Buying art: help for beginners

Buying art let’s face it we (most of us) don’t go out buying it every day and the more I go on my artist’s journey, the more I am learning that the art world is huge. Art is becoming THE place that everyone is investing their hard earned cash in. Some people are buying art with the intention of pure investment. Others buy it because they fall in love with the piece. New up and coming artists are the place investors are looking to for future cash in value of their products. Here is a guide to buying art and some tips to think about along the way.

Tip 1.

Following on from the above, it is useful to know whether you are buying the art piece due to a fondness of it or if it is purely for an investment purpose. Original art or even limited edition prints are going to be extremely unique. This is why they are usually extremely expensive on the market. Purely by their uniqueness they will command a greater price compared to say a general mass produced print in your local shop.

If you are buying for an investment and it is a print, then research the type of ink that has been used. I am currently researching getting my art onto prints and yesterday was speaking to a printer who uses special printing ink that will last 200 years! That’s where I will be getting my prints done!

If you want to buy for investment, it would also be useful to consider the type of paper it is printed on. Would it be on a canvas or a type of paper to hang in a frame? Is it a limited edition print, which commands a greater price, or a one off original piece? All of these factors need to be considered. However, just because a print says limited edition does not necessarily mean it is going to be more valuable just because it says so. If the artist does not become successful, the value will not increase. Some old prints for example which have advertised films can equally be valuable and they have not been signed for.

Tip 2.

Decide where you are going to hang it before you buy. Seems an obvious statement by sometimes people can get so excited about the piece without considering where they will hang it, only to get it home and find either no wall space big enough or else it hangs in the wrong room not originally intended for.


Tip 3.

Do your research. What sort of art do you like? It’s a bit like marmite what one person loves, the other hates. Also you may find as you learn more about “what’s out there” that your tastes change. Talking of taste consider who else is in your family that may have to live with that piece of art. I know from living with his lordship that he has very definite views about art. A painting needs to look like a photo for him to appreciate it. For me, as I am learning more, I have different tastes to him. Although I don’t appreciate a lot of wacky abstract art and the prices they command, I am slowly learning why some art costs the price it does.

I am also seeing some very talented artists that have spent days, maybe even weeks painting something and not charging enough for their work, whilst others seem to totally inflate their prices.

Tip 4.

When considering costs, do your research about frames. Sometimes framing can be as expensive as the painting, but a good frame can really enhance a piece of art. It’s amazing how a different coloured frame can really change a painting. Generally, I have seen in art galleries they either use black or white frames. Boxed canvases can look great just as they are. Also take consideration about the insert (the part that goes around the painting between the frame). Sometimes two different inserts in two colours can look really well and enhance your purchase.

Tip 5.

If you want to have the piece of art as an investment then keep all paperwork or any other information that goes with the piece. Crazy as it seems, some artists forget to sign the piece, so check there is a signature on it and a certification of authenticity. If you can trace it back to the artist.

Do you have any original art in your home?

What led you in the decision making process?  Do let me know and post your comments . Joan x

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By | 2017-11-13T09:52:42+00:00 June 18th, 2016|Seascape Artist|8 Comments


  1. Amanda Evans 18th June 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I have a beautiful piece that I bought at an art exhibition a couple of months ago Joan. Most of my friends didn’t like the pieces on display but I loved the colours and the feeling I got from it. I bought it for my office as I wanted lovely pastels and different shades to give me inspiration. Some great advice and tips in your article

    • joan 18th June 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

      oh interesting Amanda,and thanks for your response and reading my blog. What is the image and is it an Irish artist? I’ve done a short course on pastels of a wolf…which reminds me I must take it out again and finish it…its just sitting there …grrr! I end up with so many unfinished pieces which I must get on and do 🙂

  2. verushka 19th June 2016 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Great Tips.I was gifted two original pieces.They are not up as I live at home for now.

    • joan 19th June 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      thank you Verushka for reading my blog and commenting. What are the pieces of art about…i.e. what are the images and do you know who the artist is? It is funny how paintings can tell a story about the picture, but also the story of the journey of the painting.. Just one little extra tip…make sure you are storing your painting correctly….maybe that should be my next blog !!!

  3. Petra Omoregie 19th June 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I have two paintings from my friend artist back in the Czech republic. I got it as present. My son want a painting from Irish artist for his birthday but it was way to much money for me to buy it.He wats it because he likes what is on it (ducling in a tea pot with his mum duck)and it has a funny name: “Tea for two”. I would buy a painting that I like, no matter who the artist is or on the other hand I would buy any painting that my favorite artist painted. It is similar with writers. I have my favorite writer and I have to buy all the books she published.

    • joan 19th June 2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      interesting your feedback thank you 🙂 maybe the Irish artist does prints? which would be cheaper? I have been busy this week researching printers and will now sell my art as prints, so people are able to buy them for different prices. Sometimes I believe, there are artists in Dublin on Sunday mornings at St. Stephens Green and they sell art there? Not sure if they still do, but they did when I lived over there 🙂

      • Petra Omoregie 28th June 2016 at 8:25 pm - Reply

        I would prefer to buy an original art for my son. I am happy he has interest and understand the value of an art so I would love to support him in that and got him the original. I will be meeting the artist one day becaise we are part of the same artist group so I will ask him about small print, perhaps postcard size. I have been thinking and researching prints and printing myself too so I am looking forward to read about it on your blog.

        • joan 29th June 2016 at 7:49 am - Reply

          yes speak to the artist..they would be thrilled that you want their piece of art. It would mean a great deal knowing that someone loved your art and wanted some of it. By buying even a small piece of art it will keep the artist in a job and help them to continue to do what they love and create beauty in the world instead of having to give it up and go work in a shop or whatever

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