So, you’ve decided that you want to improve your space uniquely and wonderfully. Great decision! We think buying an original piece of artwork is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences you can have.
Here is our guide on how to choose the right piece of art for you. We’re going to cover the following:
- What type of artwork do you want?
- What subject or theme are you looking for?
- What size of artwork is ideal?
- What is your budget?
What type of artwork do you want to buy?
One of the first things to consider is the type of artwork you’re hoping to buy, or, in other words, the ‘medium’ of artwork. This is the type of materials the artist has used to create the piece – and there are more than a few to pick from.
For professional artists, the most common and long-lasting medium of painting is to use oil paints. It’s also the most traditional way to paint, offering the deepest colour range and a finished texture that can appear slightly raised, showing the detail of each individual brushstroke. This is a beautiful way to express painted art and is unparalleled in so many ways.
Oil paint is somewhat similar to acrylic paint, although, it does have some differences to be aware of. Firstly, when painting, acrylic paint dries a lot faster making creating the artwork itself a faster process. As a little less of the artist’s time has gone into painting with acrylic, it means that acrylic paintings can be a little less expensive to purchase. This doesn’t reflect the quality of the artist’s work though, so, if you’re on a budget, acrylic paintings can be the more affordable option when you buy original art online. Lastly, the acrylic paint colour range tends to be a little brighter and therefore a little more artificial-looking. This can be great for abstract artwork but generally does not lend itself to landscape paintings.
Both oil and acrylic paintings are usually painted on canvas that is ready-stretched and looks fantastic on the wall.
Watercolour painting can be used for all subject matters but is much softer in style. This comes from the paint being transparent, letting the paper show through the colour. Watercolour paintings also must be painted on special watercolour paper and not stretched canvas. This means the piece will need to be framed in a traditional frame if it isn’t sold as already framed. Keep this in mind when buying watercolour art online, as the artwork may not be readily framed.
Some mediums of painting mix traditional and non-traditional methods to achieve certain styles. They can be truly unique and can stand out from the crowd. The category can be so diverse, so don’t treat each piece as if it will be the same.
Take your time, there’s no reason to rush. Enjoy the process and learn what you can from the artist’s descriptions of what styles and materials they have used. Use the close-up photos of the artwork to get a sense of the texture and painting style so you know exactly what the painting will be like when it’s delivered.
What subject or theme are you looking for?
The next important decision you need to make is what subject the artwork focuses on. One of the biggest benefits, when you buy original art online, is the selection of art you have access to browse before you purchase. There is almost guaranteed to be something that draws you in and captivates you.
The most common reason a person buys a particular painting is that they feel a connection with the subject of the painting. For example, it could be a piece that focuses on a local subject, such as a recognisable landscape or seascape. Nothing says home more than a local artist’s artwork depicting a local scene. Pieces like these will be admired and appreciated by all.
Other reasons to choose a certain piece could be for colour coordination reasons. Some wonderful abstract artwork would work well for that purpose. Or, if you’re aiming to match a mood that you’re trying to create, still life work could work well, giving the room a calming effect.
Whatever your motivations to choose a subject or theme, the chances are you’ll connect with the piece you love right away. Remember though, original artwork is one-of-a-kind, so don’t consider your options too long or you might miss out on the artwork you really want! But, if the artwork does sell from under your nose, remember, you could always request a commission from the artist directly.
What size of artwork is ideal?
One misconception for artwork is that bigger is better. Did you know that the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Di Vinci, arguably the most famous painting of all time, is only 77 x 53cm? That’s only half a meter wide!
Size, when it comes to art, isn’t everything. There are a few important aspects to consider though when it comes to the size of your piece when buying art, especially when buying original art online.
Firstly, consider where you would hang your artwork. It is important first and foremost that it actually fits the area you have in mind for it! Make sure the edges of the frame aren’t too close to other paintings or the edge of the walls. The space around the artwork you have is quite important so that it doesn’t look like it’s been squeezed into a tiny space. We’d recommend leaving at least 20cm of space around the artwork, ideally 30cm or more. So, make sure you measure your wall before buying artwork that might not fit.
When I said that size isn’t everything, we do really mean it. Some of the most amazing works of art are actually quite small. They can be just as detailed as their large counterparts but do understand how small some artwork can be. When you buy original art online sometimes it can appear bigger than it actually is in person. Our recommendation if you’re unsure of how big the artwork will actually be would be to actually measure and draw a square matching the size of the piece first. This is a quick and easy way to imagine the size of the work before buying.
Remember though, if you do end up with a piece that is smaller than you expected when you buy original art online, with Art Selectors, you can always return it to the artist for free and for a full refund. We offer this benefit because we know it can be a little daunting not physically seeing the artwork that you want before you buy it. This way, it’s as risk-free as it can possibly be.
What is your budget?
An important consideration when you buy original art online is obviously the cost of the artwork. Most people will have a budget that they want to stick to, but there is more to it than just spending whatever your budget is – it’s the value you’re getting that counts.
The main areas to consider when you buy original art online are; the medium, the size and the artist’s reputation for quality.
As we’ve already covered; generally, the medium which is the most valued are oil paintings. With oil paintings, the overall materials, the workmanship and longevity make a finished product that is very much worth a high price tag.
The size of the artwork generally also means that a large piece will take the artist longer and also require more materials to create, therefore rightly sells for a higher price.
An artist who is vastly experienced, award-winning and has mastered a particular style of painting will, justifiably, sell their artwork for much more than a student who is painting while developing their skills. Take note of the artist’s biography to discover more about who created the artwork that has caught your eye.
Remember, original artwork can also hold their value extremely well. In fact, there are lots of credible financial investors that say investing in original artwork is one of the smartest ways to invest your money and that artwork can even appreciate in value faster than most houses and the share market. So, try to consider buy original art online as purchasing an asset. It can appreciate in value quite rapidly and very rarely loses value overall.
Once you’ve purchased your ideal piece of art, it shouldn’t be long before you have your original artwork displayed proudly in your home. Maybe it is the start of your very own collection, or, maybe it’s an additional piece that you have to now find space for. Either way, you can stand before it, and think fondly of what it is, how it was made, who created it and knowing that it is truly one of a kind.