Providing the Best Online Viewing Experience for Your Artwork
helloart not only helps artists exhibit and sell their artwork at local businesses, but also provides artists with a platform to present, promote, and sell their artwork online. Displaying your artwork online allows for your art to reach a world-wide audience, unrestricted by geographical location. Presentation of your artwork online is therefore incredibly important, as many art buyers don’t have the chance see the artwork in person. Keeping this in mind, here are a few techniques to master to help your artwork looks its absolute best and most compelling, thus improving the chances of your artwork selling online:
1- Providing professional images of your art
After spending hours, days, or even months perfecting their artwork, artists often neglect a critical part of the process: photographing their remarkable work. Here are some tips on how to create professional images of your artwork:
Artists don’t need to hire professional photographers, or even to be equipped with professional camera’s themselves to take a presentable photo. When taking photos of your artwork, it’s important to make sure everything is in focus, the lighting is even, and there are no reflections or glare interfering with the viewing experience. Hang your artwork on a neutral-coloured wall, making sure that the entire top edge is flush against the wall, and place your camera on a sturdy surface, making sure vertical and horizontal lines are straight. If you don’t have a tripod on hand, a table, stool, and/or stack of books can work great at stabilizing your camera. This will act as your primary image and should always be the artwork itself with no background or borders.
-Lighting your work properly
When taking your photo indoors, try to do it where there is enough natural light so that you accurately reproduce original colours. You want images of your artwork to represent its true colours - as if seeing it in person. Avoid dimly lit areas, shadows, flashes, and reflections. When using a digital camera, it is best to use the lowest ISO settings, which will help you capture great photos in low-light environments. ISO measures your cameras sensitivity to light, so setting a low ISO will help produce a smoother photo, whereas a higher ISO decreases quality and increases the graininess of a photo.
-Dealing with reflective glass
When photographing artwork that is framed with glass, it’s important to avoid reflections and glare which ends up distracting the viewer and distorting your artwork. If you are unable to take your artwork out of the glass, you may need to test various positions of your camera and light source. Start by turning the flash off on your camera, and make sure there are no shadows cast on the artwork. Work at angling the camera and light source to reduce reflection and glare. Ideally, lighting should be placed either above or below your artwork at a 45-degree angle (fluorescent lights can also be used in replace of natural sunlight).
-Providing additional images
Viewing artwork online can be a wonderful experience, sometimes even better than in-person, by showing the viewer several images. Rather than just presenting a straight-on shot, taking the viewer through a guided tour of your artwork provides a more genuine experience. If you’re unsure of what to include, try taking photos of the artwork on an angle, providing a different perspective, as well as photos of the frame, back, sides, corners, edges, hooks, signature, closeups of the texture and intricate details, and other unique elements of the composition that you want to highlight. Take this opportunity to show your unique style by zooming in on the surface texture, brush strokes, and color gradients in your artwork. Taking close-up shots of your artwork is an opportunity for you to direct the viewer to something specific. Many people who are viewing your artwork may not have enough experience in viewing art to know what to look for – this is your chance to offer insight into varying aspects that are often overlooked by viewers!
-Providing in-situ images
In-situ images provide the best realistic example of how your artwork will look when hung, whether this be at a helloart host, or a buyer’s home. In-situ images also provide you with the opportunity to display your artwork in its ideal environment, such as in a home, an office, or coffee shop. It can often be difficult to imagine the size of an artwork when viewing it online – this is where in situ images solve this common problem. It’s also a great way to help viewers visualize the size proportions of your artwork in comparison to other objects in the image, such as a couch or chair. One way to create in situ images is to stage your artwork in an attractive interior space or take a photo of your artwork where it is already hanging. There are also many photo-editing programs to create an image, where you simply drop a photo of your artwork in a stock photo which is already staged in a room. However, it’s important to note that you are retaining the proper scale of your artwork when creating in situ images.
2- Describing your artwork
helloart encourages artists to describe their artwork in detail when uploading images to their online profile. Begin by adding the title of your artwork; leaving your artwork untitled limits your exposure online, whereas titling your artwork creates an identity for that work, increases its searchability, and helps buyers understand and remember that specific piece. Next, make sure to include the exact dimensions and price – these are the essentials, and the medium field should always be descriptive and complete (e.g. Acrylic on canvas). When writing a description about your artwork, think about what inspired you to create this piece – was it a friend, a family member, a breathtaking landscape, a memory, or unique experience that sparked your vision? What was the process behind your decisions? Providing context for your viewers enhances the viewing experience and illuminates your work. Buyers love hearing stories behind artwork - using simple, clear, and concise language allows for a wider audience to understand the meaning behind your work. Use this as an opportunity to connect with your viewers!
Read our blog 'Determining Artwork Value: Don’t Undersell yourself!' to learn about how to price your artwork.
3- Providing tags
helloart artists are required to add tags to the artwork they list on their artist profiles. It is a critical component that allows buyers or others viewing your artwork to narrow down their search to specific subjects, materials, and categories. When adding artwork to your helloart profile, you will have the option to include tags for your artwork, including the category, material(s), subject(s), and feature(s). For example, if you are listing an abstract oil painting on canvas, you will select the category ‘Painting’, the materials ‘Oil’ and ‘Canvas’, and the subject will then be ‘Abstract’. You will also have the option to specify the feature, such as whether it is framed, a set, diptych, or triptych.