Friday, 19 February 2016


2.5" x 3.5" on Canvas Card
8" x 10" soft white mat
Packaged in archival bag
Ready to ship and ready to frame

Spring is on it's way and we've mostly dug out of our snowdrifts and put away our skates. I thought I would show a few of my snowy wintering scenes before blue skies and blossom take over our vista. This is a very wintry scene, but the sweeping trail, night effect and whisper of northern lights in the sky make it refreshing any time of year.


Many artists find it difficult to create a recognizable style and others avoid it because they feel restricted or bored. However, both style and flexibility can be achieved if you study the components. There are six parts to style and being consistent in four of them means your work will impress the keenest critic.
  • Subject Matter
  • Style
  • Theme
  • Palette
  • Medium
  • Presentation
Determine the subject which brings you most joy to paint. If your work crosses many genre, which one  garners the most consistent sales. Usually these will be the same.

Style consists of many things and can change according to the medium, so take an honest look at your consistency. Which style comes easily to you and which sells well. Fads come and go, but if you paint what you love your enjoyment will come through in your work.

This is a tough one. A theme which speaks to you may leave buyers dead. We are all multi faceted and there will be one theme that speaks to both you and your buyers. Do you love animals, landscapes, or seascapes, they are all very popular. Do you live in a traditional town or in a contemporary city? That will have an impact on what sells in your area. Do you live in a tourist mecca ... then explore popular choices. Wine, whales, sunsets, surf, monkeys, moose, cows, what can you become known for?

Most of us have colors that have been favorites throughout our lives. My colors are intense warm blues combined with pink through to orange. I'm actually not happy unless I have some violet and red in a painting and it's impossible to resist the urge to add them. If you stick to a fairly limited palette you will develop a very consistent looking style even when using different media.

We all like to experiment with new products, but limit this to sketch books or small works. Once proficient in using a product, create a limited series using it. Examine your top selling medium and create 10 - 20 works in that medium. If you enjoy the process, consider purchasing the very best quality paints in that medium and focus on it for at least year. It may be oil, acrylic, water-color, collage, pen and ink, charcoal, pencil or pastel: Only you will know which, but if you love it you will produce better work than if you struggle.

If you present your work in a consistent way it will appear more professional. Choose what type of surface you prefer and stick with it, at least over a series. Create enough work for a consistent solo exhibition. Paper requires a mat and frame, but deep gallery wrap canvas and wood cradles work without framing. Review the past three years; does one surface sell consistently or produce your best work, then that is the one to focus on.

This blog was inspired by Jason Horjes 5 Strategies Successful Artists Follow to Thrive in their Career

When I consider these points, focusing on these things would result in more consistent sales. Some of these things were a surprise, some show I am on the right track and others were a revelation. I would love you to tell me the results or your investigation in comments.

Subject matter:- Seascapes and Animals (if I had to choose one it would be seascapes)
Style:- Bold general strokes with detail at central focus
Theme:- Natural Beauty
Palette:- Warm blues with splashes of orange/red
Medium:- Oil
Presentation:- Deep Gallery Wrap