effect is one of obvious layering and open-ended brush stroke. Pulling is ideal for expressing movement or gesture.

Most effective application – Color straight from the tube; limited amount of drying oils or solvents

Dabbing

The French Impressionists frequently used dabbing as a technique toward their expression of light and color. Dabbing is just as it sounds, where layers of paint are applied in short dabs or brushstrokes over the entire surface in even or uneven intervals. Similar to pointillism, dabbing allows a unique play of color and texture on the overlapping marks of paint.

Most effective application – Color straight from the tube; limited amount of drying oils or solvents

Other Materials

The possibilities of texture created with oil paint are limitless. Beyond manipulating the paint, however, other materials worked into an oil painting can also bring in an element of texture. Especially organic materials that are compatible with the components of oil color and can be adhered easily to the paint, like feathers, burlap and other textiles, are wonderful texture additives.

 

Creating texture with oil paints certainly can be fun as well as challenging.

If you have any other ideas about how to create texture in oil painting, I would certainly love to hear about them in the comments below.

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Should You Use Black? For the Serious Oil Painter, It Is a Serious Question

Should you use black in your oil painting palette? Since I began oil painting, it has been a hotly debated subject among serious artists.

Even as early as 5 years ago when I took a portrait painting class at the Art Students’ League of New York, a very well-known and respected teacher asked the class if using black was in or out or appropriate for the modern painter.

In my opinion, black isn’t necessarily a crucial pigment in oil painting. I do not use it in my palette. It is technically possible to do without black altogether. As a matter of a fact, it is just a matter of mixing primary and secondary colors in order to compensate for a black hue. This isn’t to say that the choice between black colors in oil painting isn’t very important.

Many artists shy away from using black at all because it tends to “dirty” color in mixing, and instead prefer to use a color’s complement to tint or shade. However, using black as a color, you can avoid ‘dirtiness’ to some degree by taking note of the color bias and tinting strength. This is where it becomes important to pay attention to the differences in different blacks and how to use them. When choosing to use black oil color, there are several variations of black pigment to choose from just like there are different whites.

Hue
The most obvious difference between blacks in oil painting is the hue variance. The most common and universal blacks (Ivory, Lamp & Mars) are easily identified by their hue characteristics, usually regardless of the oil paint manufacturer, as long as they are made from high quality pigments.

Ivory Black is a deep velvety black that is cooler in mass tone, but warm in tint (slight brownish undertone). Lamp Black, a very old pigment dating back to prehistoric time, is also a deep, velvety black but has a bluish undertone. Mars Black is the strongest black and is warm in both mass tone and tint.

Tinting Strength
Tinting strength when using black colors in mixing is very important because it determines how much or how little black pigment will be effective. If a subtler tint of black is preferred, Ivory Black is ideal because of its moderate tinting strength. It is considered the most useful in general painting for this reason. Mars Black has a strong tinting strength, but Lamp Black is the strongest black and is great to use when dark blacks are needed in a painting.

Drying Time and Durability
All three of the most common blacks usually contain linseed oil as a vehicle. Ivory Black and Lamp Black tend to have a very slow drying time. Mars black is more ideal for a underpainting because it dries a bit faster

Transparency
Mars Black is opaque, therefore it is ideal for direct painting especially where more coverage and opaque layers are needed. Lamp Black is also opaque, allowing the deepest blackest black coverage. Ivory Black is semi-transparent, giving moderate coverage. It can be thinned down to be used as a glaze. Payne’s Gray or Charcoal Gray is more suitable for achieving a black tint while glazing. Although they are not always considered blacks, they can provide black tinting when in need of a transparent color.

Use just any black color to tint and shade, and you’ll be disappointed with the results. If you choose your black pigment wisely, you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping blacks out of your palette.

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Why Some People Almost Always Make Money Selling Their Art

"Unknown Artist Drowning Girl" by Roy Lichtenstein

“Unknown Artist Drowning Girl” by Roy Lichtenstein

Have you ever known an artist whose work was incredible but they never seem to sell anything? Or what about the opposite? Have you ever seen an artist whose work was not that great but they sold things all the time and for really high prices?

You’ve probably wondered how this could be.

Some artists, without ever really being conscious of what they’re doing, stumble upon the right combination of marketing and selling strategies. Their work may not be that great, but something else very powerful is coming into play.

And other artists work hard at their craft and yet never stumble upon the right selling formulas or techniques. And, sadly, their careers flounder. As a result, their beautiful work ends up collecting dust in an attic. Their genius is lost forever. I’ve known artists like this and probably you have too.

Something tells me you’re just … well … smarter than most artists looking to market online.

You’re not interested in lame “get rich quick” schemes. You’re not looking for a magical silver bullet that involves no work, no time, and no sense.

In other words, you don’t have to be Einstein to “get” this stuff. But you’d have to be an idiot to believe some of the stuff peddled by traditional Internet marketing “gurus.”

So what is the dividing line between an artist whose career takes off and an artist whose career flounders? It’s simple. It’s the word “sell.”

You Must Learn How to Sell

For many artists the word “sell” is a vulgar word. I once thought the same way. I strongly believed that selling was beneath me. I thought my work would just naturally attract the right people at the right time.

I was once too proud and too arrogant to lower myself to sell.

And then I had an eye-opening experience……

My Story of Learning about Marketing and Selling Art

Roy Lichtenstein, American Pop Art Icon

Roy Lichtenstein, American Pop Art Icon

When I first moved to New York City in 1998, I had a chance encounter with a powerful gallery director from Manhattan.

I met her at a gallery opening and we became good friends. We would often meet for lunch near the SoHo gallery where she worked.

During the course of her incredible career, she had worked side-by-side with the famous American pop art icon Roy Lichtenstein.

She took me under her wing, and over the course of several months, taught me everything she knew about how to make it in the highly competitive New York City art world.

She introduced me to people. But more importantly, she educated me.

And here is the most astounding thing she told me about Roy Lichtenstein. She said that he spent 80% of his work week marketing and selling. And he only spent 20% of his week actually making his paintings.

Think about that for one minute. That means he only spent about one day a week actually making his paintings. And the other 4 days of the week he spent selling and marketing.

She told me that Roy Lichtenstein became an art star because he worked very hard at selling and marketing and not because he worked hard at his painting.

She told me that if I wanted to be a successful and highly acclaimed artist, I needed to do the same.

There are many artists who have created great bodies of work. The problem is, the sale goes not to the best artist, but to those who can sell the best. In other words, not being able to sell is very expensive. It costs you untold dollars in lost business! It can cost you your entire career.

In conclusion….

There’s no way around it. You must learn how to sell. You must learn how to sell in-person. And you must learn how to sell on the internet, through your website or blog.

Remember how I talked about in the first couple of paragraphs of this article how some people just stumble along and by accident learn to sell well. Don’t rely on accidents when it comes to growing your career.

Find experts who can mentor you in the art of selling. But choose your experts carefully.

As you follow along with me through coming articles, I will be teaching you everything that my powerful Manhattan gallery director friend taught me.

Please read these articles carefully. Learn to sell and your career will always flourish.

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Do You Know These 5 Oil Painting Health Risks?

top 5 oil painting health risks

Paint solvents, thinners and mediums are all highly flammable

Do you know about these 5 oil painting health risks? Do you know how to best protect yourself, your family and pets, in the studio?

We’ve all heard the saying, “A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when working with the toxic materials associated with oil painting.

Here are the 5 main health issues and a summary of what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Here are the 5 Top Oil Painting Health Risks:

1. Toxic Vapors and Fumes

There is a diversified selection of solvents available for use with oil paints. All of them are caustic and emit vapors and fumes. And as a result can be harmful through contact and inhalation.

The difficulty is trying to find one that is inexpensive, dilutes oil paint well, and cleans brushes thoroughly while at the same time considered harmless. Some solvents like turpentine are very effective at cleaning brushes, but aren’t so great to mix with your paint. And turpentine emits highly toxic fumes.

Some manufacturers produce odorless solvents and mineral spirits which are better health choices.

2. Flammable Fire Hazard

Regardless of the type of solvent, there is no getting around the fact that they are all flammable. This poses one of the greatest oil painting health risks.

When solvents are used, anything they come in contact with will in turn become combustible. This includes the painting surface, the solvent itself and any spills, and most importantly saturated rags or paper towels.

Also, oil and solvent-soaked rags can ignite spontaneously. These means that they can burst into flames from a chemical reaction only. It does not need an outside source such as a spark or flame to ignite.

3. Toxic Pigments

There is a small variety of raw pigments derived from earth minerals that cause a safety concern. The following pigments are considered carcinogenic:

Known or Probable Carcinogens / Highly Toxic Pigments
antimony white
barium yellow
burnt umber or raw umber
cadmium red or orange
cadmium yellow
cadmium barium colors
cadmium barium yellow
chrome green
chrome orange
chrome yellow
cobalt violet
cobalt yellow
lead or flake white
lithol red
manganese violet
molybdate orange
naples yellow
strontium yellow
vermilion
zinc sulfide
zinc yellow

Moderately Toxic Pigments / Slightly Toxic Pigments
alizarin crimson
carbon black
cerulean blue
cobalt blue
cobalt green
chromium oxide green
manganese blue
Prussian blue
toluidine red
toluidine yellow
viridian
zinc white

Normally, these pigments cause the greatest harm when used in powder form. However, they can also be absorbed into the skin. Oil colors, unlike other forms of paint, are made from raw pigments bound in oil. The oil makes the paint more easily absorbed into the skin, and then into the bloodstream.

4. Toxic Mediums

Just like solvents, all painting mediums are made from petroleum distillates. And all petroleum-based products have health risks. Follow the same precautions with mediums as you do with solvents. Never allow prolonged contact with skin or eyes. If accidentally ingested or splashed into the eyes, seek medical attention immediately.

5. Toxic Skin and Eye Irritants

Mediums and solvents are skin and eye irritants. Prolonged contact with skin can cause irritation and over time may produce a carcinogenic effect.

How to Protect Yourself

There are several ways to protect yourself while painting with oils and solvents.

  • Purchase odorless solvents or mineral spirits. There are several choices from a variety of manufacturers
  • Always keep your studio well vented, whether using odorless solvents, or not.
  • Never allow a flame near your work area. Do not smoke when handling solvents and mediums
  • Always take care to properly store and dispose of your rags and solvents. Store and dispose of oil and solvent-soaked rags in metal cans only.
  • Wear protective gloves, and even a face mask, goggles, or other protective eye ware.
  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after every painting session.
  • Never allow children or pets to come in contact with paints, solvents, or mediums
  • If paints, solvents, or mediums are accidentally ingested or splashed into your eyes, seek medical attention immediately

These few precautions will ensure you have years of safe fun in your studio. If you know of any more hazards or precautions, please let us know about them in the comments below.

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3 Color Palettes for the Serious Oil Painter

Have you ever given much thought to just how important your tools and palette really are?

Choose your color palette carefully

One of the most fun and satisfying aspects of oil painting is setting up your palette and preparing your tools.

This process really helps define who you are becoming as an artist, and what direction you will be taking.

It took me years of study, trail and error, being mentored by other artists and teachers, to finally settle on my set of artist tools and color palette.

1. Simple or Limited Palette (11 Colors or Less)

This is the palette that I use. It consists of 11 colors or less.

The Old Masters used limited palettes. The basic idea of this palette is to have a warm and cool of each primary, white, and a couple of earth tones.

The colors that I use in my limited palette are:

  1. Titanium white
  2. Ultramarine blue (warm blue)
  3. Cerulean blue (cool blue)
  4. Cadmium Red Light (warm red)
  5. Alizarin Crimson (cool red)
  6. Cadmium Yellow Light (warm yellow)
  7. Lemon Yellow (cool yellow)
  8. Cadmium Orange (secondary)
  9. Dioxiane Purple (secondary)
  10. Yellow orche (earth tone)
  11. Burnt umber (earth tone)

This palette gives you all the basic colors to build secondary or tertiary colors. You need to have a good understanding of color theory to use this palette successfully.

I purchase Cadmium Orange as a secondary color in tube form because its brilliance cannot be matched by mixing red and yellow on your own.

2. Average Palette (12 to 14 Colors)

This takes the simple palette above and expands it.

The idea with this palette is to take a couple of shortcuts and rather than mixing a secondary, just go ahead and buy it in the tube.

One secondary color that you will probably want to purchase at some time will be Dioxiane Purple. This is a wonderful color that makes beautiful violets and has great tinting strength.

I always mix my own greens. So my suggestion to you is to never purchase a tube green, as you can mix all the greens you need with the colors you have. Also, tube greens always seem a bit artificial to me.

The last category you want to add from here will be the earth tones. Burnt sienna, raw umber or raw sienna are good choices here.

3. Elaborate Palette (15 or More Colors)

The elaborate palette takes the average palette one step further.

At this point you begin to add colors that speak to your own personal taste as a painter. Or you could add more colors in the secondary or tertiary range that will save you color mixing time.

But be careful here and don’t go overboard.

Paint manufacturers have to constantly make a large selection of new products to stay in business. But you really don’t need all the colors that they make. They will be redundant in your paint box once you become highly skilled at mixing colors.

And mixing the exact color you need is half the fun.

Every time I see a painter open their box and it has 30 tubes of paint with names like Azure blue or Turquoise green, I know that I am in the presence of a novice, someone who probably just started painting.

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3 Common Oil Painting Problems and How to Resolve Them

Have you ever had a problem in your oil painting such as cracking or dull finish? Oil painting is a pretty forgiving medium, but there are things that can go wrong and ruin your artwork if you aren’t aware of them. The good news is that the most common mistakes are easily avoidable by following a few rules. Some damage can even be repaired.

This article will cover the 3 most common oil painting problems and tell you how to resolve them.

The difficult part of assessing the quality of a finished oil painting is that it takes some time for it to dry and for the damage to appear. More specifically, after the painting has had enough time to dry and sometimes even longer, cracking or drying out of the color can occur. In most cases the causes are easily identifiable.

Here are the 3 Most Common Oil Painting Problems

Dull Finish
One of the most common and destructive effects of improper oil painting is the sinking of the top layer, which causes a dull finish. This process occurs when the oil in the color

3 Common Oil Painting Problems and How to Resolve Them

Using too much solvents can cause problems

evaporates too quickly, and as such causes the layer to sink into the previous layer. You can tell your painting needs “oiling out” if your painting’s overall appearance or certain areas are dull after the painting has completely dried and is ready for varnish. Not only does this drying out cause further concern of potential cracking, but it also creates an uneven, blotchy finish of the painting.

The main cause of a dull finish is from an incorrect ratio of drying oils to paint and solvents. More specifically, it occurs when there is too much of a solvent concentration in the paint. This is okay for early layers, but will cause a dullness effect in the top layer. Another common cause is an overly absorbent painting surface. Be sure to use a well primed surface to avoid letting the paint sink into a porous surface.

Fortunately, “oiling out” is a way to regain the sheen of your surface. Oiling out is a process in which an all-purpose medium like thickened linseed oil, diluted with 50% mineral spirits, is rubbed into the dull areas. Gently and sparingly rub in the oil mixture with a soft clean cloth and wipe off the excess, repeating until the painting has an even sheen. Applying varnish on its own without oiling out will not solve the problem. However, after oiling out and allowing the painting to dry thoroughly again, you may apply picture varnish as usual.

Cracking
When a layer of paint is significantly drier than the layer underneath it, the painting will most certainly suffer from a cracking effect. For example, if the underlayer contains more drying oils like linseed than the top layer, and if the top layer is diluted with too many solvents then the top layer will dry quicker and more brittle than the bottom layer. In turn, the bottom layer will cause the top layer to crack as it dries at its own slower pace.

A cracked layer in an oil painting cannot truly be fixed. Applying more paint or mediums will only compound the problem. As such, it is best to avoid this situation from the beginning. The easiest way to ensure that your painting dries at a healthy pace, so that no layers crack, is to layer in the correct order using the right mediums. A traditional rule used by oil painters is referred to as “Fat over Lean”, or flexible over less flexible. In other words, when painting in layers, the proportion of medium used in each layer should be increased. To give you an idea of healthy mixtures that can be used when glazing layers, here below is an example.

First Layer – VERY DRY – mostly solvents, little color
Second Layer – DRY – a lot of solvents, more color
Third Layer – MEDIUM – a little solvents, some drying oil, some color
Fourth Layer – OILY – little or no solvents, drying oil, color

Please note that the drying oil I refer to means an oil like linseed that slows drying time of the oil paint, and does not speed it up. If you choose to use a medium like Liquin that speeds up drying time, use it within the earlier or middle layers of the painting, or throughout the entire painting process. Fast drying mediums are ready-made and already contain a well-balanced mixture of medium and solvents.

Stress
Using too many different types of mediums, and/or creating your own mediums, can put a painting under “stress”. Damage is very unpredictable in this case. The easiest way to avoid putting your painting under stress is to adhere to the Fat over Lean rule. Although technically all oil mediums are compatible with each other, only one type of drying oil and solvents should be used within each layer. When using ready-made mediums, do not combine them with others, only solvents if needed.

So most problems with oil painting can be easily solved or at least avoided.

If you have had experience with these or other problems and have dealt with them successfully, I would certainly love to hear about them in the comments section below.

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Top 6 Solvents for the Serious Oil Painter

Basic turpentine or Paint Thinner

Most solvents have common characteristics. They are liquids at room temperature. They are very volatile and produce vapors that can be inhaled or circulated by a ventilation system. Most solvents are flammable liquids, and because of the wide range of potential ingredients in solvents, you should always check the label and/or material safety data sheet for a description of hazards.

But, most importantly to us as oil painters, solvents dissolve oil, grease, and fats effectively. It is this property alone that propels oil painters to use solvents despite the other crude characteristics that we can certainly do without. In fact, solvents created specifically for oil painting are made to zone in on compatibility with oil colors as the good quality of solvents, and reduce the less desirable and hazardous ones.

More specifically, solvents can produce local or systemic (central nervous system) effects in people when vapors are inhaled or when liquids penetrate the skin. They are irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract, and they may cause dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, or light-headedness. Furthermore, in very high concentrations, inhalation of solvents can cause unconsciousness, convulsions and death. Obviously, it is in the artist’s best interest to try to eliminate all of these adverse reactions in order to use solvents in oil painting.

Although all solvents are basically harmful, there are certain solvents that do provide more of a service than a health hazard, and for this reason oil painters tend to use only a small variety of these oil soluble chemicals available. The following is a list of solvents commonly used in oil painting, along with their own individual characteristics. Each has its own benefits in regards to compatibility with oil paint, but each has its own drawbacks.

#1. Gum Turpentine
Turpentine, commonly found in hardware stores, is the most abrasive solvent used for artistic use. It has also been the most traditional material for diluting oil paints. Turpentine is available in different forms, so only artist grade distilled gum turpentine is singled out for oil painting. Turpentine is generally not a good solvent to use for cleaning brushes as it tends to be harsh on the bristles. It also tends to leave a gummy residue when used in oil painting because it contains impurities. However, when working with damar resins found in some mediums and varnishes, turpentine is most effective. Another drawback is that turpentine is caustic on the skin, causing irritation, and emits harmful vapors.

#2. Mineral Spirits (Petroleum Distillates)
A less abrasive solvent that is a better option for cleaning brushes and thinning paint is mineral spirits, otherwise known as paint thinner. Although mineral spirits do not dilute damar resins well, they are less likely to cause allergic reactions. They are also less likely to deteriorate with age. Unless made to be odorless (see below), mineral spirits do emit harmful vapors despite being gentler on the skin.

#3. Odorless Mineral Spirits
Invented because mineral spirits is such a versatile solvent in being more delicate to the skin, odorless mineral spirits allows for the effective qualities of plain mineral spirits, but eliminates some of the vapor hazards. As such, odorless spirits are a great choice for cleaning brushes as well as diluting oil color in painting.

#4. Paint Thinner
Paint thinners are simply synthetic variations of natural based solvents such as turpentine or mineral spirits. They are more useful for cleanup and not recommended for working with oil paints as a medium.

#5. Citrus Thinner
A by-product of citrus peel liquer, citrus thinner is used as a substitute for mineral spirits as it effectively cleans brushes and dilutes oil paint well. However, it is not effective in breaking down damar resins. It has a yellowish color and a slight citrus odor. It is free of petroleum distillates, mineral spirits and other synthetics, and is classified as an extra mild thinner. The benefit over mineral spirits is that it tends to speed up the drying time of the oil paint when blended with it. Citrus Thinner is also more environmentally friendly than pure turpentine.

#6. Turpenoid
A very popular synthetic solvent classified as a petroleum hydrocarbon, Turpenoid was created as an alternative to mineral spirits and is odor free. It can be substituted for

Winsor Newtown Turpenoid

turpentine or mineral spirits in all painting functions, but also is not effective in diluting damar. It is also a practical clean up solvent.

In conclusion, it has been my experience that Turpenoid is the most effective all around solvent for my own personal needs. It cleans my brushes well, I like the way it integrates with my oil colour, and I feel safe around it. Moreover, damar resins (the only material insoluble in Turpenoid) are often avoided in oil painting today because of the yellowing tendency and brittle qualities. So, I find that I usually do not need to have turpentine on hand.

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6 Color Schemes for the Serious Artist

Have you ever started a painting and then hours into it found yourself muddling around with the colors unsure which direction to go? Have you ever wanted a simple way to think about your color compositions? Are you still unsure about how to design color into the total concept of your oil painting?

Your color schemes need to be thought out well in advance before you begin painting. Settling on a strong color scheme for your work of art in the initial stages of planning can save you hours of time once you are fully into the process of actual painting.

 

Here are 6 basic color schemes and ideas on using them.

Complementary Color Scheme

#1. Complementary color scheme
Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are considered to be complementarycolors (example: red and green).

The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. This color scheme must be managed well so it is not jarring.

Complementary color schemes are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.

Complementary colors are really bad for text.

 

Analogous Color Scheme

#2. Analogous color scheme
Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs.

Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

Make sure you have enough contrast when choosing an analogous color scheme.

Choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used (along with black, white or gray) as an accent.

 

 

Triadic Color Scheme

#3. Triadic color scheme
A triadic color scheme uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.

Triadic color schemes tend to be quite vibrant, even if you use pale or unsaturated versions of your hues.

To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colors should be carefully balanced – let one color dominate and use the two others for accent.

 

 

 

Split Complementary Color Scheme

#4.Split-Complementary color scheme
The split-complementary color scheme is a variation of the complementary color scheme. In addition to the base color, it uses the two colors adjacent to its complement.

This color scheme has the same strong visual contrast as the complementary color scheme, but has less tension.

The split-complimentary color scheme is often a good choice for beginners, because it is difficult to mess up.

 

 

Tetradic Color Scheme

#5.Rectangle (tetradic) color scheme
The rectangle or tetradic color scheme uses four colors arranged into two complementary pairs.

This rich color scheme offers plenty of possibilities for variation.

Tetradic color schemes works best if you let one color be dominant.

You should also pay attention to the balance between warm and cool colors in your design.

 

 

Square Color Scheme

#6. Square color scheme
The square color scheme is similar to the rectangle, but with all four colors spaced evenly around the color circle.

Square color schemes works best if you let one color be dominant.

You should also pay attention to the balance between warm and cool colors in your design.

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Understanding Opacity, Transparency and Permanence for the Serious Oil Painter

Have you ever read on the back of a tube of paint and seen the permanence rating and wondered what it was or how to use that information? Or have you ever wondered which colors make the best glazes?

These are important questions for the serious oil painter. And much of this information needs to be committed to memory so that quick and quality decisions can be made in the studio.

Opacity
Opaque is explained in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “exhibiting opacity : blocking the passage of radiant energy and especially light”. As such, opaque pigments let less light through and allow better coverage in oil painting. These are the colors that are the best for underpainting. They cover quickly and throughly, hiding or blocking any colors that are underneath them.

Titanium white is a color that can be used to paint over or block out segments of a work in progress. It can used instead of gesso. If you are not happy with a portion of your painting, just use this color to paint over it. Once it is dry, you can start new with a surface that will be just like your underpainting.

 

Transparent or Lake Colors

Transparent colors also known as Lakes are explained in the same dictionary as “a. having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly; or b. fine or sheer enough to be seen through”.

Transparent pigments allow colors underneath to show through and are ideal for glazing.

I remember how surprised I was to learn that oil colors actually vary in the level of opacity. Some are more translucent, whereas some are more opaque than others. For example, there are several types of white pigments. Some of them are opaque, but some are transparent.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to identify the opaque colors versus the transparent ones other than by memorization. To make it a little bit easier, I have compiled a list of common pigments divided into two sections; opaque and transparent.

Opaque
Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Red
Cobalt Green
Ivory Black
Mars Black
Raw Umber
Titanium White
Vermillion
Zinc White (semi-opaque)

Transparent or Lake
Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Sienna
Cobalt Blue (semi-transparent)
Cobalt Violet (semi-transparent)
Davy’s Gray
Hansa Yellow
Phthalo Blue
Phthalo Green
Prussian Blue
Ultramarine Blue (semi-transparent)

 

Permanence
In simple words, permanence is how long the paint will last without fading.

For example, vegetable dies fade very fast but pigmented paint last much longer. But pigment paints have different qualities and that’s why manufacturers have developed ratings.

Different companies use different codes. For example, Winsor Newton “AA” is the most permanent, “A” is second place but also good, then they have “B” and “C” that are not very permanent but are cheaper; but others brands use ” I ” to indicate the best and “II” the second place, so it can get confusing.

I was equally surprised to learn of a varying degree of colorfastness or permanence within the vast spectrum of oil colors. It seems to me that oil color is oil color, but that’s simply not true. Again, there is really no pattern to the colorfast quality of pigments. A good quality manufacturer will provide only the best pigments recommended as permanent for artists’ use, with a rating of “extremely permanent” or “permanent”. However, there are very few colors which do not reach this standard and are provided only because of the lack of permanent pigments in certain color areas. Sap Green and Carmine are examples of oil colors that are sold by manufacturers of fine oil paint but rate low on the permanence scale.

An artist may choose one pigment over a similar one because of the permanence rating. For example, Titanium White, Underpainting White and Zinc White all are rated by Winsor Newton as being extremely permanent (AA), but Foundation White and Flake White are only considered permanent (A).

Often a manufacturer will manipulate a pigment to offer an alternative to one with a weaker permanence. For example, Winsor Newton provides Permanent Sap Green with an A rating as an alternative to Sap Green, which they also sell but with a B rating (Moderately Durable).

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Matte and Glossy Finishes in Oil Painting

 

Matte and Glossy Finishes in Oil PaintingDo you love being able to manipulate the finish in oil painting, making it matte, glossy, or somewhere in-between?

There are some artists who believe in a very traditional approach to oil painting in that the finish should be consistently very glossy and well varnished.

There are others that prefer an all over matte finish and avoid varnishing at all. Still yet, there are some artists like myself who find it essential to have both matte and glossy areas within the same painting in order to add to the concept and dimensional quality of the rendering. What are your preferences when it comes to the finish of your oil painting? Here below are my thoughts.

Matte
I can appreciate a matte service from a scientific point of view. Dull areas absorb light rather than reflect light, especially when the color is of a dark shade. Therefore, I truly love deep dark matte colors lying within the crevices of a painting. In the same way, I find it even more interesting when matte colors are dramatically placed next to high gloss areas within a painting, or dispersed sparingly throughout a painting to suggest a deep dark dimension to the surface.

A matte finish is also lovely when it is used to parallel the tactile qualities of an object. For example, a matte or satin finish can make a velvet cloak seem irresistible to touch even if it is only in a representational, two-dimensional form.

Soft, pastel colors that are found in impressionist paintings can also be more beautiful when given a matte finish.

Gloss
It’s always tempting to add more, and more, and more gloss to a painting! Traditionally, oil paintings are varnished with a nice glossy finish. Personally, I find an all over glossy finish distracting when viewing a painting, especially in a museum or gallery when the piece is under direct lighting. Instead, I appreciate subtler placement of glossy areas to objects or areas indicative of reflective light.

Just like a matte surface absorbs light, a glossy surface reflects it. It seems just natural to pair the two up with their metaphorical cousins in a painting! For example, a mirror or pane of glass in a painting could appear even more reflective if the bright areas were reflective in real life through a high gloss finish. Furthermore, glossy areas can help define different areas of a painting from one another.

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How to Get Thousands of Free Twitter Followers

How to Get Thousands of Free Twitter Followers

It only takes following a couple of easy steps to get thousands of free followers on Twitter.

Would you like to have thousands of enthusiastic Twitter followers? And would you like to get those thousands of followers for free?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then you are in the right place.

I am a Twitter expert and advocate. I LOVE Twitter. And I have thousands of Twitter followers. Just check me out at @GaryBolyerArt. I add thousands of new Twitter followers every year.

But the most amazing thing is that I get all of my followers for free. I’ve never paid even a dime for one follower.

The average person on Twitter has about 300 followers. That’s where I was not long ago. So I’m going to assume that you already have a Twitter account and that you have at least a couple of hundred followers.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, just go to Twitter.com and set it up. It’s free and simple to do.

There are two easy steps to growing a free following on Twitter:

1) Follow and Unfollow
2) Tweet and ReTweet

Let’s look at these two steps in more detail.

1) Follow and Unfollow

Twitter will allow you to follow a ceiling of up to 2,000 people when you are first starting out with no followers. This ceiling changes as your followers grow, but basically it stays about 1,000 to 2,000 people over the number of your following. So if you have 2,000 followers, you will be allowed to follow about 3,000. Understand? Just remember that you have a ceiling over your total number of people you are following.

So if you have 300 followers, I recommend that you go ahead and follow up to your ceiling of 2,000 people.

But before you get started with this, I want you to consider one thing: Who is your ideal customer? This is who you want to follow. I want you to follow only those people who are most likely to buy your product. Why?

Because there is a cost involved to obtain a follower, whether that cost is time or money.

You do not want to waste your time with a lot of followers who will never convert into buying customers. Is this clear? Let’s look at an example.

Let’s say that you are a jewelry artist and make silver and gold jewelry. You sell your jewelry on your art blog and at art fairs around the country. Only you know for sure who is your ideal customer. Is it a woman? Is is a man? Is it a mixture of both? Let’s say that for this example, you determine that your ideal customer is a woman. She is 25 to 45 years old. She is a housewife, but she is also a professional and has the disposable income to afford to buy your handmade gold and silver jewelry products.

Now we have enough information to follow the right people on Twitter. Continuing with this example, you are only going to follow professional women who are 25 to 45 years of age. Got it?

So you are going to go to the “Search” bar in Twitter and type in “professional woman.” Then you will click the “People” tab in the extended search bar. This way you will only get the people who match the search rather than all the tweets and hashtags associated with the term.

There are many terms that will match your perfect followers in this example. You could use: “nurse”, “executive secretary”, “woman doctor”, etc. Use your imagination and come up with as many search terms for your ideal follower as possible. You’re going to need as many as you can come up with. This step is critical for your success on Twitter.

Once you have you ideal customer, then follow 2,000 of them on Twitter. You will find that about 10% to 20% of the people that you follow will follow you back. So if you follow 2,000 in one week, you should get about 200 to 400 to follow you back in that same week. And if you followed my advice above, then these followers will be the perfect people to buy your products.

Once you follow up to your ceiling of 2,000 people, you want to just let it work for you for a while. It may take 7 to 10 days for all of those you followed to take notice and to follow you back.

After a couple of weeks, you are going to want to start unfollowing all of the people who didn’t follow you back.

Remember, you have a ceiling and can only follow so many people based on the total number you are following. So if you unfollow some people who are not following you back, you will free up some space which will allow you to follow fresh new prospects.

There are some free tools that will help you to follow and unfollow on Twitter. I use www.justunfollow.com. They have a free and premium version. The free version works just great and it’s the one I still use. I unfollow and then follow new users every day using this tool. And the great thing about www.justunfollow.com is that they have a special section in their program that allows you to copy your competitors’ followers. Just enter your competitor’s Twitter handle and then copy their following.

At the end of every month, unfollow eveyone who has not followed you back. I call this purging my list. And then start over with following fresh new prospects all the way up to your ceiling.

But here is a word of warning: Don’t follow and unfollow too much. Twitter calls this “churning” and you could have your account banned for doing it too much. If you follow and unfollow around 30 people every day and then purge your list at the end of the month, you will be okay. If on the other hand, you follow and unfollow hundreds of people every day, you will probably get banned.

2) Tweeting and ReTweeting

One of the most important things you can do to grow your Twitter following is to stay engaged with your followers. You do this by Tweeting, ReTweeting, and Favoriting.

There are some Twitter experts that say you should engage only 4 or 5 times a day on Twitter. I think this is wrong. I Tweet and ReTweet many times each day, on average up to 60 or more tweets per day.

You will need a social media scheduler to schedule your tweets and engage a lot on Twitter. I use and highly recommend Hootsuite.com.

The great thing about Hootsuite.com is that you can save your tweets as a template and then just pull them from the template file each time. This saves tremendous time each day because you don’t have to come up with new tweet ideas. Just pull them out of your saved file and schedule them.

Nothing is better than Hootsuite.com for scheduling your tweets and managing your Twitter account.

My Tweets are spread out from 8 am to 5 pm, with 11 am to 2 pm getting the most tweets. I tweet 7 days a week on this schedule.

The more you Tweet, the more you will be ReTweeted by your followers and the more followers you will gain from these engagements.

My Tweets fall into 3 categories:

1) Articles from my blog

2) Quotes

3) Interesting Facts.

I rarely tweet about myself. Your followers are only interested in learning something from you or being entertained with quotes or facts. In my example of the jewelry artist above, you would link back to interesting articles in your jewelry art blog, or use interesting quotes art quotes or jewelry facts.

People who tweet mostly about themselves rarely grow a large Twitter following. Unless you are a famous movie star like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, nobody cares about you personally. Sorry to burst your narcissistic little bubble, but hey, I’m trying to give you the straight dope here.

A Few Words About Buying Twitter Followers

This article was written for people who want to grow their following on Twitter for free. But there is another way to grow your following. You can always buy your followers.

If you decide to buy your followers, I recommend that you only use the official Twitter promoted accounts. They have an entire program just set up to promote your brand and get new followers. You can set up a campaign that will just specifically get new followers only. This way you are assured that you will get real followers with real Twitter accounts.

There are hundreds of places that advertise on the internet where you can get 5,000 new Twitter followers for only $10. I have never used one of these ads and I don’t suggest that you use them either. I suspect the followers that you are buying are not real Twitter accounts at all. They are fake accounts set up just to scam innocent people out of their money. Don’t fall for these scams. Never buy your Twitter followers from an advertisement on the internet.

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4 Keys to Understanding Alkyds in Oil Painting

What are alkyd paints and why would you want to consider using them?

Alkyd paint is a fairly new painting medium that is fully compatible with oil paints.

Commonly referred to as the happy compromise between acrylic and oil paints, alkyds are fast drying like acrylic paints, but are well suited for oil painting and glazing techniques.

Alkyds can be blended with any oil paints to speed drying time

Alkyd colors are made with an alkyd resin binder. The binder does not contain oil like linseed oil, and therefore eliminates the yellowing or cracking tendency seen with oil paints. Alkyds are proven to display optimum color retention because of the greater pigment density, and excellent durability with a rapid drying time.

#1. Alkyds and Mixing Mediums
Alkyds can be used in combination with oil paints and their standard mediums, or on their own with the medium Liquin. They cannot be mixed with any other mediums. If used in conjunction with oil paints, alkyds can be blended to dry slower, with more characteristics of oils. If used alone, alkyds will mimic acrylic paints, drying just slightly longer at an even rate and to an even gloss, regardless of color. Liquin will act like oil painting mediums by making the naturally thick/stiff paint thin and buttery, but instead of slowing down the drying time as most oil mediums do, using Liquin will enable the paint to dry at the same rate and consistency of the alkyds.

#2. Blending with Alkyds
As a result of their fast drying time, alkyds should be used in small amounts at a time so as not to waste any paint. It is best not to apply more pigment to the palette than can be used in a day of painting. Alkyds blend easily for the first 40 minutes or so, depending on the heaviness of the applied coat. As the paint begins to dry, the paint will start to lift while working, especially if soft, feathery strokes are used with the brush. Pressure will reactivate sticky paint, but it is best if the blending can be completed at a quicker rate in order to avoid this problem. Since blending needs to be done fairly fast, then it is necessary to take a different approach to glazing than you might with oil paints. For example, avoid blocking in dark, mid and light value colors in order to blend them together in one sitting. Instead, begin by blocking and blending only two value colors, such as dark and mid value, before adding the light colors.

#3. Layer, after Layer, after Layer…
Because alkyds dry quicker than oils, the surface will not take long to dry before the next layer or glaze can be applied. Generally, a surface painted with alkyds will dry within 8 to 10 hours, after which it will be ready for another coat. Consequently, it also will not take as long to dry before a final picture varnish can be applied as the last coat. A traditional oil painting usually requires 6 months to dry before a varnish can be applied in order to avoid cracking, but an alkyd painting can be varnished only 30 days after completion.

#4. Does it work for you?
It is widely believed that most oil painters adapt well to painting with alkyds because of the strong similarities, but it takes time to get used to the rapid drying. Some recommend first integrating some alkyds into standard oil painting, and then gradually adding more while decreasing the use of oil paints. I believe that this theory is worth a try, if a faster drying time is needed. However, in the end you just may find that the slower drying qualities of oil paints are what your painting techniques require.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Never Sell Your Art on Auction Websites

art on auction websites

Have you ever been tempted to put some of your art on auction websites?

Or have you ever put your art on auction websites and wondered why it didn’t sell or went for such a low price?

If you’ve been thinking about selling your art on auction websites or even if you have tried it in the past, there are some important things you need to know.

I am going to be very honest and upfront with you and tell you that for almost four years I sold my art on one of these auction websites. I know, I’m a little embarrassed to tell you this.

Of course, I can’t tell you which site it was because I don’t want to make any enemies here. But I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about.

In those four years I became kind of an online auction expert. I learned a lot about selling on this kind of platform.

And I’m here to tell you that if you are a serious artist hoping to build a lifelong career you should stay away from these kinds of sites.

Here are my 5 top reasons why you should never sell your art on auction websites:

1. You are digitally sharecropping

This is the big one.

Your main internet presence always should be your own website or blog. The reason for this is that you will be in control of all aspects of the business as it grows. When you try to grow a business on another website, you control less and less.

If they change the rules about how they want you to do business (which happens a lot), you may be in conflict with those rules and driven off the site.

Also, these websites can disappear overnight. Remember Myspace? If you spend lots of time and money building a name on one of these sites and they go out of business, so will you.

2. It makes your art look cheap

The idea and the promise behind the auction websites is that your work will be bid up to high prices. Trust me, this never happens.

What really happens is that you start your precious art piece at a low price to attract the highest number of possible buyers and then it ends up selling for that same low price.

There are lots of reasons for this that I learned over the years, and I’m not going into all of them here.

But the main reason is that these sites are bargain basement websites full of cheap buyers and cheap customers.

I’ve said this before in this blog and so this time I am going to shout it: Stay out of the bargain basement.

Cheap customers are the worst customers. They complain the most. And they want the most returns. Also, they are never happy and never satisfied.

You do not want your precious original art associated with the idea that someone can have it at a cheap price. This is not how the real art world works…..ever.

3. It makes you look like a desperate seller

The first thing that anyone thinks when something isn’t selling is that maybe they should lower the price. This is a logical assumption. But it is a very wrong one.

Anyone can lower their price and go broke.

Lowering the price (especially in the art world) is seen as a act of desperation by a desperate seller.

I remember reading about an art gallery in New York City a few years ago that had a “sale.” They were trying to be like a department store. This is unheard of in the art world and even a little absurd and ridiculous. The gallery quickly went out of business.

4. It can harm your reputation with the real mainstream art gallery system

Okay, I’m going to tell you my most embarrassing story. I’m only going to share it with you because I know that you are serious about your art career and I know what you will learn from it will help you a lot. Are you ready?

In 1998 when I was a newcomer to New York City, I became associated with several art galleries. But since I was a new artist, my work was not selling that well. So I decided to supplement my income with some sales on the internet. I put my work on some auction sites at very low prices.

Yes, I made some extra money. And that’s how I justified continuing to do it. But what do you think happened?

One of the gallery directors found out that I was flooding the market with cheap priced versions of my art. They were furious and quickly ended their relationship with me.

This mistake cost me a lot. It cost me a relationship with a premiere art dealer in New York City.

5. It floods the market with too much of your work

Let’s face it, the art world is very small. The balance of supply and demand in this market is very delicate. You never want a lot of your work floating around out there.

People only want and desire what is scarce and getting scarcer.

And that’s the problem with selling on the auction websites. You have to sell a lot to make enough money to survive. This is not a good strategy if you are serious about being a career artist.

Comments

  1. You make me want to paint again! Thank You, Loxi

  2. Nancy Smythe says:

    Wonderful articles. Thank you.

  3. Great Twitter tips. I’m so annoyed by those Buy X000 followers for $x.00 that follow me, that I Block them & file a Report = Spam. The accounts seem to get banned regularly and go away. I use justunfollow – free version works great. I’m going to give HootSuite a try right now. Thanks!!

  4. Incredibly helpful information, thank you.

  5. thank you for all this information. I shall save and read again. Particularly the patchy painting and oiling out advice. I have a problem with a commission from a customer. It was probably painted too quickly and passed over last christmas very quickly and now patchy. Hope I can fix it. Your advice really helps. thank you.

  6. Great twitter info. Will certainly try them. Thanks!

  7. That was super inspiring and educating, thanks

  8. I’ve found it easy to sell the subjects you love and those things you care the most about. Also, time and persistence enhance credibility which reassures those who doubt their judgement of art. You are generous with your knowledge of materials, techniques and technology.

  9. Thanks! good information your assistance and time is appreciated very much

  10. Anne Jones says:

    Wow. It’ll take some time to digest the wealth of info you provide. Or rather, act on it. Thanks and I’m so glad I signed up.

  11. xellas says:

    Hi Gary. Love your articles. You make me want to start a blog and get a website.

  12. Laura Krasell says:

    Thank you. This was grand! Laura

  13. More thanks and inspiration than I can say. You truly change peoples’s worlds.

  14. Thankful I appreciate these very useful inspirations!

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