Paintings: How to Buy Paintings Online

Painting continues to be one of the most popular mediums amongst art buyers and collectors, as well as artists. In fact, for many, painting, as a versatile medium with endless combinations of materials, subjects, and styles, is the quintessential art form.

The internet has revolutionized the way people discover and collect paintings. Now, paintings by artists from all over the world are just a click away from the collectors who purchase them.

Here are some things to consider when purchasing a painting online:

Explore: Take your time looking for the right artwork. If you know what you're looking for, you can search by artist, style, size, price, etc., narrowing down an online selection to meet your needs. If you don't know exactly what you want, you can start by browsing by color or theme. When something strikes your fancy, try looking for similar pieces, until you find just the right painting.

A good gallery should have experienced art consultants who can help you in your search.

Budget: Decide how much you would like to spend. Medium- to large-sized paintings by an emerging artists are readily available from $1,000 / E1,000. As the reputation of the artist grows, so will the price of the artwork.

Discover: Before purchasing an original painting, read the details available on the artist. Whether the artist is emerging or established, you can get a good sense of her career by looking at a list of her exhibitions. Has she participated in important group exhibitions? Does she have solo exhibitions listed? Does she have any artworks in museums or prominent private collections? Has she won any awards for her work?

Educate yourself about the artwork that you've selected. Learn about the medium (oil, acrylic, gouache, on canvas, on board, etc) and the style (impressionist, abstract, pop, etc).

Feel free to ask questions. The same art consultants who can help you with your selection will gladly offer you as much information as possible about the artist and her artwork.

Experiment: Share the artwork. Email a link to the artwork a friend or colleague for an opinion you can trust. Try to get a better idea of what the painting will be like in person by taking advantage of special features like PicassoMio's tool that allows you to view the graphic print against a variety of wall colors. A "view-to-scale" option will give you a sense of the size of the artwork, in a realistic setting.

Ensure: Check if the artwork comes with a certificate of authenticity that you feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that some paintings are signed on the front, others on the back, and some not at all. In the last case, it's especially important to have a certificate of authenticity.

Once you're sure you've found just the right painting, make sure you're buying from a trustworthy gallery. Read about the company and their website. Most credible websites provide detailed information about themselves. See if the website provides you with verified and secured online purchases. Read what their customers and the press have to say about them. Find out if the gallery has a reasonable returns policy. When you have done your due-diligence, buy the painting and enjoy!

Resale: If you think that you may consider reselling the painting at some time in the future,  it is important to ensure that the gallery you purchase the art from offers a resale assurance for artworks purchased from them. If so, it is important to be aware of the terms - as the commission rates vary. For example, major auction houses and galleries will typically charge a commission of 20% to 50%, while PicassoMio charges only 10%.  Further, if the gallery is local and sells only a few artworks each month, the resale assurance may not be worth a whole lot.