Best Review - Top 10 Subjects For Art That Sells


rtists are creative people, and as such do not like to be tied down to doing things that limit that creativity. However, artists have to earn money and if they rely on selling their art to earn that money then it is useful to know what is likely to sell.
I have reviewed a survey which was carried out recently, at my Squidoo Lens, Top Ten Subjects For Art That Sells, which helps to answer this question. Certain themes or subjects seem, to attract buyers. What are the popular themes? Read the results of the survey and find out. The referenced link also covers which media sell best and for good measure which prints sell the most copies. All very useful information to the jobbing artist.

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Top 1

Traditional Landscapes

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Modern artists have leaned towards abstract and semi-abstract paintings but it appears that traditional art is still favoured by the buying public. Read about traditional landscapes at the following URL.

Top 2

Local views

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I imagine that this is very high because of purchases by tourists to a local area. However, the work does of course still fall within the top category. Examples by professional artists can be seen at the following URL

Top 3

Modern or semi-abstract Landscapes

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Still keeping with the landscape theme, but now with a more modern approach. My own favourite subject/theme. See examples of my work at the llink given in the introduction

Top 4


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A very wide category indeed. But now the subject has become less obvious or even unreadable. See an explanation here...

Top 5


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We all love dogs, at least I do, and there are many owners. A large audience for this type of art. See an artist who has concentrated on dog portraiture.

Top 6

Figure Studies, excluding nudes

Surprisingly coming below dogs as a subject

Top 7


Including harbour and beach scenes. Nautical subjects are indexed here....

Top 8


Many artists have found this to be a lifetimes work. A link to a gallery/museum dedicated to nature in art is provided for interest

Top 9

Impressionistic Landscapes

Quite a small category and so probably not surprisingly comes down the list. Read about the start of impressionistic landscapes fro the National Gallery....

Top 10

Figure Studies, nudes

Often a favourite of artists because of the technical difficulties but not such a favourite amongst the buying public. Read about the nude in western art in an article at the MMA museum site...

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The theme or subject for a work which an artist creates should be from within and not influenced overly by commercial issues. However we all have to live. Thus many artists will create some work to sell and spend time creating work for themselves, probably their best work. The "work for sale" may be local scenes (landscapes for tourists) or specific work to please galleries which sell their work, achieving a higher turnover for the gallery and of course the artist.
The individual artist has to decide where to put his efforts, but if a saleable work is needed then the survey and this list points the way.
If an artist can become well known in a particular niche, then it may be a fact that it is that subject which sells for him and so the list becomes a mute point. I do not find myself in this lucky and hopefully lucrative situation.

For more information on the survey and other results seemy Squidoo lens, Top Ten Subjects For Art That Sells.

PS I mainly paint landscapes and abstracts so I feel I am at least in with a chance .

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