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14 Ways to Sell Your Art Online

There are infinite options for selling art online, but not all of these options are exactly the same.

We took a look at many of the websites that offer artists an outlet to sell their art and compared them. With all the information in one place, it will be easier to make an informed decision as to which option is best suited for you.

Society 6

At Society6 anyone can sell their artwork, all you need to do is create an account and upload your art.

Artists earn 10% of the retail price on all products except for Art Prints, Framed Prints, and Canvas Prints. The retail price covers the cost of manufacturing, fulfillment, shipping and the artist’s share. For art prints, framed prints, and canvas prints; artists have control over their markup and can set their own prices above the standard 10%.

Artists are responsible for promoting their own artworks, there are some guides to help you but it is solely the responsibility of the artist.

Payments are made monthly to the artist via PayPal.

Zatista

In order to sell your artwork at Zatista you need to fill out an application and submit 3-5 artworks. They review applications every 3 months. They notify all applicants of their decision.

Artists earn 55% of all sales with no membership fees. Zatista’s responsible to market artworks and to collect payments from clients.

Artists are responsible for order fulfillment, packing and shipping.

Artplode

Anyone can sell their artwork at Artplode all you need to do is register for an account and list your artwork. In order to use Artplode, there is a 60$ flat fee to advertise each artwork.

When you sell your art on Artplode you keep 100% of the price the artwork is sold for. You are responsible for every aspect of the sale of your art. The information and photos included in your ad, contact with people interested in purchasing and arranging payment and shipping of the work to the buyer.

CafePress

All artists are eligible to sign up with CafePress.

There are no out-of-pocket setup, printing or inventory costs with CafePress. Simply set your retail price above the Base Price in the guidelines. When you sell an item, they keep the Base Price and they send you the markup. An additional 5% transaction fee will be charged on markup amounts greater than $15. For example, if you markup an item by $20, an additional fee of .25 will be charged (that is 5% of the $5 over the $15 markup limit).

Basically, you will earn about 5%-10% of the sale price on all your products sold in the CafePress marketplace.

CafePress offers two ways to get paid, by check or PayPal. The minimum payment amount for a check to be issued is $100, whereas the minimum payment amount for PayPal is $25.

Saatchi Art

It is free for all artists to create an account at Saatchi Art but in order to start selling you need to be approved.

You receive 65% on every artwork sold with no additional fees. You are responsible for the packaging.

Saatchi art will process your payment and handle the shipping. Once you sell an artwork, you will receive an email informing you of the sale. You will need to schedule a date and time for a courier to pick up your sold artwork. They will supply you with any shipping documents and labels you may need.

You are able to request a payout 7 days after your artwork has been safely delivered to the collector. You can be paid by check, wire transfer, or PayPal. Typically, payouts are fulfilled 14 calendar days from the date of a request. 

Etsy

Anyone can open a shop at Etsy and start selling their artwork.

Etsy charges $0.20 per listing for four months or until they sell.
5% transaction fee, 3-4% + $0,25 payment processing fees and 15% offsite ads fees.

You are keeping about 75 % of the price the artwork is sold for.
You are also responsible for fulfillment, packaging and shipping.

You can set your deposits schedule with Etsy. Most sellers choose to be paid weekly. If you choose weekly deposits, they send the payment to your bank every Monday and it typically takes 2–3 days for banks to make them available to you.

Ebay

Anyone can sell their art on Ebay and it’s free to register.

Ebay will take a 10% listing fee after you make a sale.

You are responsible for fulfillment, packaging and shipping.

Artsy

Artsy only accommodate artworks by artists who have a resale market and substantial collector demand. Meaning, they do not accept submissions from artists of their own work.

ArtFire

All artists are welcome to open a shop at ArtFire.

There are 3 different monthly plans to choose from:
Standard shop $4.95 per month + $0.23 Per Item Listing Fee + 12.75% Final Valuation Fee
Popular Shop $20.00 per month + 4.5% Final Valuation Fee
Featured Shop (enhanced site exposure) $40.00 per month + 4.5% Final Valuation Fee

You are responsible for marketing, fulfillment, packaging and shipping.

A PayPal Premier or Business account is necessary to receive your payments through Paypal Express Checkout. If you have a standard PayPal account you can upgrade it now for free via your PayPal account dashboard.

Artspan

Anyone can sell their artwork at Artspan all you need to do is sign up for an account. Artspan will give you templates so you can create a website with a subdomain once you register.

In order to use Artspan you have to buy a plan
Artspan Basic $8.00 / month – Billed annually
Artspan Professional $16.00 / month – Billed annually
Artspan Professional plus $24.00 / month – Billed annually

All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee

Artspan charges no commission on original art sold on your site or in the Artspan marketplace. They only take a 2.5% transaction fee. But, there is a 10% commission on sales to buyers who find your work through the Artspan Shops.

To sell your work, all you need to do is provide a price, and the dimensions (height, width, depth). Buyers will visit artspan.com, or go directly to your website. Artspan reviews the order and once approved, send you payment and you can ship your art to the customer. They provide the full customer details for your records, and you are free to talk to the customer directly.

They offer an on-demand service where they are in charge of fulfillment, packaging and shipping. The amount the artists gets to keep is not mentioned.

Artfinder

To list your artwork with Artfinder there is an application process.
Applicants can expect to wait up to 6 weeks to receive a response unless they opt-in to Fast Track in which case your application will be reviewed within 2 business days. The Fast Track fee does not guarantee approval and is non-refundable.

To sell Artworks through the Platform, a Seller must have a Seller Plan Subscription. They deduct a 33% or 40% commission every time an artwork is purchased through the site. The commission is only charged on the retail value of the artwork sold––that is the total retail value of the item as set the artist.

Artist are responsible for fulfillment, packaging and shipping.

Shopify

With Shopify, you can create your online store and manage everything yourself.

Shopify has 3 different monthly plans that you can choose from which range in features. If you’re new at this a Basic Shopify monthly plan is generally sufficient.
The prices are:
Basic Shopify $29USD/Month
Shopify $79USD/Month
Advanced Shopify $299$/Month

Since they handle the payments there are also additional payment processing fees. The highest fee is 3.5% +0.30¢ per sale.

You are responsible for creating the website, marketing, SEO, fulfillment, packaging and shipping.

WordPress

Anyone with the desire to open an online or blog store can do so with WordPress.

WordPress also has 3 different plans that range in features.
Premium – best for freelancers $10USD/monthly – billed annually
Business – best for small business $33USD/monthly – billed annually
Ecommerce – best for online stores $59USDmonthly – billed annually

You are responsible for creating the website, marketing, SEO, payments, fulfillment, packaging and shipping.

FASO

FASO creates websites for Artists. Just pick a template and upload some artwork, a bio picture, and an artist bio. FASO will generate a professional-looking website for you. You can also add new artwork to your website in just minutes.

There are 4 different plans you can choose from that offer different features. All of these include eCommerce integration using PayPal.

Intro $15/mo or $144 billed annually
Silver $25/mo or $228 billed annually
Gold $30/mo or $312 billed annually
Platinum $45/mo or $480 billed annually

You will be responsible for fulfillment, packaging and shipping. FASO will help you with marketing and other aspects of your websites depending on the plan you chose.

The final choice

All of these options have pros and cons it depends on what is most important for you. If you’re looking to manage everything yourself Shopify, WordPress and Faso are the directions you want to head in.
Otherwise, there are many other options that include less hands-on alternatives.

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12 Painting Styles & Movements Through the Ages

Painting, like any art, is something created from the artist’s inspiration. But what inspires each artist is different, as is the way that inspiration comes to life on canvas. Throughout history, artistic styles have grown and evolved, just like the cultures and societies that have produced each new generation of artists.

This article explores some of the most widely known painting styles across the ages, with a focus on the style’s origins, characteristics, and famous examples. We will go in chronological order to capture the history of artistic style, beginning with the prehistoric.

Prehistoric Cave Painting

Prehistoric wall painting of an ox

Since the beginning of humankind — and before, in the time of Neanderthals — our ancestors used ochre (clay), plants, and assorted dyes to paint on the walls of caves. These rough figures most often depicted animals and humans, typically hunting. It is possible that early humans recorded these horses, lions, buffalo, and other animals to begin preserving history or to relay messages to others. Some historians believe that the hunters painted their prey to capture their spirits for better success on the hunt.

Whether for artistic expression, ceremonial ritual, or some other purpose, these early visuals were the first, raw style of painting, and their influence can be traced to the roots of Western and Eastern artistic styles. Look no further than ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to see the blend of pictorial art as a written message.

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics

Ancient & Medieval Art

Ancient Egyptian vase

Making a great leap from prehistoric ancestors, the Medieval period captures a broad expanse of artistic styles over more than a thousand years. Art scholars may dig deeper into specific phases of this period, such as Early Christian Art, Byzantine Art, Gothic, or even Romanesque, depending on the precise time and geography being discussed. Across them, all, however, was a proliferation of artistic styles and a shift in the subject matter.

This shift makes sense. As art evolved out of cave paintings and into more functional uses, it became an expressive way to capture feelings and beliefs while transmitting powerful messages. Cave paintings grew to stone carvings and eventually sculptures and architecture; simple jewelry grew into patterned mosaics and stained glass. As human civilizations grew, the mediums for expression grew as well.

More importantly, the subject matter and inspiration exploded. Cave paintings relied on animals, the hunt, and primal rituals for inspiration. They were the simplest art imaginable. Ancient civilizations developed complex societies, giving artists an avenue to explore social relationships, religious icons, and history to document. Beyond seasonal events like hunts, civilizations traded goods and services, fought wars, and began to tell larger stories.

Ancient Egypt best illustrates this growth in both artistic styles and mediums (top, vase), while Byzantine art (bellow) is exemplary of the blending of religious iconography with a slightly more realistic style.

Byzantine art

Naturalism

Art of the Renaissance period began to emphasize the beauty of humanity and the human form. This realism — also called Naturalism — was a celebration of the natural world and marked by a reverence for beauty and wonder. Names like Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Botticelli are just a few of the artists who pioneered a ‘rebirth’ of art after 1400.

Renaissance art emphasized individuals and their unique characteristics outside of a group. DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, with her cryptic, knowing smile, is a prime example of the close emphasis on an individual. It also showcases the use of depth and texture to give perspective in ways that earlier styles did not.

Beyond individualism and depth of perspective, the art of this period can be identified by the emphasis on nature and the natural world, a celebration of anatomy and the beauty of the human form (notice much more nudity), and a resurgence of classical influences (Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, in particular). Look no further than Botticelli’s famous The Birth of Venus to see all of these characteristics come together.

Even for subjects mythological and fantastical, the Renaissance’s treatment of Naturalism as a style dominated Europe and Western art for hundreds of years, until the rise of Romanticism.

Romanticism

In the Renaissance, gifted virtuosos like Leonardo DaVinci were idolized and celebrated for diverse talents in nearly every form of art. With Romanticism, however, there arose an emphasis on each individual’s capacity to experience the world in an artistic way. In Literature, William Wordsworth described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” in essence describing the role of the artist to shape the art in some way.

This departure marks a shift from the Naturalism that came before. And why shouldn’t it? Revolutions in America (1776) and France (1789) marked cultural overthrows of class systems and hierarchies, emphasizing the democratic power of the masses. It makes sense that artists of this time, though retaining the emphasis on nature and the individual, turned their focus to that individual’s power as an original creator. Everybody was, in some way, living with the capacity to be a pioneer.

In short, many themes from the Renaissance survived into the Romantic period, but the idea of artistic genius through imagination and inspiration replaced the virtuoso’s command of the natural world. For example, William Blake’s poetry — The Little Girl Found — was illustrated with natural yet somehow fantastical depictions of lions, trees, and humans (top). His work reflects the emphasis on a surge of powerful emotion followed by a period of tranquility to process those emotions and actually craft the art. In painting, the style is embodied by Caspar Friedrich in Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (bellow), again showing the individual’s quest in a fantastical landscape.

Realism

The Romantic era and its cultural revolutions were followed by rapid industrial revolution across the Western world. Even among certain artists who experienced that transition, like William Blake, you can see a shift occur in the art, a clashing between innocence and the often horrifying realities of the developing world. Remember, industrialization brought new advances in science and technology, but also pollution, crowded cities, and shocking living conditions for much of the population.

Realists of this time period (not to be confused with the Naturalists) rejected Romantic notions of the individual’s vast, emotional capacity to be God and artist alike. The emphasis shifted to the real depiction of ordinary, contemporary people — without glamorizing or shying away from the hardships. Gustave Courbet, a French painter credited with leading and popularizing the movement, painted subjects like The Stone Breakers (top). The aim of the colors, tone, and strokes of the work is to capture the reality, however gloomy or gritty it was.

Gone is the exotic “Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog” from Friedrich; instead replaced by works like James Abbott McNeil Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge. It is a tonally dark depiction of London. The individual is hunched and small, compared again to the Wanderer, and the painting is dominated by the structure of the world around him.

As the period goes on, there is some subjectivity as to what “Realism” truly means. This makes sense, as we’ve seen from cave paintings up to Romantic art that what is “real” for any group has changed with the social and cultural realities.

Painterly

As Whistler’s painting of London above reveals, the edges of Realism began to bleed into newer styles by the end of the 19th century. On one hand, technological advances during the industrial revolution (specifically the metal paint tube) allowed artists to leave the studio behind and find more true models and settings in the real world.

Painting itself became celebrated, showing an appreciation for brushstrokes, mixing colors, and lack of intricate, rigid detail. Camille Pissarro’s iconic brushstrokes characterize this period, as do those of Henri Matisse, whose Table in a Cafe (above) only vaguely acknowledges a table at all, just a simple teacup amidst smoky brushstrokes. Painterly, then, was just as much about the celebration of painting as it was about any particular subject matter. It is a style for the sake of style, an inverse of trends like photorealism discussed later in the article.

Impressionism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Dance at Le Moulin de la’Galette

With the celebration of Painterly, works of art also became less about depicting an explicit, objective reality, and more about the perception or feeling layered into the scene. In short, an impression.

Impressionism sacrificed accurate depiction for artistic interpretation, using light and movement to imbue the work of art with emotion, such as the feeling in Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Dance at Le Moulin de la’Galette (above). In this era, new techniques began to emerge with more pronounced brushstrokes, blending of wet paints to intermingle colors, and emboldened contrasts of light backgrounds with dark shadows. In particular, the era gave rise to a technique called impasto, in which paint is applied in thick layers with visible strokes of the brush or knife, creating a textured effect coming off of the canvas.

Of course, impressionist painters were not the first to paint with texture. DaVinci’s Mona Lisa is a triumph of the Renaissance in no small part because of the texture and subtleties imbued in the oils. But when compared to the work of an Impressionist like Claude Monet, whose Tulip Fields in Holland can be seen below, the difference between a reality and an impression couldn’t be clearer.

Expressionism & Fauvism

Vincent van Gogh – Self-portrait

The impressionists rebelled against the clarity of Realism, but Post-Impressionists threw all the rules out the window in the late 19th century. Artists rejected the natural colors and lights of impressionist works and embraced abstract qualities by reducing forms to their basic shapes; symbolism in their content, and saturation of colors for striking effect. One look at the self-portraits of both Vincent van Gogh (above) and Paul Gauguin (bellow) reflect the diversity and new ‘edginess’ of the post-impressionist movement.

Post-Impressionism spurred additional sub-movements in Symbolism, and Fauvism, a style characterized by vivid, expressive shapes and radically non-natural colors. Compare Andre Derain’s 1906 Charing Cross Bridge, London (bellow) to Whistler’s London. The sky is pink and highly contrasted by vague green buildings and technicolor waterways. But in the strokes and textures, the connection to post-impressionist work remains stronger.

Andre Derain’s – Charing Cross Bridge

These interrelated styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries show the transition into Expressionism. Van Gogh’s post-impressionist Starry Night (bellow) shows the use of color and texture in two-dimensional space, along with abstract but clearly identifiable shapes.

Expressionist paintings, like Edvard Munch’s The Scream (bellow) show the intense use of dissonant colors, lacking harmony. They are darker, more anxious in work, and often probe into the human psyche (thanks largely to the advances in psychology from Sigmund Freud).

Edvard Munch – The Scream

While their differences are evident, the post-impressionist period up through expressionism shows the emphasis of emotion and colorful expression, the importance of brushstrokes to create texture and rhythm within the work, and the shift in portraying reality with distorted, exaggerated (usually psychological and symbolic) shapes.

Abstraction

As art shifted into more emotional expression — and as standard rules were stripped away over the ages, Modern art became more formless and tended towards abstraction. More than just painting something through the lens of an impression, abstraction was truly reductionist. Even shapes became fragmented to a mere essence and cobbled together.

This type of avant-garde painting was made famous by artists like Pablo Picasso. His “Girl with a Mandolin” (above) represents a type of abstraction called cubism. A subject could be broken down into an assortment of pieces and reassembled, per se. Picasso and his contemporaries believed this allowed them to paint a single subject from infinite viewpoints, which added unending depths of meaning for a viewer.

Another way for artists to explore abstraction was through the perspective of zoom. Georgia O’Keeffe, for example, would “zoom” in on ordinary objects to reveal wondrous details or patterns. This allowed a part of the whole to be isolated — or abstracted — from the rest of the form that would give it context. O’Keeffe’s Series 1, No. 8 (bellow) focuses in on the heart of the flower in a mesmerizing way.

Georgia O’Keeffe – Series 1, No. 8

Abstract Art & Dada

Abstraction continued on its reductionist path throughout the 20th century. Shapes and lines set the mood, with bold use of colors and contrast to convey emotion. From the early 20th century up to the present, it has been much more difficult to classify stylistic movements. For example, the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich (top) marked a departure from representational painting into totally abstract. In his own words, Malevich said the painting is meant to evoke “the experience of pure non-objectivity in the white emptiness of a liberated nothing.”

But when compared to a work like Jackson Pollock’s Mural (bellow), the differences leap out. Pollock’s abstract expressionism was often seen as paint-slinging color contrasts, raw and sometimes unsettling. Very different than Malevich’s hypothetical, abstract representation of the ‘liberated nothing.’

Jackson Pollock’s Mural

Abstract art pushed even the limits of “art” itself as a concept. After World War I, a movement arose out of Switzerland called Dada, opposing cultural values and consumerism with nonsensical, sometimes whimsical pieces. According to historians, it was meant to be a short-lived, critical movement anyways — a mockery of sorts. It is even sometimes called anti-art. Imagery is fragmented; words and visuals are chaotic to the point of nihilism, and the overall effect is a disorienting cultural satire. Max Ernst’s Murdering Airplane (above) shows stark commentary on war and the entanglement of human + machine, while even the title of Jean Arp’s Rectangles Arranged According to the Laws of Chance (bottom) reveal the nihilistic mockery of the period.

Jean Arp’s Rectangles Arranged According to the Laws of Chance

Surrealism

By the end of the 20th century, the short-lived critique that was Dadaism gave way to other schools like Surrealism (characterized by dreamy, symbolic visuals, like Salvador Dali’s famous The Persistence of Memory with its drooping, melted clocks across a barren landscape). This type of dreamy symbolism actively rejected not only principles of realism, but of reality. Fantasy provided a way to both comment on cultural atrocities and escape them simultaneously. The use of juxtaposition by artists of this movement created irrational associations and a fleeting absurdity in the balance.

Pop Art & Photorealism

Andy Warhol – Campbell’s Soup

As artistic styles swing pendulum-like in response to the cultures that produce them, the fanciful, dreamy surrealist movement (and nihilistic Dadaism) from the eras of World Wars gave way to a celebration of consumerism and vibrancy in the latter 20th century. In the works of Andy Warhol, we see a celebration of consumerism in his subject matter, a bold use of colors and screen-printing techniques. This style of Pop Art made the everyday accessible, but still visually stimulating, like his famous Campbell’s Soup print (top). The movement spread, and his colorful screen-prints were replicated by many others, marking the overlap in the consumer world, art, and our daily lives.

Pop Art’s celebration of goods and people still has uses today, but it too has evolved. Where Andy Warhol would use screen-printing to bring a photo to life in exciting ways, contemporary artists have embraced a movement of Photorealism, with the goal of recreating photographs in a different medium, like paint or charcoal. Especially in an age consumed by digital media, the challenges of photorealism lie in the detail, light, colors, and shading to create the illusion that a sketch, painting, or mixed-medium work is actually a photograph. The complexity of the challenge and exquisite detail result in works like the old woman below.

Food for Further Thought

This article is a snapshot of some major movements in artistic style since humans first began to create art. It is by no means comprehensive, but meant to provide a high level overview. It should be a jumping off point for further exploration. Hopefully, it is thought-provoking and inspirational to artists and consumers alike, to bear witness to the struggles of humanity throughout time to find their place in the world, grapple with intense emotions, and find ever-evolving ways to express themselves.

DiegoKoi Diego Fazio – Sensazioni

It is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. In other words, it is art.