|6. Painting Decorative
When everything else fails... So how
do you do formula paintings, and
what are the formulas that always sell? In the business we call these
and the problem is not in painting them it is disguising them
so they seem fresh and new, one off originals instead of formula
There are of course certain
things that have universal appeal
and I will show you two variations of them in this lesson. Understand
this universality needs to be tweaked and adapted depending on the
or other demographics, like your target audience. It is a fact, for
that folk in the US and Europe will appreciate more colorful paintings
than those living in South Africa or Australia who, no doubt due to an
abundance of color and light and the absence of winter grays,
that which they don't get to see a lot ... the more subdued
Here is our first example ... a girl
frolicking in a surf on a hot summers
day and pelican investigates. A universal desire.
The secret of selling this type of
painting is to make it decorative.
In other words a fashion item as well as the remembrance of some
experience. To do this I have deliberately made it a 'high key'
In other words it has mostly light airy colors - though I do make sure
the areas of contrast are there and catch the eye.
So the secret here is mostly
presentation. A decent frame matched to
the painting in a decorative and unassuming manner (that way it will
most homes). The painting is not designed to stop people in their
but to create an atmosphere wherein folk are comfortable and
To produce this type of painting
(above) you will need a basic understanding
of the elements of waves and reflections and atmosphere, but it is
rudimentary and is well addressed in the lessons so far. Then you will
need a camera or sketch pad and a few summer days to sit around the
... of course that's the tough part!
that seems to have a universal appeal is the
one with wrought iron fences, balustrades etc. and flowers. In my
it is best if the wrought iron is painted white and the flowers are
roses or suchlike. An abundance of vegetation is also helpful. Again
and high tones are well placed but make sure there are areas of deep
that draw the eye. If you add small children and romantic remembrances
of childhood then extra appeal can be added and the clientele and focus
groups will not doubt appreciate the effort.
And so in this scenario I
have utilized in my 'beauty and the
beast' work that you see below. I deliberately evoked the summer
feel so as to counterpoint the horrible 'beast'. This of course would
otherwise good sales, but then again - is fame and fortune worth all
In the marketplace this is a dollar each way painting. There could be
our there who might like both elements.
Well, these paintings are but two
variations on good and tested formulas
that may make you a fortune if you need one. I have maybe ten other
and successful 'themes'.
Seriously though folks, if you want to
paint for fame and fortune, forget
it. I have no personal fortune but I am usually welcomed wherever I go
and I get countless invitations to address folk, talk and demonstrate
wares. I can never retire, my financial stability relies not on what I
saved but what I may be capable of doing tomorrow. Otherwise I am quite
happy with the paintings above. I am not raising the bar so you might
dissuaded from even trying some painting formula, rather you MUST do it
to learn the basics. I am only warning you against complacency,
and false success.
So I no longer paint for the lowest
common denominator, though when
I was stuck in Brussels, with no money ...