How To Sell You Art Online

How To Sell You Art Online

Over the last five years of teaching people how to paint I have had many students who have wanted to sell their art online or through traditional venues.

Some just want to sell enough of their art so that they can pay for more art supplies. Art Supplies can get expensive if paint regularly so selling some of your work gives you cash flow to keep buying more art.

Others have wanted to earn a part time income from it. After all … who wouldn’t want to earn an extra $500 to $2,000 a month from the sales of their artwork? For a lot of people this represents a large amount of money and can help with the monthly budget, or allow you to afford some of those nice things in life that the current budget does not allow for.

And still many others have wanted, like me, to earn their full time income from their art. They love the creative process so much that all they dream about is producing their art all day long and earning a full time income from it.

For me that was a strong driving motive.

I used to day dream about getting consistent and reliable sales of my art so that I could replace my day job. It wasn’t until I developed a plan on how to get there that it started to happen.

So if you have a desire to earn an income from your art then this article will help you identify what you need to do and how you need to think about the process of making and selling art for income.

Sidenote – Some purists will tell you that artists should not concern themselves with the idea of money, sales, marketing and self promotion. They reason that if you just focus on the art and let someone else worry about selling it then your success is assured. This is true for about 0.5% of artists who make it to the top but not for the majority.

So lets look at what you need to think and do to create a consistent and reliable income from your art.

The Changing Art Market & What It Means To You

For a century or more the art sales market has been controlled by Galleries and large Auction houses like Sotheby;s, For most artists the goal was to find a good gallery to represent you and hold successful exhibitions. If you were good enough this was a sure path to success.

Many of my artist friends, some who have been professional artists for thirty years or more, made a living following this path.

To succeed in this system you had to be at the top of your game. Galleries had to make money so they were selective in who they could work with and rightly so. In effect though they became the gatekeepers of who made it in the art world and who didn’t.

Then everything changed.

The Internet has been busy disrupting practically every industry there is.

Look at Uber and the Taxi industry as a classic example. The old way of doing things is no longer relevant.

Blockbuster went from being a $6 Billion business to bankrupt in ten years because of the growth of the Internet and a little start up called Netflix rose to power in the same time frame. Incidentally the brains behind Blockbuster did not believe the market would pay for movies on a monthly subscription basis. They put their heads in the sand and refused to believe the changes would impact them.

The same thing is happening in the art world right now.

Galleries are closing as its no longer viable to keep the doors open for many. Good galleries remain and will always have a place in the market no doubt. Its just that the number of galleries available as venues for artists to sell their works has diminished significantly.

At the same time there are more artists than ever before.

In the USA alone more than 30,000 new graduates each year all have hopes and dreams of earning their living as artists. Combine that with the rise of the baby boomer generation and their new found love in art. The number of artists in the world is in the millions and a lot of us would love to be able to sell our artwork.

So fewer galleries (channels to the market) and more artists competing for visibility.

As with the Blockbuster Netflix example though … the decline in the gallery system has also seen the rise in online sales of art.

In a recent Forbes magazine article titled ‘Art Market Cooling, But Online Sales Booming’ they said this …

The art market is changing, and social media has become the primary way consumers discover art, according to a study commissioned by Invaluable. The survey found that nearly a quarter (22.7%) of art buyers find new works of art via social media, which edged out museums (20%) and galleries (15.9%) as buyers’ primary source of discovery. Millennials are leading this change, with 44.3% of young millennials (ages 18–24) and 33.8% of older millennials (ages 25–34) saying they discover art on social media. Millennials are also increasingly buying art online, viewing the purchasing of art as both a long-term investment and a unique experience.

Reference – https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahweinswig/2016/05/13/art-market-cooling-but-online-sales-booming/#43d0b6936ec9 

It’s clear that online art sales is where the art market is shifting and when you think about it, it just makes a lot of sense.

Here is the exciting thing for us artists who are not in the top 0.5% … this shift in the art market puts the power back in our hands. For artists there has never been a better time in history than right now. The technology available to us online enables us to reach out around the world, attract an audience of fans for our art, and systematically lead them to purchase our art.

And if we do it right and put the right systems in place then we can create a consistent and reliable income stream from our art.

To do so though is going to take YOU taking control of your own art career.

The Rise of The ArtPreneur

Those artists who are doing well today and will continue to prosper into the future are what I like to call ArtPreneurs.

Art Entrepeneurs.

They are artists who love creating their art so much they look for ways to earn their income from it so they can create even more. And in the process they adopt entrepreneurial thinking to building their art careers.

ArtPreneurs recognise the following truths:

  • No one is going to come and make them successful so they need to take self-responsibility
  • In order to earn an income they need to sell their artwork
  • In order to sell their artwork they need to attract an audience for their work
  • In order to attract an audience they need to market their work and promote themselves
  • In order to do all of this they need to think of their art careers as a business

If you want to start selling your art, even if its just to make a few hundred dollars a month, then you need to start thinking and acting like you are in an art business.

That means you need to split your time between creating and business.

It also means you have to create product that there is a market for … or you have to build a market for the product you create.

Read that last line again.

Yes I did just call your artwork a product.

A business needs products that they can sell and if they do not have such a product they don’t stay in business long.

ArtPreneurs recognise that the artwork they produce is a product that needs to resonate with a marketplace who will buy it.

You don’t want to be like many artists I know who have a garage or store room full of art they can’t sell.

If you can make the shift though and start seeing yourself as an ArtPreneur and embrace the opportunities that online technology gives us then there has never been a better time in history. Any artists with a strong enough desire can rise from obscurity to earning a six figure income in time if they build a business around their art.

The opportunity is the same for all of us … the only difference will be who recognises it, develops a blueprint for their success, and then works hard enough to create a business around their art that earns them an income into the future.

In my case I went from doing my first oil painting in November 2010 to a full time income from my art in just six years. I worked out how I could leverage my art into multiple streams of income that is consistent and reliable.

You can do the same and reach whatever income goals you have if your deisre is strong enough and you find someone who can outline a blueprint for you to follow.

Lets now consider what you need to focus on as an ArtPreneur …

The Keys To Success As An ArtPreneur

There are a number of key areas to focus on in order to build a successful art business. The main ones I found to be most important are:

Key 1 – YOU

The first place to start is with YOU.

In order to create success in anything you need to have the right mindset and personality. So most of us need to work on ourselves first and foremost and put in place a program of self development.

If you want to sell your art then you need to ATTRACT and audience to you. In order to attract them you need to have an attractive personality. So the more you can do to work on developing an attractive personality the better.

In my case I joined Toastmasters (as one example) in order to develop more confidence in speaking to people. Being a natural introvert speaking to people was not my strong point so I had to work on it.

What do you need to work on?

Is it self belief? Are you too negative in your thinking? Do you resent others who are succesfull?

Success as an ArtPreneur requires a positive empowered mindset and a pleasing personality.

Key 2 – Your Plan

You need a plan to reach your income goals.

Start first with setting an INCOME TARGET.

In my case my first income target was $5,000 a month. I knew if I could consistently and reliably earn $5,000 a month then I could sack my boss and focus full time on my art.

What’s your INCOME TARGET? Without one you will be lost. You need a target to focus on. $5k became my single minded focus until I hit it and then re-adjusted the target.

When you know your INCOME TARGET you next need a SALES PLAN.

How many pieces do you need to sell each month to reach your income target?

Is it …

1 x $5,000 = $5k income?

or …

10 x $500 = $5k income?

or perhaps …

100 x $50 = $5k income?

What is your plan going to be?

Note – smaller pieces under $250 sell best online.

You need to develop a plan of how many pieces you will sell each month. For most a higher volume of smaller works at lower prices is the place to start. This will give you lots of practice creating your art and help you work out what the market responds to. It also gives you a greater chance of making sales … the more you have for sale the more chance you have of selling.

Key 3 – Production

If you are of the mindset that you need to wait for inspiration to strike before you can create your artwork then perhaps being an ArtPreneur is not for you.

You need a consistent studio practice where you produce more pieces each month than your sales plan calls for as most of us don’t sell everything we create.

That means you need to have set times where you are in the studio producing product.

You need to shut out all distractions.

Look for ways to create faster and being more productive.

Key 4 – Platform

Next you need a platform online from which to sell your Art.

If you want to sell lots of art then you need to have lots of art online with a BUY NOW button next to it. People often purchase art on the spur of the moment but if there is no way for them to click a button and enter their credit card details in then they are lost … the moment is gone and the desire fades.

Make it easy for people to purchase your art.

I can not tell you how many artists websites I have looked at that display this amazing array of works with no way to buy them.

So you need to build a PLATFORM from which to sell your artwork online.

It starts with a WEBSITE where all of your available art is listed with prices and buy buttons so someone can see your art and pay for it right there and then.

Without this PLATFORM for sales your chances of selling online are greatly reduced.

I have found WORDPRESS to be the best website management system and use it to run all of my art related websites. I manage them selves because I don’t want to have to pay someone every time I want to change something on the site.

I highly recommend you find and learn a website publishing system like WORDPRESS and build out your sales platform.

Key 5 – Audience

Next you need to start building an Audience.

These are people who love and follow YOU and your ARTWORK.

There is more than 2 billion people online today. Fortunately you don’t need to attract all of them. Just a few thousand raving fans is all you need.

Today through social media it is easier than ever to reach them and attract them to you. You can build a large following through your social media presence and then lead them back to your sales platform (website).

Engagement is key. You need to not only attract them but also connect and interact with them.

Now here is a big mistake I see many artists making on social media, especially Facebook. They are all promoting their art to each other. Now some artists do buy art no doubt. But if all you do is share your art in posts to groups of artists then you limit your market considerably.

There are so many sites, places and ways to reach an audience online … I recommend starting with just a few. Facebook, YouTube and Instagram is where I suggest you focus.

So you want to build an audience through your social media channels.

You also want to build an EMAIL DATABASE as well. Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to reach your audience and make sales.

Also consider this … there are lots of online sales sites artists can use. Sites like eBay, Etsy, Daily painting sites, online galleries all offer the opportunity to sell your art online. The way I view these is as part of my marketing to build my audience. There are buyers of art on these sites so use them to get visibility of your art and grow your audience.

Key 6 – Promotion

Now you have an audience growing who love YOU and your ARTWORK you need to promote to them.

This is the part artists dislike but its only because you are thinking about it all wrong.

Here is a simple plan you can follow that is easy to do and your audience will love you for it. I have found that the general non-artist but art loving public are fascinated by artsists. They have this romantic view of artists and their world. So you can promote in such a way that feeds that view and they will connect with you even more.

So a simple plan is this …

Plan to create a release work in a series. Four times a year. Each series might have 20 to 30 pieces in it based around a theme.

Spend a month or two creating the work for the series.

And document every step.

Take photos of your work in progress. Write blog posts about the ideas behind each piece, why you created it and what your creative process is. Record videos on your phone of you talking about the work in progress and some of the finished works.

In other words create content around the series you are working on.

And feed that content to your growing audeince in the lead up to the launch of the series of work.

Then hold an online exhibition of your new series which is closed to the general public but your audience gets two week access. Combine that with a discount code valid for the two weeks.

This will stimulate sales of your work.

You see … promotion can be fun and engaging for your audience if you do it right.

Key 7 – Leverage

When you have the following 6 keys in place then its time to look for leverage.

You need to look for ways to earn multiple streams of income from each piece of artwork you create.

If you just create and sell original artwork then you never build an asset base in your business apart from your audience.

So every piece you do make sure you take high quality photos at a high resolution. And catalogue every piece.

You can then use the images, as you retain the copyright, to create additional products you can sell.

There are a ton of options available today which is part of the reason I say its the best time in history for artists.

Firstly there is a huge market for licensed artwork. Corporates will pay money to license images from artists to use in their products. Many artists make their full time income from this alone.

Secondly the print on demand industry has opened opportunitites to merchandise your art into additional products like pillow covers, iphone covers, notepads, placemats and more. This market is ideal for creating gifts with your artwork on it. These types of products are an ideal entry point or introduction to your art for many new buyers. Put these buyers onto your database and lead them to purchase more expensive originals in time.

Thirdly the print market. Sites like Fine Art America make it possible to sell unlimited framed prints of your work.

Fourthly teaching how you create a piece of art. There is a massive growing market of people who want to learn how you create your artwork. You can created DVD’s, online course, books, art classes, and more teaching how you create each piece.

These are just some of the ways you can create leverage.

There are many other income streams you can develop as well. Everything from sponsorship, publishing deals, to building income through sites like Patreon and more. You just need to open your mind to possibility however you need to master the other keys first. Having a huge audience opens the door to greater leverage.

The First Step In Becoming An ArtPreneur

The information in this article is a high level overview. Clearly you will need to dig deeper into each of these keys and really master each of them one by one to build a solid consistent and reliable income from your art.

Any one can load a piece of their art on Facebook or Etsy and make a one of sale.

But building a long term income stream, in other words a successful art business, takes more skill, knowledge, effort and focus.

It can be done and many artists are doing it right now.

Twenty years ago I would have had no hope in becoming a full time artist and earning a six figure income from my creativity. No hope because my art is just not good enough to get into top galleries and have sell out shows yet. Today its entirely possible for me and you because of the doors being opened up through technology.

The first step in you becoming an ArtPreneur is you making the decision and committment to do it.

You have to decide that this is what your future path will be.

If you make a firm decision that no matter what happens you will figure out the way to become an ArtPreneur and reach your income targets then you can do it.

Everyones path will be different.

We all create different art so we will need to build our art business around our art.

However there are certain fundamentals you need to follow.

There is a blueprint for success you can follow that will fast track your learning curve.

I hope this article is the spark for you to becoming an ArtPreneur like I have.

Note – If you need help with becoming an ArtPreneur then you may be iterested in joining my private coaching group. It’s a a 12 week coaching program where I walk you through the process of starting your ArtPreneur business following the keys we talked about above. It’s particularly focused on selling art online. If you are interested in joining then email me at rodmooreart @ gmail.com and put ‘ArtPreneur Coaching Group’ in subject line

I have recorded an overview video and map of how to sell your art online:


To watch the video overview and download the blueprint visit http://www.SellingArt.Online


Gympie Art Class at Quartz Hub

Gympie Art Class At Quartz Hub



FREE Art DVD Giveaway

FREE Art DVD Giveaway


We are giving away 100 copies of our new DVD ‘Tuscany Farmhouse’

This is one of the projects from the Learn To Paint Club and is the first in a new series of DVD’s we are going to launch in the next few months. The DVD’s will be $37 + postage when released.

For a limited time though we are giving away 100 copies of the DVD if you pay for the postage. It will save you $37.

Request Your FREE Art DVD Here

At this stage we are limiting this offer to 100 copies so act fast if you want one.

SAO YT Thumb E1

Selling Art Online VLOG #1

Selling Art Online VLOG #1

Selling Art Online VLOG #1 – Becoming An ArtPreneur To Sell More Art Online


This is the first in a series of VLOGS on how to sell your art online. For artists there has never been a better time than right now to take control of your own art career and build a business around your art. There are so many tools available to us to make selling your art online a viable way to earn an income from your art.

In this first episode of Selling Art Online VLOG I introduce the idea of becoming an Art Entrepreneur or what I term an ArtPreneur. This is the idea of the artist becoming an entrepreneur and starting to build a business based on their art with multiple streams of income.

Selling Art Online is not easy and most artists will fail at it however there are many who are successfully creating a full time income from their art using the online tools available to sell their art.

If you like this first VLOG and are serious about getting more of your art sold using online tools then you should subscribe to this channel for more updates.

Also visit our site for access to a video walk through of the online model you need to be able to more effectively sell your art online.

Check it out here http://www.SellingArt.online


Acrylic Painting Tutorials YouTube

Acrylic Painting Tutorials YouTube

This acrylic painting tutorial on YouTube is a preview from a recent Learn To Paint Club painting project.

In this project I show you how to paint this great landscape scene in acrylics following a step by step process. The full length version of the video is available to members of the Learn To Paint Club:

Watch The Full Length Version For $1

Our YouTube channel is full of Acrylic Painting Tutorials all designed for beginners – Acrylic Painting Tutorials YouTube


Acrylic Painting Tutorial For Beginners

Acrylic Painting Tutorial For Beginners

In this acrylic painting tutorial for beginners we take a step by step look at how to create a landscape with depth and atmosphere. This tutorial is a painting project from the Learn To Paint Club. You can get the full hour plus long video of this project when you take the $1 trial membership to the Learn To Paint Club.

The subject we will paint in this acrylic painting tutorial is of the Glass House Mountains in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in Queensland.


In the first step above you can see that I have started my basic drawing. This is step one of the Moore Method of Painting where our goal is just to draw in the big shapes and place them correctly. Above you can see I have used a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson to mix a dark to draw with.


I continue to develop the drawing but note that I am not trying to draw the scene in. This is really about establishing the half dozen or so big shapes and helping them find their place in the composition. I made the distant hills a little larger as they were too small in the photo.


Now above I have moved on to step two in the Moore Method of Painting. Now I am establishing the value relationships between the middle distance and the foreground. The mountains are painted in with a grey down blue mix. As the objects get closer they become darker. In our Colour Mixing Course we cover values in great detail.


The foreground is blocked in with a warmer earthier tone. I simply added more Alizarin Crimson and Yellow Ochre to the blue grey mix that I had been using. You can see the depth in the painting already starting to become established as the values relationships are working.


I use my darkest dark on the tree and establish its shape. For the foliage I used a large flat brush and pushed it up through the dark mix so the hairs opened up. Then I scrubbed the brush across the sky causing a somewhat random pattern yet still in the shape of the gum tree.


Now the exciting part. A mix of Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow give us a bright green. I toned it back with a little Alizarin Crimson and Yellow Ochre as I wanted to first paint in a midtone green.


In order to create the effect of bright sunlight streaming in from the left I have gone to almost pure Cadmium Yellow and I am highlighting sections of the grass. Notice I have also highlight the middle distance trees using a greyed down version of the same greens.


Step three of the Moore Method of Painting is all about highlights, details and finishing touches. You can see that I have been busy with the main tree, and painting in little tufts of grass catching the light.


A few more finishing touches and we are done. A great little landscape painting to try at all levels even if you are a beginner.

Want to watch the full video of this painting project? You can when you take the $1 Trial membership to the Learn To Paint Club:

Watch The Full Length Video for $1

The Learn to Paint Club gives you access to new projects like this one each month. It is ideal for those learning to paint in oils or acrylics and gives you a range of new painting projects to try at home each month.

Colour Mixing Course

Colour Mixing Course

Q&A Live Stream Video

E11 - Sunset Outback

Learn to Paint – Episode 11 Preview

Learn to Paint – Episode 11 Preview

Learn to Paint – Episode 11 Preview “Outback Sunset”

This is a preview of a recent project for our Learn To Paint Club members. It is a simple easy to paint project designed for beginners which anyone can do. The project is done in acrylics but easily adapted to oils. Have a go at this one and I am sure you will be happy with the result.

Join The Learn To Paint Club For $1

Right now there is a limited opportunity to join the Learn To Paint Club for a $1 trial. You will get access to the full version of the project above plus lots of other great painting projects.

Margaret Paintings

Learn to Paint For Beginners

Margaret Paintings Margaret
Even more student success this time from Margaret in New Zealand. I love receiving emails like these below from Margaret. It’s just further validation that the Moore Method of Painting works. Well done Margaret … here is what she said in her first email:
“Hi Rod
OMG, I can’t believe I’ve created this painting. Thank you so much. Learning to paint has been on my Bucket List for many years and now, thanks to you, I’ve been able to at least make a start. I’m now in my early seventies (can’t believe that either), we live in NZ and 12 years ago we toured Australia for 2 years with a caravan and then toured NZ for several years so I have many amazing photos I’d love to be able to paint.
Your course is so good. I can’t draw. But I’ve been able to get this far in my first effort. But I have to say, I’ve painted over this painting several times so now the painting is quite heavy!!
I started a second one as I was not happy with the first one but went back to the first one and am reasonably happy with it but may do touch-ups tomorrow. I hope the second one may be better.
My biggest problem was the highlighting of the bushes. I think the photo looks better than the original and I’m still not happy with it.
I painted it on an A4 sheet of Bockingford water colour pad.
When I started the second painting it was interesting that, while listening and watching your tutorial, I heard so much more than I’d heard the first time. I’m looking forward to watching your video on colours – but have been too busy painting …..
Also looking forward to all the email tutorials I have from you.
While touring Australia I’ve got to admit I had a 3 hour lesson in Alice Springs where I did a 6″ x 4″ water colour so the current painting is actually my second one!
Thank you once again”
Then a second email from Margaret …
“Hi Rod
I feel I know you now after listening to your lessons. You are a very good teacher as in my wildest dreams I didn’t think I’d be able to produce these paintings. I can’t wait to go through the other lessons.
I was a bit nervous about starting the second one fearing I wouldn’t be able to paint one as good. And for a while I was worried until it was just about finished. It would be so easy to toss it out when half way through.
I feel I’ve learnt a lot by painting the same scene again and it would be interesting to do it again but I’ll try another one next.
I’m looking forward to finding the right frame for them.
You asked for a photo so will send it in another email.
I’ve bought your colour lessons which I’m really looking forward to.
Thanks again
Margaret Cullen
ps just thought – I think I’ll put my name on the paintings – I’m actually very proud of them – thanks to you”

Mixing Muddy Colours

Sick of Muddy Colours?

Mixing Muddy Colours

Sick of Mixing Muddy Colours?

Hi … Do you have this problem?

A lot of people starting out learning to paint often struggle with their paint mixes getting muddy and lifeless.

I hear it all the time from our students.

It’s a topic we will be covering in great detail in the new Colour Mixing Course

The problem with mixing mud on your palette is that it is usually lifeless and rarely the colour you were hoping to mix. It leads to frustration for a lot of us starting out painting.

So what do you do when you have mixed a pile of mud?

As I said we will be covering it in detail in the new Colour Mixing Course but let me share with you a few thoughts that will help you right away.

First … how do we end up with muddy colour anyway?

Well muddy colours is usually a result of mixing three or more colours together in the wrong proportions (typically in equal amounts). When you introduce too many colours into your mix it reacts by turning to a dull grey brown colour.

So when you try and mix a colour think about what are the two dominant colours in the mix. When you mix say blue and yellow (two primaries) you get green. So if you are trying to mix a green and it goes muddy then you have probably introduced red in the wrong proportions.

Keep you mixes simple with two dominant colours and you will keep away from mud.

A second key idea is the temperature.

When you mix mud its usually neutral in temperature.

So if you find yourself with muddy colours on the palette then you can either WARM it up or COOL it down. By altering the temperature of the mix you bring it back to life.

The big challenge for beginners of course is when you watch videos of master artists you see them dancing their brush across the palette dabbing into all sorts of colours and adding them to the mix.

This can be confusing to beginners because it looks like they aren’t even thinking about it. Of course they are not … they are doing it unconsciously based on years of experience.

As a beginner you need to follow simple principles to avoid mud.

Again we will be covering this in a lot more detail in the Colour Mixing Course.

For now though remember:

* Keep your mixes simple with two dominant colours
* WARM up or COOL down your muddy mix to bring it back to life

I hope these tips help you keep out of the mud

PS … The new COLOUR MIXING COURSE starts on 12th April. You can join at the Early Bird Price and save 50% if you join before the course starts. It will run for 6 weeks and teach you everything you need to know about COLOUR.