We all want to get noticed and find good homes and collectors for our paintings. This series is all about getting your paintings noticed on Fine Art America. I will elaborate on all the following fundamentals, so check back often and share ideas and links that have worked for you as well.
1. High quality work that is unique, has clear intent/voice
2. High quality photos of work, only your best
3. Name and title your painting descriptively
4. Go slow, post one to three images per day
5. Keywords/tags are vital to being seen online
6. Descriptions using keywords/tags, titles, support visibility
7. Add successful or admired artists to your watch list
8. Join groups, submit your work, and participate in discussions
9. Reciprocate comments voting and promoting from others, be genuine!
10. Be consistent, spend a little time every day on FAA.
This thread is all about creating the highest quality paintings, that are unique, have clear intent, voice and focus.
Highest quality means only displaying your very best! If you browse through my FAA portfolio, you might notice that few of my paintings date further back than 2006. You may also notice that I only have 40 paintings. Does that mean I didn't paint prior to 2006 and that during that time I only painted 40 paintings? Absolutely not! I have been drawing, painting, photographing, and creative all my life. These are simply my best works up until now. I destroy more paintings than I create. It's part of being an artist--learning to cull, self critique and display your best. On facebook and at shows I find collectors enjoy browsing through my sketches, and sometimes purchase them. That's awesome!! But is doesn't mean I'll upload my sketches for fine art reproductions. They are simply not appropriate for that. Only display your best, which is likely also your most recent, since we tend to get better with practice.
What does unique mean? If water lilies have been painted before, does that mean I can't paint water lilies? Nope! Unique is closely associated with style. The only thing that develops style is a whole lot of painting! It comes naturally. But unique doesn't. Unique has more to do with style AND being genuine. Ever notice that even though I love in Alaska, and have no problems painting animals, there are no moose or bears or cabins in my collection? Moose, bear, and cabins do not intrigue me. I've drawn loads of them, they just don't interest me. In fact I have somewhat of an aversion to them. That's a problem for an Alaskan artist. Images of moose, bears, dog sleds and cabins sell like hotcakes. But for me to paint them wouldn't be genuine to who I am. While it is good to stretch yourself (I never thought I would enjoy painting still life's until I tried them), the art that will speak the most to viewers will be the paintings that are uniquely yours! Your passion, your style, your voice. Your painting needs to be about you, or few will be able to relate to it. Paintings are a form of communication.
That leads me to voice, intent and focus. Since paintings are a form of communication, I feel they need to say something. You may not initially know what the heck you want to say. I know I don't always, (especially if Im looking at a bunch of snow-laden ugly trees). sometimes I know way before I even start my preliminary sketches. But you should really know by the time you are finished what it is your soul is trying to say. It could be as simple as defiance, or peace, or look at that gorgeous human being. It could be about the war between light and dark (my paintings often start with that theme). It could be about a color. Whatever you want to say, say it loud and clear. Keep you contrast highest in the focal area, your paints the thickest, your colors the brightest, your detail the sharpest. You are the boss! Make your viewers see what YOU want them to see! And leave the rest alone. We all crave a place in the painting our eyes can rest. If you don't know what your painting is saying, no one else will either.
So please, say something, be genuine, and put your best foot forward regardless of where you are on the journey!
Above is an oil sketch I'm rather fond of, and much to my delight, the original sold. However, you won't find it in my FAA portfolio because while I love it, I feel it isn't suitable for reproduction. It was painted during a workshop with a model not of my choosing (though I adored her) is a style that was closer to the instructor's style than my own, using colors that I normally don't use. So it isn't my best or unique, and while it has voice, the voice is a bit weaker than my other works.
Ok, hoped I haven't bored you too much. Feel free to disagree with me and tell me what you think!