How to Start Selling Your Paintings!

How to Start Selling Your Paintings!

Have you been thinking about starting to sell your paintings…

But you’re just not sure what your first step is? How to get started?

We’re going to dive into that in today’s episode of the ART / WORK Sessions, Podcast. I’ll share the 4 main options for getting started and go deeper with which one is more effective right now.

Mary and paintings

Mary and her paintings.

Have you been thinking about starting to sell your paintings, but you’re just not sure how to take that first baby step towards that goal? We’re going to dive into that in today’s episode of the ART / WORK Sessions Podcasts. I’m Mary Gilkerson and I help artists take their art making, marketing, and online art sales to the next level.

Each month I host two live calls where we get together with artists from around the world to collaborate, mastermind, and network around the challenges that we face as artists. Each week I bring one question from those calls here as a podcast episode. You’ll get concrete ideas, tips, and strategies that you can put into place today.

Now let’s dive in.

We’re going to go to Sujata from Henderson, Nevada. If you would unmute yourself, you can ask your question for us.

Sujata: I did attend one of your webinars and I had a business Facebook page, but I want to start selling. I’ve been just posting a few pictures there, but I want to start selling. I don’t have any idea as to how to sell. And is that the right platform or somewhere else? Should I start selling on like eBay or things like that?

Mary: Good question. So as we look at how to get started in selling your work and selling your paintings, there are really four different options that you’ve got. And I want to go through all four before we really concentrate on one.

The first is through the relatively traditional venue of galleries. Most of us are familiar with the idea of working with galleries. The big problem with working with galleries now, and I am pro gallery and I work with galleries, but the main challenge with that in 2021 is that we have lost a number of galleries over the last year and a half because of the shutdowns. And as a result, sales and physical retail spaces like galleries have dropped 20%. So that, that becomes a more difficult venue to get into at the moment.

Second option is through outdoor fairs and shows. They’ve got the same issues that galleries have right now. Most of them were shut down during the last 18 months and are slowly coming back. Some are open, but it’s still a very chancey proposition as some open, some close. And as the situation is really fluid right now, sales at outdoor events had been on the decline before this all started happening. So it’s been slowly going down over the last 10 years. It’s not as viable an option anymore.

The third option is through alternative spaces like selling through cafes and through restaurants, places that are alternatives to the traditional gallery outlets. There’s some advantages to that. Some of the disadvantages are that you’re limited to a very, very local market. And as a result of being alternative spaces, a lot of times the prices that you can charge are very, very low.

The fourth option, the one that we’re going to concentrate on is selling online. Online art sales, unlike sales at physical retail spaces, have been going up over the last 18 months. In fact, they’ve gone up something like 25%. So it is the option that I recommend as the place for most people to get started.

Now, in fact, I want to urge everyone to get started there now because that’s a growing market and allows you to have direct contact and direct relationship building with your potential ideal collectors.

So Ebay, it was a good place to sell, 10, 15 years ago. The daily painting movement started with Duane Keiser and he sold his small paintings on eBay, but it’s full of junk right now. I don’t advise that people try eBay and I really don’t think the big sort of market platforms like Etsy are the main place to start either. You want to start with your social media first, then your email list and your website, but you can start selling on social media before you get all those other things in place.

In fact, that’s what we did during the June Attract Your Ideal Collector Challenge. And we’re going to be doing that again in September. So if you missed the challenge back in June, be sure to check that out in September. One of the last prompts in that challenge includes the script that you use to invite collectors to purchase.

And you still want to follow that same format that I was talking about earlier in this ART / WORK Session. You want to give content and then ask for the sale. You don’t want to say it’s available in every single post because that gets a bit spammy.

So you want to attract your ideal collectors, number one, and social media is the place to do that. It could be either Facebook or Instagram. Ask yourself, which platform do you feel most comfortable on?

Sujata: Right now Facebook because I did open an Instagram account, but I haven’t really used it and I don’t really know how to post there or how to work around it right now.

Mary: Yeah, I would get started on your Facebook business page then. What you want to do is post regularly, respond, and build relationships with the people who comment.

And then be sure to sign up for the challenge in September, but before then you can start going through that same process of telling the story of your paintings and then sharing an invitation to purchase on every fourth or fifth post.

Sujata: Okay. Just one quick follow up on that one. Right now I have been posting on my Facebook business page, not that regularly, and then I have been sharing that post in my personal Facebook page. So I’ve been getting some hits, some likes and hearts, but the comments I’m getting are just from the friends especially on my personal page and then getting stood up on my business page. So how would I have them comment on my business page not on my personal page?

Mary: First I would post a whole lot more often. You’re not going to really get any traction on Facebook until you post every day. What governs the reach on any of those platforms is the algorithm. And people get all mad at the algorithm and talk about how the social media platforms are only going to show your work if you pay to play and if you have ads. That’s not entirely true. What the algorithm wants is good content. And right now all of them need good content even more than they did before because of the iOS 14 updates. They’re hurting for good content right now and all of us artists have good content.

So if you post every day, fairly early in the day, your normal time, like 9am your time, and post around that same time every day, your reach is going to begin to build because you’re feeding the algorithm. If you skip one day here or there, it’s not going to be a big problem, but if you’re only posting every couple of weeks, the algorithm is forgetting you in between. So your reach is going to stay pretty slim.

One of the great things that you’re doing, and it’s what I tell my students to do, teach in The Painter’s Path as well, and then the membership, is to make sure you share your posts from your business page to your personal profile. It’s great that you’re doing that. It’s a step that a lot of people know. It’s a way to leave a breadcrumb trail for your current friends on your personal profile to come over to your business page. One of the ways to try to get them to comment, and it’s a little counterintuitive, but don’t add any extra caption to it. Just share the posts, the full post, to your personal profile, because they’ll click the photo more quickly when you do that. And when they click the photo, it’ll take them to your business page. They’ll read it on your page. Test it out and see if you just leave that off and just share the whole post if you don’t get more of them going over.

Sujata: Yeah. Got it. Thank you so much.

Mary: You’re welcome. 

If you’d like to join and connect with other awesome artists from around the world, be sure to hop over and join our live calls by signing up to be notified at MaryGilkerson.com/Session 


The popular Attract Your Ideal Collectors 5 Day Social Media Challenge is back starting September 15th.

Are you in?

Click here to get more info.

A Basic Painting Palette – My Pick Of Essential Oil Colors!

A Basic Painting Palette – My Pick Of Essential Oil Colors!

Viewer, Marlene Ford’s asked, “Do you have a basic palette that you do most of your work with?”

And I sure do! In this video I share my favorite 13 colors, the basic double primary palette and convenience colors, that are at the core of everything I paint.

Thank you for joining me today. And if you’d like to connect with other awesome painters, be sure to join me on our live ART / WORK Sessions calls. Just sign up to be notified at marygilkerson.com/sessions.

And if there’s anything else you want to know about palette essentials, please leave me a comment below.


My basic palette colors.

Colors on My Palette:

Double Primaries: Fanchon Red, Carl’s Crimson, Indian Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Phtalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Flake White Replacement

Convenience Colors: Egyptian Violet, Italian Terre Verte, Cinnabar Green Light, Permanent Green, Monserrat Orange, Italian Green Ochre


Why You Should Use the Double Primary Palette

Selecting Basic Painting Colors and Materials

What About the Paint?

Video Transcript:

Mary Gilkerson: Welcome to the artwork session podcast for painters and artists, just like you, who are ready to take their art, art, marketing, and online art sales to the next step. I’m Mary Gilkerson and I help painters create and grow their art marketing and online art business. And each month I host two live zoom artwork sessions calls, where I collaborate with artists from around the globe each week.

One of those questions and the answer from those live calls and share that with you here on the podcast, you’ll get concrete tips, ideas, and strategies that you can put to work today. So if you’re ready to fill in the gaps in your painting practice and your online art business and get the answers you’ve been looking for, jump aboard, welcome to the art work sessions podcast.

I’m going to go to Marlene Ford. If you’ll unmute yourself. Hello?

Marlene Ford: Hello.

Mary Gilkerson: How are you doing?

Marlene Ford: I’m fine. Enjoying your. Your wisdom.

Mary Gilkerson: Awesome. I’m glad it’s helpful. So do you want to read your question for us?

Marlene Ford: The first one was about the palette. I have taken a few art classes. I didn’t start painting until I was 65. And I’ve taken a few art classes and every artist has their own requirement for paints to the point that I ended up confused. Sometime when I go to do a landscape scene, what greens do I use?

What blues do I use and that, and I really love your work. I was wondering, do you have a basic palette that you do most all your work with?

Mary Gilkerson: Yeah, I did. And I have a basic one that I use with my students too. That’s the double primary palate. Okay. So when I’m teaching, I usually start off with a really limited palette because from the double primary palette, you can mix everything else.

So it creates the full color wheel, which then gives you the potential to mix everything else. And after people learn how to mix, and I see some of my students like Joan, I see you right there. You’re right in front of me. Joan can tell you, yeah. Do begin to add in convenience colors after that, so convenience colors are ones that are already all mixed up.

And there’s some of those that I use all the time too, but one of the things that helps me keep it simple is that I do paint outside a lot. And I have a rule for myself that all of the paint that I take outside has to fit into the wooden cigar box that I’ve carried paint outside in for 10, 12 years.

And if it won’t fit in there, I can’t. So I can’t get myself confused with having too many things, but I did tend to use it all centers around that double primary palate. So there’s a warm red and a cool red, a warm blue and a cool blue, a warm yellow, and a cool yellow and white. And then I’ll throw in a couple of other extras that I like to work with.

Marlene Ford: Yeah. I’ve seen your videos and taken notes on them. Looking for that basic cause we’re, it affects me as in my paintings is that I’ll start a painting and then put it aside and let it dry. And then I go back. And early on, I wasn’t taking notes on what greens I was using. Listen, I’ve done more paintings because there’s no harmony.

It takes the whole harmony out of it.

Mary Gilkerson: Yeah. And I’ve realized a long time ago that if I mix the color that I really love and I need to write down what I mixed, get it and put it in my sketchbook because I won’t remember the next day, if it’s something that’s brand new. But the beauty of using a more limited palette, not having too much stuff out is that it’s easier to figure it out.

Yeah. So that’s where it does help. Yeah. And I have the list of colors that’s in the basic palette on my website. Yeah. I went searching because that was something I knew I needed to do. And it’s a shame. I have a whole drawer full. Paints from every class I’ve ever taken. And then you use those again and you can use them up, but it helps to understand color if you simply shrink down for a little while and get really familiar with those colors and then it gets easier to build it out.

Okay. Did you find the list of the double primary palette?

Marlene Ford: Yeah. I’m following you for awhile and found you, quite learned and helpful to someone like myself in my late seventies now. And I, and I find it so wonderful. To do this, even if it’s on a hobby level, painting is a wonderful activity.

Mary Gilkerson: It stretches your brain. It calms your mind. And on top of it, it gets your creative juices flowing.

The convenience colors that I use almost all the time are things like Italian Terra, they’re from Williamsburg. And I really love the Montserrat orange from Williamsburg.

It’s a pinky coral color. It’s great for taking the edge off of greens that are out of the tube. I use cinnabar green light a good bit. Occasionally permanent green light. Those are pretty much it. As far as the ones that I’m going to carry outside. Okay. But I have a whole pile over there on the table.

And what I did after the last painting challenge that we did in the free group was I went online and ordered a whole bunch of paint from Vasari because I’ve gone down the rabbit hole with some of the colors that they’ve got. So that’ll be in blog posts in the future. But yeah, I’m still, I still acquisition all kind of paint tubes.

So don’t think I don’t know if you all can see the table over there. Yeah. Yeah. That’s just a part of what I got, but that’s what I keep in the studio. I don’t haul all that stuff outside. It’s just too much because I want to be able to walk or hike when I’m painting. And if the more stuff you have, the heavier it gets and the more you drop stuff along the way.

So I don’t want to shed it, but I’m glad that’s helpful and glad that you’re painting. Everybody should have a creative outlet. What’s inside out into the world. Yeah. Oscar allows you to see colors. Like I look at things differently, but when I look at a sky and when I think about where I started and how elementary it was and to where I am today, it’s really opened the world up to me in ways that I know.

Imagined real. That’s a really good point. And it’s something I share with students all the time. Is that the more you look, the more you’re going to see, and the more you see you’re the more you’re going to see, because, we all see color a little bit differently. We have each of us has a different number of color bars that are in our, basically in our eyes that perceive color.

And that’s why some people are color blind and some people are not, they don’t have the receptors for that color. And it’s one reason we all see it just slightly differently. But I’m convinced at least up to a point that you can develop the color bars that you have. So they perceive more because I’ve noticed that people, the more they observe, the more they’re able to observe, just like you’re saying.

Cool. Thank you for asking that question.

Marlene Ford: Thank you for answering it.

Thank you for joining me today. And if you’d like to connect with other awesome painters, be sure to join me on our live artwork sessions calls. Just sign up to be notified at marygilkerson.com/sessions. Happy painting everybody. Bye bye for now.

CCL Webinar CTA-4

How to Use Value, Color, and Composition to Make Compelling Paintings

You're invited to a special free workshop I’m hosting where I'll share how you can leverage composition, value, and color to make compelling paintings. If you missed this earlier now's the time to save your seat.  You can learn more here and find a time that fits your schedule.

Social Media for Artists: How to Increase Reach and Engagement

Social Media for Artists: How to Increase Reach and Engagement

Trying to grow your social media following? Want to know how to get more likes and comments on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest? Then this video is for you!

Social media is a fantastic way to promote your work as an artist.

But sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it to and you’re left wondering what went wrong.

In this video I’ll share five common mistakes artists make with their social media, and how to solve them!

Increase social media engagement

Video Transcript:

That question’s come up a lot lately inside both my paid programs and in the free Facebook group ART+WORK+LIVING. So I wanted to talk about that just a little bit, to give y’all some insights into how the algorithm actually works, what the whole reason is to actually be on social media (whether it’s Facebook or Instagram), and where those things may be going wrong as you are posting about your own paintings.

The first thing I want to make sure everybody understands is what a Facebook business page is for.

It’s there for moving people, your ideal collectors, from social media to your website and email list. It’s that simple.

You want to reach your ideal collector, your ideal client. You want to move them first to be a follower on your Facebook or your Instagram account or Pinterest, whichever one it is that you’re on. And then you want to move them to visit your website.

And once they’re on your website, you want to invite them to become a follower of your email list, which is called a subscriber. Then you can invite them to purchase via your email list. I’ve talked about what a game-changer this is for artists before.

That’s the beauty of it.

We have global reach as artists now because of social media. So, it’s not about reaching people who live down the street or local galleries, although you might do that as well.

It’s about reaching beyond your local physical confines. And touching people who are your ideal collectors or your ideal clients.

So the biggest thing, the single biggest impediment, I see with people growing their reach and their engagement on social media is tying the value of a business page to the wrong numbers.

I see this happen all the time. And I’ve been guilty of it too back when I first started, but I’ve been on Facebook as a business page for more than 10 years now. So I’ve picked up some things to move beyond that mindset.

Here’s what I mean by that. If you are comparing the reach and engagement on your Facebook page to the reach engagement and interactions that you’re getting inside of art groups, you’re committing a huge, big error because you’re comparing apples to oranges.

They aren’t the same thing and they’re not the same audiences by a long shot.

Here’s how they differ. Your Facebook page, probably, especially if you’re starting out, has fewer followers than that art group. Let’s use an example here. If you are in my free Facebook group, we have nearly 19,000 people in that Facebook group.

And if you have a business page that has 200 followers on it, comparing the interaction on the two, just from a numbers standpoint is not going to give you clear feedback.

The algorithm shows a post, whether it’s in a group, your personal profile, or your business page, on average to about 10% of the people that follow. 10% of the people in the group, 10% of the people on the page, 10% of your friends, and that’s not Facebook trying to get you. That is the fact that there are millions and millions of people on Facebook.

Facebook cannot show your post to everybody who follows you or everybody you’re friends with, or everybody in the Facebook group.

It’s not physically possible.

Because it goes through the feed that fast, when they’re that many people, they have to use the algorithm. The algorithm shows your post to the people who have indicated or given a sign to the algorithm that they’re interested in what you’re posting.

And they do that by reading and taking an action. They do that by liking, commenting and engaging. sharing into their stories, by saving it.

The algorithm shows your post to people who have interacted with your page before, and then also to people who are similar to those who’ve engaged with it.

So, those of you who’ve only got a few hundred followers, if you are getting more than 10% engagement and reach, you’re doing fantastic. There are ways to get it to more of your ideal collectors, but I want you to understand what that reach number means to begin with, and don’t keep comparing it to what happens in an art group.

Social media art groups are not your ideal collectors.

They are your ideal client if you teach painting, if you teach how to make art. But they are not your ideal client if you’re selling paintings.

Yes. Some of them will buy. That’s absolutely true, but not the vast majority of them.

So, comparing what happens on your business page to what happens into an art group is a recipe for frustration.

Don’t do that to yourself. Because what happens is you set yourself up for failure. You set an expectation in your head and in your heart that you’re going to get the same kind of numbers on your page. And that is not what is going to happen. So get grounded in reality and how the algorithm works from the get-go.

It’s not against you. They’re not trying to force everybody to buy ads. They actually really want to share your great content with people who are interested, but we have to do the work to help them find the folks who are interested and make sure they’re really in alignment with what we’re offering. That brings us to the next couple of points.

The second big issue in growing social media engagement is people having followers who are not their ideal collector or their ideal client.

It does not help you to inflate your numbers by inviting all your friends and family and neighbors to follow your page.

In fact, it will hurt you because what will happen is that Facebook will keep showing your stuff to people who are similar to the people who are already interacting with it. And if they’re family and friends who never buy art, then Facebook is showing it to more of those same kinds of people. And you can build up 1200 people who follow your page, but it may not do you any good because they’re not the right fit collectors.

You need your ideal collectors, not just anyone. If you don’t remember how to do that from the past Attract Your Ideal Collectors Challenge that we had in the Facebook group, we’re going to be doing it again in September.

Make sure you get on the waiting list to go through the challenge again, but you need your ideal collectors. And there are ways and strategies to tap into who those folks are, but you’ve got to focus like a laser beam onto that. Don’t get distracted by what’s going on in groups, not art groups. You want groups where your ideal collectors might be hanging out.

Third is posting at a time of day when your ideal collector is not on social media.

So for example, if you’re posting at 7:00 AM, and the people who would interact with your posts are not awake yet and on Facebook. People don’t tend to be on Facebook until about 8:30 AM or 9:00 AM. And on Instagram, even a little bit later.

You really do have to be very aware of the time of day that you’re posting and know that when you post outside of the time, when your people are online, you’re not going to get as much reach. You’re not going to get as much engagement.

That’s the first thing that I tell people to change.

If you’re not getting engagement with the posts, change the time you’re posting.

Look back at posts that you’ve made in the past. Look for ones that got more engagement and look at what time of day they were posted, because that’s a better time for you to be posting than the time you’re posting at right now.

If you don’t know what time they’re generally engaging with and getting on most social media, a good place to start is 9:30 AM or 10:00 AM EST, around 2:00 PM EST, and around 6:00 PM EST.

When you get too far out of that time frame they engage in, you run the risk of not having any eyeballs hit your work.

For example, the other day I had to post later in the evening because it had been a busy day and I hadn’t scheduled it yet like I really love to do. I was posting out of the time period I knew my audience would interact. And I got lower reach and I got lower engagement.

Not because the art is bad or not going to appeal to the ideal collector. But because they’re not on the app. So test out different times until you find the time they are online.

Fourth is not having a clear focus and intent for what you’re doing on that social media page.

We’ve talked in the Facebook group about niching down and how important it is. And here’s why. If you post on a broad range of things on your Facebook business page, you confuse the people who are visiting it. And then when they’re confused, you confuse the algorithm.

For example, if I’m posting my normal landscape paintings and I suddenly post a completely non-objective abstract painting that doesn’t look like my landscape paintings, it’s not going to get any engagement because it’s going to surprise my audience. It’s not what they were expecting. And they’re going to be really confused and a confused mind doesn’t engage and doesn’t interact.

Does that mean you can’t make abstract completely different work? No, but it means you need two pages then. You need to only promote one body of work at a time. But if you try to appeal to two radically different niches on the same business page, it’s not gonna work because you’re going to confuse both of those audiences.

So narrow down what you’re doing.

It doesn’t mean you can’t post still lifes or a figurative work if you normally do landscapes. But it means that if you normally do those landscapes, you shouldn’t be posting abstract work. If you normally do completely non-objective abstract, posting a photo realist painting is probably not going to get you much traction. Understand that people are looking and expecting a certain kind of thing.

And if they don’t see it, they’re not going to interact with it because that’s not why they were there. Get a different page for that. For me y’all know I love horses. If I tried to have a Facebook page for landscape painting, horses, and Southern cooking, I would totally confuse my audience. Does that mean I can’t ever talk about horses or Southern food? No, not at all, but it means that I can’t make my Facebook page say at the top that it’s about landscape painting, horses, and Southern food, because I’m not going to attract anybody to that or a handful and they’re going to be just confused or I’m going to attract the wrong people.

So niche down.

Finally, not being conversational in the text of the social media post you’re writing.

Remember that social media is social. That means people are there to build relationships and the kind of posts that you make on a business profile or page need to be just as conversational as the ones that you post on your personal profile.

It means that you’ve got to think of it as being like a cocktail party where you’re going to invite conversation and you’re going to interact. It’s not going to be yes or no. You’re going to actually follow up on what somebody says. You’re going to ask a leading question. You’re going to engage because if you don’t engage, I promise you they’re not going to engage.

It’s a two-way street. We have to engage and they have to engage. So, look at your call to action. Is there anything in there that invites people to make a response to it? Is there anything in there that’s conversational, that’s more of a question?

I’ll use an example. So, a couple of days ago I made a post because again, I was in a really big hurry and we all get that way sometimes, but know when you do it, and I knew it, I was not going to get as much engagement.

I wrote about the painting. But it was two or three lines and there was nothing in there that asked my audience a question.

There was nothing in there that said, have you ever seen anything like this? Or what are your thoughts around this? Let me know what you think. If you don’t do that, they’re not going to do it. You have to invite the engagement and the reponse. So look back at your own captions. Are they conversation squashers or are they conversations starters?

Because if they’re a squasher, that’s why you’re not getting engagement. You’re not inviting it. Make sure you invite it because when you do That’s when you’re going to find your ideal collectors. That’s when you’re going to begin to build real relationships and people will get excited about becoming your followers excited enough to want to join your email list.

As part of inviting engagement, you’re inviting a response.

Think about the call to action being an invitation. You’re inviting people to let you know what their thoughts are.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever seen something like that? Have you ever been to that place? Have you ever watched something like that?

When was the last time you saw something like that? Make it a conversational call to action. All of those were calls to action.

But they don’t sound like a demand. Somebody go do something.

When you invite people to join your email list, make sure it sounds like an invitation.

Those five things, again really quickly.

  1. Don’t tie the value of a social media page to the wrong numbers.
  2. Followers who aren’t your ideal collectors are holding you back.
  3. Posting at times of day where your ideal collectors are not engaging.
  4. Not having a clear intention of what your social media account is for.
  5. Not initiating a real conversation and including a call to action.

If you do all five of those things, your reach will start going up and your engagement will go up because you’ll be feeding the algorithm.

What you want to do is feed the algorithm, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. When you do that, they’ll reward you. Make sure you are working with the social media platform and not setting yourself up to be at odds with it because that’s not ever going to work.

You don’t have to go buy ads. Ads are great, but all the platforms are looking for good content. Ads will enhance what you’re already doing, but the ads are not the only answer. In fact, I wouldn’t run ads until you get the organic thing figured out because you’re wasting a lot of money.

I hope that’s helpful. And I want you to remember that you can do that. That there are your ideal collectors out there. There are people who are interested in what you’re working on, but it’s just like meeting people in a crowded room who you’ve never seen before. You’ve got to follow the same best steps in order to begin to build that relationship.

We’re all guilty of doing some of these at times, but minimizing them WILL increase your reach, engagement, and followers.

Which ones of these are you going to address first?

Facebook Business Set Up Page

Instagram Guide to Get Started with Business Accounts


The popular Attract Your Ideal Collectors 5 Day Social Media Challenge is back starting September 15th.

Are you in?

Click here to get more info.

Your Color Mixing Guide: The Perfect Warm And Cool Yellows From Indian Yellow

Your Color Mixing Guide: The Perfect Warm And Cool Yellows From Indian Yellow

Indian Yellow Mixing

Indian Yellow Mixing

Have you wondered how to mix a range of warm and cool yellows without using colors with heavy metals in them like cadmium?

In this video I’ll show you how to do exactly that with just Indian Yellow and Titanium White.

Video Transcript:

A number of you have asked questions about what yellow I use since I don’t use cadmiums. My basic double primary palette has two yellows on it, Indian yellow, which is actually Indian yellow hue, and yellow ochre.

Now, the reason I got rid of cadmium yellow is that, like all the other cadmiums, it’s a heavy metal. And I got rid of heavy metals from the studio a long time ago. It makes my studio less toxic, more sustainable, more healthy, and all around more pleasant to be in. 

The reason that I chose Indian yellow hue is that with that one color, I can mix a whole range of intense yellows. All the way from a cool lemon yellow to something that is the equivalent of the warm, rich, darker cadmium yellow hue.

So a little bit about Indian yellow, before we get started. Indian yellow is for the most part an Indian yellow hue. They really do not make the original Indian yellow anymore, although some people claim that they do. Want to know more about the history of Indian yellow? Click here to read an earlier article about the pigment and its origins.

Each company that has their own version of Indian yellow hue has used a little bit different pigment to create it. Now, in Williamsburg and Gamblin, both use the same pigment that diarylide yellow, which is PY 83. Vasari, uses a different pigment, PY 139. PY 139 is one that has a little bit more light fastness. Both are really good quality paints.

I use both. Indian yellow from Williamsburg has been my go-to for a very long time. 

So, let’s dive in and talk about its position on the double primary palette. 

I usually use these two as my warm and cool yellow. Yellow ochre, which is a duller color, takes the place of the cool yellow. It’s great for mixing lots of greens, but with Indian yellow mixed with white, I can mix the whole range of intense yellows. It’s why one tube of paint really takes the place of a whole variety of other tubes. I can mix things all the way from the equivalent of lemon yellow to the equivalent of a cadmium yellow deep. 

So, what we’ve got right here is the Williamsburg Indian yellow down at the bottom. And just so you can compare, I’ve got Vasari, Indian yellow at the top and the yellow ocher over on the right. The white that I’m using to mix is my favorite. My usual Gamblin’s flake white replacement, which is a titanium white.

So we’ve got a fairly simple pallet here that we’re working with and we’re going to mix several different variations of the Indian yellow and the titanium white.

Let’s get started here with something that becomes close to the lemon yellow.

It’s a good idea when you’re mixing to mix the darker color into the lighter color, the darker pigment into the lighter one. It just makes it a whole lot easier to not go too dark, too fast. You can see here where I’m getting something that is fairly close to a yellow lemon.

Yellow is a really light color and on the cooler side, the thing that makes it cool is the addition of that white. So white is in general a cooler color, and it is definitely cooler than the original Indian yellow pigment.

There is our lemon yellow, and let’s get another pile of white. And this time we will add a little bit more of our Indian yellow. We’re going now for a color that is a little bit more warm, a little darker, close to the CAD yellow light. 

And that is pretty much a primary yellow. That’s another one of the reasons I like Indian yellow is you can hit primary yellow. Of all of the colors that we use in the double primary palette, Indian yellow is the only one that comes close to being the actual pure primary color. Now, if we’re going to go for cadmium yellow medium to deep, we’ll add more of the Indian yellow.

Remember again, mixing the dark into the light. So you see, as we get less white in there, it’s warming up and now we have cadmium yellow medium. See how it has tilted a little bit towards that warmer side.

Now, we’re going to go for the darkest one here and see how almost orange it is. So when it has less white in it, that Indian yellow is really a yellow orange. It is not at all limiting to use that as your main yellow.

Because it’s a dye color, a little bit of it really does go a very long way. So I do not have to replace it that often, even when doing a lot of bigger paintings.

I’m going to go for the gusto and go for a really darker one here. Get it towards that orange. Now, I want you to see I’ll take some and put it over here on the side.

Indian yellow looks opaque in its mass tone. When you squeeze it straight out of the tube that’s called the mass tone. When it’s not diluted at all, when you spread it out, you can see how intense and transparent it is.

When you add the white, a little bit of white, what that does is it bounces the light back at you. That’s why when you add a little bit of white to it, it becomes super, super intense.

That’s how I do it. That’s how I mix that full range of yellows using just that one pigment. It’s the combination of Indian yellow and different amounts and proportions of white, that gives you that rich range that you can see right here.

I hope this has been helpful.

Feel free to share it with a friend if it has been.

And let me know in the comments if you love Indian yellow too. 

Want to know more about Indian yellow and the Double Primary Palette? Here are a few links mentioned in the video:

Why You Should Use the Double Primary Palette

Indian Yellow: Liquid Light

Williamburg Oils

Vasari Oils Indian Yellow

Gamblin Oil Colors

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How Do I Sell Art Online

How Do I Sell Art Online

small paintings collection

A small paintings collection

What’s the single most important thing other than your art, if you want to sell art online?

Hint: it’s not your website.

Or your email list…

Or even your social media.

That one thing? It’s an audience of Ideal Collectors.

And in today’s video I’m gonna explain what an Ideal Collector is, and the three reasons they’re so important in selling art online.

The Attract Your Ideal Collector Challenge is BACK!

The FREE week-long training starts Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 12PM Eastern

Get all the details & join in by clicking here!

What’s the single most important thing other than your art, the absolutely most important thing? If you want to sell your art online, hint, it is not your website. 

That tends to be where most people start and they spend a lot of time on things like design, logos, colors, images, layout, all of those cool things… But then they go to launch their site and it’s crickets. Anybody ever had that happen? I have seen that happen over and over again. In fact, the first time I launched my website, maybe even the second time I launched my website, I had that same experience, but here’s the thing… The big issue is that it’s a traffic problem. It’s not about the quality of your artwork. It’s not about the design of the website. It’s that there are not enough eyeballs coming to the website to see your work. 

Your email list isn’t the single most important thing either. As important as your email list is, what people tend to do is produce a monthly newsletter, something that’s outlining their latest accomplishments in a digest format. It ends up being all about the artist. And fews flash, people don’t want to read that. 

Think about what we tend to do with the “newsletters” that you get via your snail mail, the ones that come to your mailbox. They tend to go pretty quickly into the trash. Unless the person who’s writing them has realized they need to write about something other than themselves. That’s a messaging problem.

Another thing that is definitely not the most important thing is social media. That’s everybody’s solution for everything. I’m a big lover of social media. Y’all know that you’ve definitely heard me talk about the importance of using it before, but it’s not the most important thing. 

You can sell art online without using social media. You can sell art online without having an email list or website. The most important thing is not social media. In fact, what most people tend to do is post a lot in volume because they think, “surely if I post more, I’ll get more people who might want to buy my art.” They post without a clear intention of what they want those posts to do or who they are trying to attract. That’s a content problem.

The solution to all three problems is the single most important thing, having an audience. 

Not just any audience, because you can’t sell work to everybody on the internet. If you try to appeal to everyone, you’re going to appeal to no one. The solution is an audience of ideal collectors. 

When you know who your ideal collectors are, then you can get more of the right visitors to your website because they’re going to be your perfect ideal buyers. you can write emails that will delight those visitors so that they are eager to open them. And you can create social media posts that attract them in the first place and move them to your email list. 

See, all of those things that I talked about earlier are important. An email list is important. Social media is important. But, they all are in service to finding, attracting and retaining that audience of ideal collectors. What do I mean by ideal collectors? Your ideal collector is a profile of your perfect fit buyer, your perfect fit collector, the person who is the ideal person for you to work with. It’s the person who’s in alignment with the work that you’re producing. 

Because remember, our market is not everyone. 

I asked a student I had years ago at the college who her target market would be, she said everybody on the internet. And everybody on the internet is not going to be attracted to your work. 

But, I’m here to tell you that there’s a market for your work. Each and every one of you. It’s just that you have to go and find them. You have to identify who your ideal collector is, because you’ve got to know who they are first. Go out and find them and bring them back to where you can share your work with them. 


I’ve cracked the code to a THRIVING art business with my signature program, The Painter’s Path. 

Are traditional galleries not working when it comes to selling your art?
You can leave galleries behind and implement the strategies successful artists are using in today’s online market.
Learn how to build an audience, launch your art, and create lasting impact with The Painter’s Path! 

How to NOT be a Starving Artist & Thrive Instead

How to NOT be a Starving Artist & Thrive Instead

Artists at work

Artists at work

Have you ever heard the phrase “Starving Artist”?

I’ll bet you have.

Myths about what it means to be an artist have been around as long as the whole concept of art.

The moody, erratic, impoverished soul dedicated to painting in spite of a lack of recognition. Throw in a dose of clueless business person and the picture becomes pretty unattractive.

But these stereotypes don’t paint the real picture.

Being an artist doesn’t require that we give up making a sustainable living and starve…

Or make greater art by suffering deeply…

Or wait until after we’re gone to make an impact with our work.

Let’s talk about how to reframe the idea of the Starving Artist into the Thriving Artist down in the video.

Have you ever wondered how thriving artists attract their ideal collectors?

In 2021 you need an online audience of IDEAL COLLECTORS for sharing your art and making sales. Without it, you’re missing the chance to create a thriving studio practice and business independent of the traditional art career gatekeepers.

I show you exactly how to do that in one of my most popular free week long challenges…

Get all the details & join the waitlist by clicking here!

I’ve cracked the code to a THRIVING art business with my signature program, The Painter’s Path. 

Are traditional galleries not working when it comes to selling your art?
You can leave galleries behind and implement the strategies successful artists are using in today’s online market.
Learn how to build an audience, launch your art, and create lasting impact with The Painter’s Path! 

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