small scale artworksMany artists have struggled with this question, myself included. I have created many smaller sized paintings in the past. These generally sell much faster than my larger scaled artworks, mainly because they are cheaper, easier to hang, easier to transport, etc.

But, my tendency is to work BIG! I love the freedom of movement that a large canvas brings, but because of my process and attention to detail, they take a long time to produce. Thus, I have to charge seemingly outrageous prices, making these paintings more difficult to sell.


What do you think of creating small scale artworks to sell more?

I am interested in hearing your thoughts and experience.

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  1. Like yourself, I prefer to work on large canvases (though to date the canvases have maxxed out at 4ft by 3 ft; would like to go even larger but there are transportation issues). Being an intuitive painter, small canvases somehow trip me up and short-circuit the creative process.

  2. @Jarrett Art
    I feel the same about small canvases.. I have to get up real close with a small brush. It doesn't allow me the same freedom as a larger painting.

  3. I actually like working small, but that may be because I am a beginner, and I still feel intimidated by a huge canvas that needs to be filled up with something that can hold both distance and closer view. My max so far has been 60x80cm.

  4. I take photos of finished work for prints. You then have your large one to sell and are able to make prints in many smaller sizes. I also add them to online print on demand stores.

  5. I am a printmaker and also work with mixed media when I feel the need to add drawing or painting. I create small 8 x 10 one-of-a-kind monotype prints for local shows that feel complete within their own smaller universe. They seem to have a different purpose; like a short story instead of a novel.

    The smaller works sell more easily in these harder economic times. People want more, but just can't do it. They feel happy though to buy something original. I can add their e-mail and make a small sale- they add up.

    1. Hi Kathleen, I have been looking at selling smaller pieces lately. What is your price range for an 8 x 10? Do you do more than one print of the same image as well?

  6. I also prefer to work "large" but will often do a series of small paintings that can be sold separately or together to create a larger impact. I find people like to buy diptychs and triptcyhs because it gives them decorating flexibility, and it's fun to paint them all at the same time -- makes me feel like I'm working on a larger canvas even though they're several small ones!

  7. Nothing like a large highly detailed artwork (alway blow my mind when I see the complite work).

    I like all those 9inches artwork but anything less than that size should be treated as a 'sketch-Study'.

    I have sold 6 inches detailed-painting for about $20 (including a $2 cheap glass/wooden frame) & it took me almost 4hour to make it while a 16x20inches pencil-drawing might take me 60 long hours to make.

    as for those extral-large artwork, am NOT intrested except for the collage art.

  8. I make my paintings small or two reasons. One so I can sell more instead of having a big one that is sitting there forever because it is too expensive, and two because I can scan it easily on my own so that I can have great images for the prints that I sell...

    Wade Edwards

  9. I've just started doing some small paintings. Though I do prefer the larger ones for their impact, I like the smaller ones too. I think they're charming and they are suited for certain smaller areas that large paintings simply can't do well in.

    As has been stated already, the smaller ones can be priced to be more accessible to more people. This can also have the effect of getting a buyer hooked. It sounds mean, but I'm subject to the same thing. Though I'm an artist myself, are a few artists that I'm watching. I love their work, and I want it. I suspect that once I buy a small original, my appetite will be thoroughly whetted.

    I've found that working small doesn't necessarily save time for me. It just means I'm agonizing more on detail. Oh well, that's just me. :)

  10. I have found that a happy medium works; I paint mostly 11x14 and 12x12, thereby keeping the price affordable at around $350.

  11. I am forcing myself to make smaller pieces these days because they take less time to work on, are easy to transport, and this way I can have a lot more affordable paintings to sell. I am also a printmaker but have always made large prints. Recently I am making smaller prints and encorporating them in my paintings as mixed media which I have found work well as small scale or large art works. I still make bigger pieces but take my time wih them as they are more intimate pieces for me. I see these as long term investments, a series of artworks which will be good for future exhibitions.

  12. I believe you should paint for passion and not for money but if you are looking at making money from your art, you should always offer multiple price points for all different kinds of budgets. Make many smaller paintings but still create the large ones for yourself. The sales from the smaller paintings should keep you motivated and you are still able to paint what you like.


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