How can artists assist collectors and potential buyers in purchasing our paintings?
Art marketing gurus offer us many options about how to sell our work and, of course, several do work, but I want to help buyers with a more realistic visual tool. I want to inspire their imagination to envision one of my paintings in their home or office. I thought it would be intriguing to display my work in various interiors so that they could ‘see’ a painting on their wall. Some people call this putting your art ‘in situ.”
How was I going to do this in our digital world? In the ol’ days, people saw paintings on gallery walls and that made the visual transition easier. I wanted to create a separate page on my website similar to one I now have. View here to see my current in situ page.
My first attempts involved taking photographs of paintings in our home and friend’s homes. This seemed okay for awhile, but I found it unsatisfactory and I was not receiving the response I was hoping for from my website visitors.
To no avail, I had even asked owners of my paintings to take photographs of my paintings in their homes/offices.
Then I learned about Google Images while also improving my skills using PhotoShop Elements (version 5).
My process involves:
- Having a good digital image of my painting
- Finding an appropriate photograph of a home or office interior;
- Working with PhotoShop Elements (version 5) to marry the two together.
Once I have decided which painting I am going to insert into an interior, such as “Moon Window” below, I then head off to Google Images => http://images.google.com/.
*** News Update! *** Due to the comments posted on this blog, I am now going to use free or no cost photos that are designated as such. I wrongly assumed that the images I located on the above website were copyright free. I have found photo sites that I can use without fear of copyright infringement, one is www.shutterstock.com, though you will need to create an account. Go to their miscellaneous category and then in their search box, start with the key word ~ interiors. ***
My next decision involves deciding which key words to use in locating the living/conference room I might like. Examples of key words I have used are:
- Photos of blue contemporary living room
- Photos of traditional green sitting room
- Photos of fireplace in contemporary red room
- and on and on……
More options pop up than you can begin to imagine. I look for photographs that are:
- Free, though you can purchase a photo for pennies (I never use a photo with a watermark);
- Straight on in perspective (You cannot skew your paintings in version 5 of Elements but you can in version 9);
- Have a minimal amount of clutter;
- Compatible with my painting’s colors;
- Have a large area on a wall in which to insert my painting;
- Have a size and resolution that is not fuzzy (for example a 1 inch wide image at 72dpi does not work well);
This is one of the interior photos that I chose with “Moon Window.”
I then download several photos of interiors into my “Room Folder” for that painting.
TIP: I tried organizing all of my in situ images into a separate folder, but have learned that it is easier to keep the finished interior images in the same folder for that particular painting.
Then I download the room photo into PhotoShop. Then begin playing with the image. Simultaneously, I have also downloaded the image of my painting into PhotoShop; this allows me to compare to two to make sure they are compatible.
TIP: Duplicate or copy it so that you have a clean copy.
TIP: Use a relatively small file for your painting image, such as one that is about 300-500 pixels wide and a dpi of 125-225. A large file gets too unmanageable and you end up creating a file that is way too large for web use. It is critical that all artists learn how to downsize your images for your art marketing efforts. Here is another downsizing resource.
When you compare my final in situ image for “Moon Window,” you will notice that I erased distracting items from this interior scene, including that wall art at the end of the hall.
Once I have inserted my painting, I then create a sense of depth by putting an edge or frame around the painting. Being aware of the light source in the room, I then create a cast shadow.
Below is another example of how to show your paintings on a wall — the before and after room. As you might notice, I will take colors from my painting and brush them into small areas within the room. This helps to integrate all of the interior elements. Cropping is also something I do often.
This is the conference interior room that I chose for “Alice’s Key.”
Here is in my in situ image for “Alice’s Key.”
How long does this take for each painting? About 20-30 minutes. Currently, I am looking for someone to help me with this task.
I also use these images in an 8.5″ x 11″ portfolio to show. It is fascinating to see their wheels begin to turn as they imagine one of my paintings in their home or office.
What do you think of this idea? Are you ready to give it try? Let me know how is works for your art marketing. If you have done something similar to what I have explained, please share them with us.
P.S. If you like this post and find it helpful, I’d love it if you’d pass it on via email or social media. You can use the buttons at the bottom of this post to share it.