Which Subjects Are Best?
What are the kinds of paintings that sell the best? There are a few broad subjects for paintings that tend to appeal to a mass audience. While there are never any guarantees that a given painting will sell, if you sitck to these specific areas, you'll probably increase your chances of earning a little income from your work. Whether the subjects most popular with the masses are the subjects you want to paint is a question only you as an individual artist can answer.
But if you primary motivation for painting is selling the finished products, it's advisable to choose subjects that are tried and true. Here are a few types of paintings that fit that description.
Landscape painting has been popular for a long time and continues to be popular today. Some contemporary landscape painters prefer to work outside (en plein air), like the great Impressionist master Claude Monet. Others prefer to do their paintings in the studio using photographs and study sketches from the location they've chosen to paint.
While landscape paintings have historically featured grand vistas, contemporary landscape paintings include more intimate scenes of rivers, woods, meadows and cityscapes. Recreating a vista that has sentimental or nostalgic value may increase the chances that your painting will sell.
The landscape category includes seascape, harbor and beach scenes, which are a popular subcategory that sells well, especially in seaside cities and towns which attract a lot of tourists.
Modern and semi-abstract landscapes that offer a different interpretation of a familiar view are also a popular choice for painting sales.
Since most abstract artwork doesn't have a recognizable subject or relate to anything external, individual viewers can interpret an abstract painting for themselves.
So it makes sense that abstract paintings are always top seller.
Within abstract artwork, there are distinct subject areas such as the geometric work of Piet Mondrian and the more fluid, seemingly spontaneous paintings of Wassily Kandinsky or Jackson Pollock.
Imitating one of these highly popular artists may attract some attention to your paintings, but unlike landscapes, it's probably going to be more difficult to predict which types of abstract artwork may resonate with your intended audience.
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