Supporting regional artists, crafters and photographers.
And sharing their artwork with you!

New Art Gallery’s simple guide to describing your work – and making that sale!

The More You Tell The More You Sell

Telling people about your work and what inspired it is vital to achieving that sale. It gives buyers reasons to buy and knowledge that they can share with family and friends.

But we know how difficult many artists find this process. So New Art Gallery has put together a few basic steps which our members can follow

when submitting work. There’s no need to overdo it – but remember, the more you tell, the more you sell.

We can’t do this for you, but have a go (and we’re here to help if you get stuck).

And always, always put yourself in the position of the buyer. What’s obvious to you isn’t necessarily clear to them!

1. Tell them what it is

Is it a painting or a print? Is it an abstract or a representational study? What do you feel is the immediate impact of the work? Is it a strong powerful image or is it a more subtle and suggestive work? Does it convey a dynamic or calming impression?

Aim for a strong, descriptive, first sentence or two detailing the style and composition of your piece. Make sure you include keywords and phrases people would be searching for.

This is your first and most important opportunity to capture your potential customer’s attention and interest.

2. Show them what it is

Your customer needs to understand what they are buying. So as well as a straightforward head-on shot, show a three-quarter view (especially if it’s on, say, a box canvas), details of the frame if it’s supplied framed, and an image of the work in context within a room setting if possible.

This last submission is especially important if the work is large. It will become a focal point in your buyer’s interior decoration and they need to understand its impact. Not everyone is good at visualising!

3. Tell them why you made it

If you can give your potential customer an insight into what inspired you to create the piece, then they will be much more likely to buy it. It might be a new way of looking at a familiar subject, or something which recalls a powerful personal memory, or is a visualisation of a song or story.

And don’t forget to say why you like it and why you’re glad you did it.

4. Tell them how you made it

Explain the actual physical process you followed in making the work. This goes further than just saying it’s an oil or watercolour or sculpture or photograph. Did you create it from life? Or from research? Is it made up of lots of thin layers or did you follow a more impasto technique? And explain what that is. If, for example, it’s an oil pastel, explain the challenges and qualities of the medium.

If it’s a print then explain what a woodcut, or etching, or litho print or a silk screen print actually is, and the great efforts that go into these processes. Your customer will be fascinated to know.

5. Tell them how it will be supplied.

Inform your buyer whether the piece comes mounted and/or framed, and if it’s ready to hang. If it’s a three-dimensional work, suggest how it might best be displayed and whether it comes with a suitable plinth, for example.

And reassure them that the work will be carefully and securely packaged and delivered with the time frame involved.


And remember always to put yourself in the buyer’s position. A detailed, precise and decently enthusiastic description will bring your work to life and increase substantially your chances of making a sale!




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