Not that I would ever follow such guidelines or suggest them to a fellow artist, but the other day, out of curiosity, I searched “Best Subjects for Selling Paintings.” I found the following list on About.com, whose source was an Art Business Today survey done in 2003 based on sales of paintings in the UK. Further online research and other highly random and unscientific inquiries found that most lists fall in line with this one. Here they are in reverse order, with examples courtesy of Zatista artists. See if you can guess number one before you reach the end!
10. Nudes. 9. Impressionistic landscapes. 8. Wildlife. Do you agree with the bottom three placement of these themes?
7. Seascapes, harbour, and beach scenes. 6. Figure studies (excluding nudes). 5. Dogs. How about the next three?
4. Abstracts. 3. Modern or semi-abstract landscapes. 2. Local views. Do you think these belong near the top or not?
1. Traditional landscapes. This seems accurate, given the prevalence of this theme in both public and private collections throughout the centuries to this day. Sales figures and popularity aside, what do you think are the best subjects for painting? Let us know your choices and why.
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.