Art never dies, and it exists in every sight of eyes. It’s on your home walls, roadsides, cafes, small alleys, museums, galleries, and many more unexpected places. Some people are even willing to splurge huge money to purchase masterpieces from renowned painters.
If you’re an artist, the process of creating art is fun, but getting it sold is another challenge to conquer. Selling art online on e-commerce platforms and social media has never been easy. You must know the market trends and customer demands to sell as many masterpieces as possible.
Moreover, art has gone beyond canvases and paper, into a more digital environment so setting up art to sell online makes sense. Below we’ve pieced together the five most profitable art to sell online along with their pros and cons. Let’s delve into the details!
Options of Art To Sell Online
#1. Canvas Paintings
Canvas paintings are timeless pieces of art and one of the most profitable art to sell online. Artists commonly use oil or acrylic paint to smear their white canvas. Even though the two paints offer bold colors, they have differences in terms of texture and finishing looks.
Paintings that use oil paints show more textures and layers. Their color is more pigmented and vivid with a glossy finish. On the other hand, acrylic paints leave a more flat and matte finish. Moreover, the colors can slightly darken and may look different on canvas.
You can sell canvas painting at higher rates as the equipment and medium needed aren’t cheap. Many professional artists use Museo Linen canvases that cost around $13,24 for their 30×40 cm frame. In addition, high-quality oil and acrylic paints can also be costly. The famous Winsor & Newton oil paint costs around $40,53 for a box of ten tubes.
Nonetheless, every art fan has their own preference in choosing art products. If you plan to make money from canvas painting, here are some pros and cons you should consider before coloring your canvas.
- Timeless art with higher value
- Higher rates
- Original and unique pieces
- Require specialty and skills
- Expensive paints, mediums, and equipment
- Can be challenging to sell online and ship
#2. Watercolor Paintings
If starting a canvas painting business is too much for your budget, consider trying watercolor paintings that are more affordable. The materials required to make watercolor paintings are way cheaper than acrylic or oil paintings.
Even so, watercolor paintings have a steep learning curve. You must be used to watery paints to have good control over your brush strokes. You also need to master some techniques and understand the characteristics of each watercolor paint and paper brand.
Many oil and acrylic painters still struggle to familiarize themselves with watercolor paintings. It requires more delicate touches and a lot of patience to layering over colors. So, taking your time to get used to the mediums, equipment, and methods are key to creating fine watercolor art.
You can make use of your skills to create many products, such as portraits, postcards, envelopes, calendars, bookmarks, and many more. Turning watercolor paintings into read-to-use products makes them become one of the most profitable art to sell online.
Nevertheless, consider some pros and cons of selling watercolor art below.
- Affordable supplies
- Quick drying process
- Simple setup and clean-up process
- Adjustable to create various products
- Competitive product prices
- Tricky techniques
- Competitive market
#3. Oil Pastel Paintings
Image via Yangseorae
Another profitable art to sell online is oil pastel paintings. They’re less popular among art savvy, but that’s what makes them profitable in the industry. The cost you need to buy equipment is way more affordable than canvas paintings.
Oil pastels seem similar to crayons at sight, but the ones made for professional artists are built differently. Oil pastels allow artists to do color layering without changing their original colors. So, when you put blue over red, they won’t blend to be green, but stay to their original colors instead.
In addition, oil pastels work in basically any paper medium, from printing paper, drawing paper, pastel paper, watercolor paper, textbooks, or even newspapers. Some artists leverage unused textbooks or newspapers to create unique and artsy vibes.
Some oil pastel brands that are well-known for their quality are Mungyo, Paul Rubens, Hwawon, Sennelier, and Holbein. You can also create many art products, from postcards, bookmarks, calendars, portraits, and many more.
Here are some pros and cons of selling oil pastel products online.
- Affordable and last-long supplies
- Adjustable for various products
- Less competitive market compared to other paint arts
- Tricky techniques
- Small market scope
- Less popular among art lovers
- More effort for introducing products
#4. Posters and Postcards
Not all art-making processes require your hands to be tarnished with colors. Digital-processed products are also profitable art to sell online, such as printed posters and postcards. Be aware that you can get very busy with online orders.
Many need posters, either for decorative displays or business purposes. You need to master several computer programs like Photoshop and CorelDraw to create images, illustrations, and typography. Your digital art products must be high-quality to avoid pixelated images.
To jazz up your sales funnel, consider providing customizable services. Accepting custom designs will broaden your customers' characteristics, from students, marketers, to business owners.
As posters and postcards can be profitable art to sell online, you also need to calculate the required budget. Creating digital art products needs you to have software designs, poster paper, and printing devices. However, you can also work with printing agencies to minimize the budget.
Here are some pros and cons of selling digital art products online you need to be aware of.
- Easy and quick processes
- Possible for mass production
- Easily customizable
- Suitable for many customers’ characteristics
- High-demand products
- Competitive markets
- Expensive supplies
- Require excellent editing skills
Image via Carl Hustle
Art is limitless. It goes beyond canvas and paper to a more virtual environment. Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a new type of art that many may still be unfamiliar with. Just like classic paintings, NFTs are hunted as collections and a means of investment, making them one of the most lucrative art to sell online.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets. They are unique cryptographic tokens that cannot be replicated. Each of them has an identification code and metadata to distinguish them from the others. In order to create and sell NFTs, you must plunge into blockchain space. You can buy, trade, sell, and collect NFTs with other users using cryptocurrencies.
Creating your own NFT is quite simple. But, you need to set up a digital wallet, add cryptocurrency into it and connect your wallet to an NFT platform. If your digital wallet is all set up, upload the file you want to make into NFT, set up an auction, and add a description to sell it.
Here are some pros and cons of selling NFTs as art online.
- Can be good investments
- Allow secure transactions with blockchain-powered nature
- Profitable for both sellers and buyers
- Broad options of products (digital art, music, memes, videos, etc)
- Require expert knowledge of the crypto landscape
- Must know the market trends
- Can be challenging for beginners
- May be risky
Where to Sell Arts Online?
Not all online platforms are the best to sell art online. Even in a crowded space like social media, getting your art products sold can take quite a while. As leveraging major platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy is a must, we recommend you take the extra mile by leveraging art-focused platforms. Check out the list below!
By far, ArtPal offers the most benefits to artists who sell their art products online. Art sellers don’t need to create memberships or give commissions to the platform. It’s a completely free online market for art products with unlimited space.
ArtPall is a completely free gallery that allows you to sell paintings, printed art, framing, and other products. It also provides print-on-demand service for customers which is a plus point. Best of all, the intuitive interface allows you to set up your online store and sell products easily.
Fine Art America
Fine Art America is also a great platform for artists to sell their art products. It claims to be the world’s largest online art marketplace where you can sell canvas prints, posters, phone cases, t-shirts, pillows, and other art-related products.
The platform is also easy to navigate. All you have to do is join, upload, and sell your art products to global audiences. It has print-on-demand features that can be beneficial for sellers. With a variety of features for both sellers and buyers, Fine Art America becomes a home for art lovers.
OnlineGallery.art is based in the Netherlands, but its audiences come from all over the world. The platform is renowned for its rich art culture and prominent designs. Artists can sell their paintings to digital printers at various prices.
The fees range from 4.99 euros to 9.99 euros per month. One of the best features of Online Gallery.art is that artists can exhibit their art selections and communicate directly with potential buyers.
Another excellent online platform to sell your art online is Saatchi. Over 65.000 artists across the world make use of it to market their art products. Saatchi also regularly organizes art fairs and actively promotes artists.
As thousands of artists boast the platform, it may be difficult to make your products visible to potential buyers. But you can build relationships with the curatorial team to get your products featured. It can help you reach a broader audience and get more sales.
The above discussion may help you choose the best art to sell online according to your preference and skills. Those who want to target classic art lovers can create oil or acrylic paintings to sell online.
Meanwhile, those who are short on a budget can try watercolor and oil pastel paintings as the supplies are more affordable. Even with a less competitive market, watercolor and oil pastel paintings can still drive big profits.
Artists who target printed art lovers and businesses can use digital devices to create posters and postcards. Tech-savvy can also consider creating and selling NFTs to crypto traders as a means of investment.
To wrap up the discussions, leveraging multiple online platforms to sell your art products is necessary. Find the ones that are suitable for your products and target buyers. Therefore, your art business will thrive in the industry.
1. How to have high-value canvas paintings?
Only high-quality paintings generate high rates. Therefore, using top-tier equipment is necessary to boost your paintings’ value. Choose high-quality canvas and oil or acrylic paints to support your skills.
Taking pictures of your paintings is vital. Use only high-resolution cameras to give the best preview for potential buyers.
2. How to set prices for canvas paintings?
Basically, you can sell your canvas paintings at higher rates considering the costly equipment. You can set a price by calculating your budget and time allocations.
Many artists use formulas such as square inch x dollar amount. Some also include time spent for making the art piece, which comes as (hourly wage x hours spent) + material costs.
3. How to increase printed art sales?
Selling printed art sales can be challenging as there are many competitors. A way to thrive is by making innovations to your products. Broaden your product variety – for example, from making posters and postcards, try making stickers, cups, t-shirts, or other products.
Also, you need to escalate your marketing effort by reaching out to prospects and offering them your service, including creating customizable designs.
4. What would be the risk of selling NFTs?
Selling NFTs on blockchain-powered platforms is relatively secure. However, there are still gaps you need to be aware of. It’s still possible for you to experience cyberattacks and asset theft.
The best way to avoid asset loss is by using a crypto wallet with an excellent security system. Most importantly, store your private keys safely to avoid unwanted incidents.