Buying Art Online

A guide to buying art online


This buying guide will assist you in the best practices to buying art online. We are in the digital age and there are no restrictions on where you can source and purchase art for your home or business.

There are however some precautions you should take to ensure that there are no issues with the buying process. Not only will we give you a basic understanding of art and it’s terminology, but an insight into safe purchasing practices.

  1. Buyer motivations
  2. Positioning art
  3. Art dimensions
  4. Decorative art
  5. Art rotation
  6. Safe internet practices
  7. Some basic art terms & their meanings

Buyer motivations

The first thing we will discuss in this guide is the motivation for buying your new piece of art in the first place. No matter if you are buying art online or offline,  something for a collection, your business or for the wall at home, the main drive in purchasing something should be based on emotional connection. Some pieces will make you feel the raw energy, their strength and passion, others will have a gentle and softer tone and may be quite fluid. Purchasing art therefore becomes an expression of how you feel, or wish to feel.  So the number one reason for buying art online is the because you have a much larger selection to choose from. This will increase your chances of finding the perfect piece that moves you and suits the space you have in mind.

Positioning art

Having found the perfect painting the next step is to find the perfect place to hang it. Whether at the office or at home you will want to consider how the painting will affect the space it is going into. You will also want to take into consideration how and when the painting will be viewed by others entering the space. Do you want it to be the main focus of the room commanding attention and making a statement to anyone entering the space? Or would you prefer it to be visible after turning a corner or something that adds to the ambience of the room without being the centre focus? Depending on the feel of the painting this may vary quite considerably, but at the end of the day it is should be where it suits you the most.

Art dimensions

This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of purchasing any art, and especially when buying art online. It will always be a tedious task trying to return a piece of art because you simply didn’t measure the space properly. Returning something to your local gallery might be an easy task, but most online art dealers will charge you return freight in the very least. This will tend to make it an expensive exercise so it is best to simply get it right in the first place.

When you have found your favorite painting and you have the perfect place in mind, measure it. Then measure it again. Make sure you not only have enough room for the painting but room for it to breathe. Most art pieces will do best when they have sufficient space around them so that they do not become cluttered by other influences. For example, the power of a beautiful piece of abstract art might be compromised if placed next to a photo of your cat.   Make sure you also double check the measurements of the painting that you wish to purchase, ensuring that you have the correct units, whether centimetres or inches.

Quick conversion chart

1″ = 2.54cm
6″ = 15.24cm
12″ = 30.48cm
24″ = 60.96cm
30″ = 76.2cm
40″ = 101.6cm
60″ = 152.4cm

Decorative Art

Decorative art is all about finding a piece of art to suit a particular space to accentuate a theme, colour or style of the room. In this instance you will generally need to focus on the size and colour of the painting first, then the subject matter second. However in some situations the subject may be more important and colour may be of lesser importance. The first rule still applies here so make sure that you feel passionate about whatever you put into this space. The right piece of decorative art can transform a room into a truly amazing space.

Art rotation

Do you love art so much that you have a pile of it under your bed? Perhaps you are buying another piece because you fell in love with it but have no space left on your walls? You will not be the first person to be faced with this dilemma and you won’t be the last. There is a simple solution… Rotate your art. Keep your space ever changing by rotating your favorite pieces and adding new ones. You may even wish to change the cushions and decor items to match, a little like those perfect outfits you keep in the closet. Seasonal change can also be a wonderful time to change your home or space to suit. There are many ways and creative ideas you can use to mix and match your art in your space.

Safe internet practices

When buying art online the biggest issues you will face are ensuring that you receive the correct piece of artwork and that it arrives is good condition. It is also imperative to check the credentials of the gallery and perhaps even contact them before purchasing. Make sure you purchase using a credit card or PayPal account that has a buyer protection policy. When purchasing ensure you have the correct dimensions and if possible check these dimensions with the seller before finalising your transaction.

We recommend that you also choose a gallery that has shipping insurance so there aren’t any issues if the painting is damaged or lost in transit. Buying art online with us is a simple and straightforward process. We ship internationally on a regular basis and pack all our artworks securely as well as fully insuring all our freight. You are welcome to contact us about any of our policies.

Some basic terms & their meanings

    • Contemporary – Used to refer to art of the present day and of the relatively recent past, of an innovatory or avant-garde nature.
    • Abstract – can be applied to art that is based an object, figure or landscape, where forms have been simplified or schematised to create an abstracted version of it. Equally term can also be applied to art that uses forms, such as geometric shapes or gestural marks, which have no source at all in an external visual reality.
    • Surrealism – A movement that started in the 1920’s experimenting with ways to unleash the subconscious imagination. The aim of surrealism was to reveal the unconscious and reconcile it with every day life.
    • Conceptual – Art for which the idea (or concept) behind the work is more important than the finished art object.
    • Eclectic – Ideas, style, or taste derived from a broad and diverse range of sources.
    • Art Deco – A style in architecture and design founded in the early 1900’s that focused on geometric shape and form.
    • Art Nouveau – A style in architecture and design that emerged in the late 1800’s  and is characterised by sinuous lines and flowing organic shapes based on plant forms.
    • Avant Garde – Innovative and exploring new boundaries both in form and subject matter. These works are often controversial and provocative.
    • Mixed Media – A term used to describe artworks composed from a combination of different media or materials.
    • Composition – The arrangement of elements within a work of art.
    • Chiaroscuro – An Italian term which translates as light-dark. It therefore refers to the balance and pattern of light and shade in a painting or drawing. When contrast is a prominent feature of the artwork this term can be applied.
    • Etching – An old printing technique that uses chemical action to produce incised lines in a metal printing plate. This then holds the ink which is applied and forms the image.
    • Expressionism – Art in which the image or reality has been distorted in order to make it expressive of the artist’s inner feelings or ideas.
    • Fresco – A mural painting technique that involves painting with water-based paint directly onto wet plaster so that the paint becomes an integral part of the plaster.
    • Impressionism – Developed in France in the late 1800’s. This spontaneously style was based upon painting outdoors or ‘on the spot’ and usually depicted normal every day occurrences.
    • Pop Art – A movement that emerged in the 50’s and 60’s drawing inspiration from sources in popular and commercial culture. Most commonly inspired by advertising, Hollywood movies and pop music.
    • Realism – Depicts everyday life in a natural manner; however the term is also generally used to describe artworks painted in a realistic almost photographic way.

Browse through our online art gallery

We have many wonderful pieces for you to look at and cast your critical eye over. Using your newly found insight you may find not only something beautiful but something that will appreciate over time. Click here to view our gallery and the latest art online. We hope you have enjoyed our Buying Art Online guide and thank you for your time.