View Full Version : What % of your paintngs do you sell?

10-08-2004, 10:03 AM
I paint a lot more than I sell. Some isn't worth selling (especially experimental stuff)
I see so many really great paintings in the Gallery, and have been wondering if they just get stored or do you sell most of them.
I know that some do not choose to sell their work.
Sorry if this pole has been posted before. (If so I don't remember it) If it has please disregard.

10-08-2004, 10:19 AM
Bob, so far I have not made one thin dime or one wooden nickel for any of my paintings...LOL I have never even thought of selling them. I give some away as gifts though. If someone offered to buy one though I would be delighted. :)

10-08-2004, 10:21 AM
hi Bob :wave:

I sell between 5 and 20% of my work. some years better than others. it's been a slow year :D but having said that......most of my work is for sale....it's just not "out there" for people to see other than on my website. my work is sold to friends, family and acquaintances. that is comfortable for me right now. I don't feel a pressure to paint to sell and that's just how I like it :)

I might add that I give away as gifts 10-30% (some years more than others) of my work and I thoroughly enjoy that!!

interested in seeing others replies


10-08-2004, 10:54 AM
Patty thanks for responding. I knew that some haven't even tried to sell their work. Thanks for responding. And it is nice that you share your work with others.

em. Thanks for your comments. And I hope you continue to sell all that you want to. I think it is nice that you have given your paintings to others to enjoy.

Over the last 30+ years I have sold less than 1% But in the last year it has been over 5%. mostly because I have started getting "out there".

10-08-2004, 11:03 AM
Bob, I sell about 95% of the ones I paint TO SELL....

10-08-2004, 11:26 AM
Wow Pam, I am impressed!
Now, if you don't mind. A second question (if you do mind ignore :) )
What other paintings do you paint. Practice? Gifts? Pre-lem? And how many paintings do you paint between the one's you do for sale.
(nosey ain't I lol)

10-08-2004, 11:36 AM
Bob...I paint FULL TIME.....most of which are for sale. In between I do stuff for here (WC project, etc) as practice or warm ups.

I also do A LOT of commissions :rolleyes: which are not my favorite but seem to be the most lucrative for me.

10-08-2004, 11:58 AM
I've done 34 paintings since I joined eBay in August. 6 of those were painted as gifts and 15 of them have sold. I'm a beginner but I try to price them very fairly so I've been able to find a market. At this point it is not very lucrative but it's a start and I know I've gotten better since August so who knows? This greeting card project will be a nice boost and then I'm donating a couple of new pieces to a silent auction which probably won't generate any new sales but I think every new challenge is really good for me. I find that it is a little tricky trying to learn new things when you're constantly asking "is this going to sell." I'm less likely to spend time experimenting. But until I started painting for eBay I had only done 6 paintings in 2 years and that was certainly no way to learn either!

10-08-2004, 01:07 PM
Pam, thanks for your response. I am still trying to figure out what direction my marketing should go, so all this info helps.

Ktrayn. Thanks for responding. It sounds like even though you are a beginner and you are selling low, selling is still good. And a lot don't sell even at low prices. Congratulations.

10-08-2004, 01:33 PM
Never made a penny and probable never will, but that's okay....I think..

10-08-2004, 04:55 PM
Bob I think about 80% of mine sell, but it depends. Some I only paint for fun, others are just too awful and end up as scrap, the majority I sell because I have to justify my expensive hobby and not going out to work!

I also dislike commissions, but they do mean I can do more fun stuff, so I put up with them! lol


10-08-2004, 11:00 PM
Thetech. If you enjoy painting, nothing says you have to sell. So sure it is ok (I think lol). Thanks for commenting

Ruth. Glad to hear you sell so many. I know that most painters will do some practice work now and again trying new things and some are bound to end up in the trash lol. Thanks for posting.

10-09-2004, 03:15 AM
If you looked at the pile of paintings in my room, you would say none :rolleyes:, but of late I am beginning to sell a few and would put it between 1 and 5%.

I am also selling notelets based on my paintings quite successfully.


10-09-2004, 06:46 AM
I've sold a few paintings, but most are stored in a large plastic bin in my closet. I have given others away to family mostly.

Would love to sell more but am too lazy to actively "market" myself and so far the world hasn't beaten a path to my door. LOL!

Good question, interesting answers.


10-09-2004, 08:20 AM
Doug, it sounds like you and I have a lot in common. I have thought of selling my old paintings by the pound lol. I have a lot that I should use the backs of for practice.
If you would explain the notelets you are talking about. What size, are they attached together or loose, or anything else to describe them.

Sylvia, LOL, I wonder just how many paintings are in closets around the world. Sounds like you need an agent :) I have given a few away, and I give a large discount to family. (Large family, if I gave all of them one I wouldn't have any left. This way they only get the paintngs they really want).

And, yes. The answers are very interesting. Thanks Ya'll

10-09-2004, 12:27 PM
Hi Brian,

The notelets are on pre-folded card blanks I get from a UK wholesaler www.craftcreations.com and are on white deckle edge stock A5 folded - approximately 6x4. I print a picture on the front and "From an original watercolour by Doug Elliot" on the back. They are packaged as 5 different with envelopes in a polypropylene envelope and a "Lancashire Landmarks sticker on the back with my name and telephone number.


They seem to sell well, at 3 ($5) a pack and are good publicity too. I also personalise them on request when I do a house portrait - I include the purchasers address pre-printed inside. I also do Christmas card versions.

Hope that helps.


10-09-2004, 02:15 PM
Totally honest :
Just checked my list - I sold 113 (watercolors) mostly the large ones.
I wouldn't know how much that would be in percentage because I've binned the binneable ones, the unframed are stuck under my beds, the framed ones in a special closet...
Financially ? Whatever I sell I invest (?) in buying a painting by another (greater) LIVING artist and buy new materials, mats and frames. :)

10-10-2004, 08:27 AM
Doug, thanks for taking the time to post pictures of your cards. I appreciate the information as I am sure do others reading this thread.

Gilberte, Thanks for your honest discription. It is nice to be able to invest in others work ( I pay bills with mine lol). It sounds like you have sold quite a few congratulations. If your bed gets to high to get up into, you might need to find another storage place :)

Steve T. Laws
10-10-2004, 09:35 PM

I've yet to sell anything, print or original.

Why? Not sure, all I know is I'd better get to work.

10-11-2004, 10:11 AM
Steve, thanks for responding. I went to your web page and I like your paintings, nice work. Some of them remind me a lot of Norman Rockwell's work. I see no reason your paintings aren't selling. Maybe you don't have the right links to your site. What ways are you using besides the web site to market your work?

Rosa Weitzel
10-11-2004, 10:21 AM
Twenty years ago first husband pushed for me to sell and I quit painting. Now I do it again and I will sell if asked but don't go out and try to.
For me the pressure to paint and sell takes the joy out of it for me. Plus I do a lot of color pencil would starve to death with the time it takes to make one picture LOL

10-11-2004, 11:29 AM
Rosa, you are not by yourself in not wanting to actively sell your work. I have heard a lot of people express this view. And if you want to paint just for pleasure that is great. Art is for pleasure in both the making and the viewing.

I personally feel a certian validation when someone buys one of my paintings. It makes me feel that I am an artist instead of just playing with colors lol. But that is just me. I am sure each artist feels a little different about their work.
Thanks for responding.

10-11-2004, 11:49 AM
Of course Rosa, you get a lot of pleasure painting, but they accumulate and you start wondering what to do with them all - you can only give so many away to friends :D


Steve T. Laws
10-11-2004, 05:50 PM
Hi Nailbender, thanks to you for respondidn.

Well, I keep quiet. I guess I may be too shy for my own good. But I'm working on it. Outside of and Inside of the internet I live by the general 10 minutes of Promo a day. Sometimes its calls, in the past couple of years it's been mailing out postcards trying to get illustration work (mostly no replies and those that do say thanks but no thanks), a number of unsuccessful Gallery solicitations, I've tried a few things but when it comes to trying everything I have my work cut out for me.

10-11-2004, 06:59 PM

I've yet to sell anything, print or original.

Why? Not sure, all I know is I'd better get to work.

You have GOT to be pullin our legs!!!! No way!!! I thought you were a famous artist when I saw the work on your site! You are quite talented and unique, you just must not be going to the right places to show your work or getting with the right people. Don't ask me how to though..I have never even tried to sell a painting. But if I were as good as you... I sure would find out! :)

10-11-2004, 08:30 PM
Hee! Believe it or not I have kept a spreadsheet of the paintings I have listed for sale in the last 12 months!

So, I can answer this question exactly.

Of the paintings I have listed to sell in the last 12 months 87.8% have been sold.

I think I am now an official DORK.



10-11-2004, 11:59 PM
Well, I hate to admit this, but I sell the majority of my paintings because I usually only paint when there's money on the line. Is that terrible or what? Since finding this site, I am trying to paint just for the learning and experimenting, but I have limited time and again am finding that the paying customers consume most of it. I've had three pet portrait commissions in the past two weeks. Can't complain, but with Christmas coming I'll be even busier next month.