Art Education

Everyone Loves to learn about art, here are some tips and pointers for all artists and anyone else interested in art education. (I did not write these. They are taken from various articles on the web)


Do you know how to protect yourself? Get the scoop on the latest Internet art scams and learn how to avoid becoming a victim...
Unfortunately, con artists are becoming more sophisticated and fraudulent activities are on the rise. Local police departments and federal agencies such as the FBI are overburdened with mounting cases of identity theft and fraud. Banks and shipping companies are also aware of these scams, but seldom intervene on your behalf. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to learn how to protect yourself from these threats. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim, you can take some steps to minimize your risk.
Ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a scam:

  1. Be skeptical...
    Artists are increasingly being targeted in Internet scams. After all, what artist hasn't dreamed of being "discovered" and selling several works of art to an admiring collector or a wealthy buyer? A few tell-tale signs to look for in any email you receive from a prospective buyer: misspelled words, poor grammar, and an urgent overseas buyer (particularly one from Nigeria). They also typically want to make the shipping arrangements themselves or have someone pick the work up for them, rather than have you ship it to them.
    Examples of email scams aimed at artists »
    More info about art-related email scams, including known scammer names & email addresses »
  2. Never ship your artwork to someone without making sure the payment has cleared.
    Be aware that even though your bank may give you cash for cashier's checks and postal money orders, they can still be counterfeit. Cashier's checks and postal money orders can take up to a month to fully clear. If the payment turns out to be fraudulent, you could be held responsible for the entire amount withdrawn from your bank.
  3. Beware if you have been overpaid for an item you are selling by cashier's check or postal money order and have been instructed to return the overpayment amount to the buyer or other party.
    Never agree to return an overpayment. See explanation #2 above.
  4. Don't deal with persons who insist it is "urgent" or those who claim that they need the item in a hurry (perhaps for a gift).
    Con artists will try to pressure you so you don't have time to ensure the funds have cleared. Honest buyers should understand that you need to wait until their check has had time to clear.
  5. Perform due diligence if a gallery wants to exhibit your work, or a company wants to license your art.
    Check with the local better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce as well as your Attorney General's office to find out if they are a legitimate business and to learn if there have been any complaints lodged against them. Insist on a contract with all of the terms in writing, signed and dated by both parties. Carefully scrutinize the document and read all terms of the agreement before signing. Don't sign anything you are uncomfortable with or anything you do not fully understand. Remember too that contract terms are often negotiable.
    More advice for artists »
  6. Beware of vanity galleries and publishers who charge artists to have their work included in a publication.
    Vanity galleries charge exhibition fees for artists to exhibit their work, rather than commissions on sales. The fees can be very high and the galleries do not have an incentive to effectively promote your work since they make their money from exhibition fees, rather than sales of your art. The same is true for vanity publications - publishers who charge artists to have their work published.
    More advice for artists »
  7. Beware of phony emails disguised as legitimate businesses.
    Criminals attempt to get you to provide personal and confidential information, such as online IDs and passwords, or Social Security numbers and account numbers by posing as your bank, an online payment service such as PayPal (read PayPal's Phishing Guide here), a Credit Card company, or just about any company with which you might do business. These emails, referred to as "phishing", often use text, images, or logos from the legitimate site to fool you. Typically, they make claims that your account has been compromised, needs to be updated, or is soon to become inactivate. Do not reply or click on any links provided in such emails. If you believe you may actually need to update your credit card information, etc., open a web browser and type in the company's website address yourself. Log in to your account and proceed from there. The FTC recommends that you forward spam that is phishing for information to and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. NOTE: Many companies now post consumer fraud alerts on their websites and often provide an email address for reporting fraudulent or suspicious emails that use their company name. Also, the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (version 7) includes a new Phishing Filter that alerts you when a website appears to be fraudulent.
    Examples of fraudulent PayPal emails »
  8. Beware of emails from a Nigerian or other foreign government official requesting assistance in the transfer of excess funds from a foreign country into your bank account.
    Again, these scam artists attempt to steal your money. The persons perpetrating these scams are considered extremely dangerous.
  9. Safeguard your online transactions to help prevent identity theft or unauthorized credit card charges. Purchase only from a trusted retailer or use an online payment service, such as PayPal, which allows you to shop without sharing financial information. Website pages which request financial information, such as credit card numbers, should always have a website address that begins with "https". The "s" lets you know that your personal information is encrypted when it is sent, preventing unauthorized people from seeing the information that is sent across the Internet. Also, a padlock symbol is displayed by some web browsers (usually in the status bar in the bottom right hand corner) to indicate you are viewing a secure web page. Never send personal or financial information, including credit card numbers, in an email. Emails are not transmitted securely across the Internet.
    5 Actions to help protect yourself from identity theft »
  10. Protect your computer from viruses, spyware, adware, worms, trojans, or other malware.
    Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software programs (offered by companies such as McAfee or Symantec), and keep them up to date. Also, use a firewall to shield access to your computer. Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them (It is easy for someone to fake their true identity). Never open email attachments with a .exe, .pif, or .vbs filename extension or a double extension, like "heythere.doc.pif". Finally, use pop-up blockers to avoid pop-up advertisements which can harbor dangerous spyware or adware.
  11. Don't open spam. Delete it unread.
    Spam can be used to access computers without authorization and transmit viruses. Never respond to spam as this will confirm to the sender that it is a "live" email address. Have a primary and secondary email address - one for people you know and one for all other purposes. Avoid giving out your email address unless you know how it will be used. Never purchase anything advertised through an unsolicited email.
  12. Don't forward hoax emails.
    Check to see if an email you receive is really just a hoax:'s Hoax Encyclopedia »
  13. If you suspect fraud or are a victim of fraud, take action.
    Contact your State Attorney General's Office of Consumer Affairs if you are uncertain or suspicious of a telephone, mail or email solicitation. If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, you can access the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at or contact the Federal Trade Commission through their web site at Forward spam that is phishing for information to and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You may catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit bureaus. See for details on ordering a free annual credit report. You can learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam at
  14. Stay informed by keeping abreast of consumer fraud trends.
    Several artists have already fallen victim to the scams described above, and it is our sincere hope that the advice provided here will prevent this from happening to other artists. There are also other website resources that provide excellent sources of information.

Get the word out to other artists »

This Information is provided by


which types of paints, canvases, and art materials should I use? 

Here are some tips for you!

Art supplies are necessary to paint, draw, and express your artistic mind.  Yes, supplies do make a diference.  Take Golf For instance, without using high quality golf clubs and balls, your score will most likely be average and not improve.  In art, using high quality paints can make a significant difference. Although, every artist has there own self preference.  I have some tips and specific supplies I use to help you improve your art and its quality!

Paints: I normally paint using acrylics and watercolor.  For acrylics, I recommend using brands such as Galeria, liquitext, and Golden. I like Liquitex's Heavy Body Professional Artist Colors for the paint's consistency (quite buttery and 'sticky', so great for using with a knife) and because they come in 'plastic' tubes which are incredibly robust. (To be technically accurate, Liquitex comes in Glaminate, tubes made from laminated layers of plastic, metal, and paper.) Galeria is not that expensive and is very great for using knife painting techniques.  I use galeria simply for it's thick texture.   Golden is an American company created specifically to produce top-quality acrylic paints for artists. I love the range of vibrant colors, which includes an extremely useful set of neutral grays. The paint consistency is like smooth, soft butter, and it thins down for glazes easily, and dries rapidly. For serious impasto, you'll most likely want to add some medium (Golden produces a range of options, including gels and molding pastes

Watercolor Paints: I love watercolor and use it quite often when working with pop art and sea scapes.  What brand do I use?  Daniel Smith Tubes and M.Graham.  Lets talk M. Graham. These watercolor paints are extremely pigmented, so the colors are intense, bright, and saturated. The colors have a high tinting strength, so a little goes a long way. In addition to the more usual gum arabic and glycerine, M.Graham also uses honey in the manufacture of its watercolors. This helps prevent the color drying up in the tube (because honey absorbs moisture from the atmosphere) and helps the paint dilute easily. It also makes the paints thin down very smoothly.
 Daniel Smith Tubes:These are top quality watercolor paints with very pure pigments and an astounding range of more than 200 colors (see Daniel Smith color and pigment chart). Many of these are single pigment colors, so ideal for color mixing. Among the descriptions their website you'll find some interesting colors and special effect watercolors (for instance iridescent colors).  

Paint Brush Shapes:

Rounds - Good for touching in or for more detailed work. Especially useful with slightly thinner acrylic paints.

Long Flat - Holds plenty of paint and good for applying thick (impasto) layers. Produces longish, straight brush strokes, so excellent for painting doors and windows or anything that has a straight edge to it.

Short Flat or Bright - As above but when required for shorter strokes. Good when you want to leave a multitude of well-defined brush strokes on the paint surface. Both the short and long flat acrylic paint brushes, when dampened with paint, come to a lovely chisel edge, ideal for thin straight lines.

Filbert - Flat profile but with a slightly rounded point. Makes tapered strokes and has the ability to soften the edges of a brush stroke.

Fan Brush - Flat profile spread as a fan. Ideal for blending cloudy skies or any area where you want a smooth transition between colors. Also very useful for creating leaf clusters on pine and fir trees or textures such as fur.

Remember though, because acrylic paint dries so quickly, blending is not easy, even with the fan brush. See the article on paint mediums about acrylic gel retarder.

Whenever I use a fan brush for acrylics, I stick to the bristle variety. I find it holds its fan profile better with paint on it, whereas thinner nylon filaments tend to stick together in 4 or 5 bunches, rather like fingers.

Rigger - Although not strictly an acrylic brush, I've included it here as it performs the same function as in watercolor, i.e. very fine lines such as ship's rigging (hence its name). It's best to use thinned acrylic paint to achieve such effects.

Charcoal and Pencil:  Derwent Cumberland have replaced nitro-cellulose solvent paint finishing with a UV cured coating, reducing energy consumption in the process. They also use leftover timber end cuts for some pencil manufacture. Their Graphic range come in Technical (hard, 9-H to B), Graphic (Medium, 4H to 6B), good for general and realist drawing, and Soft Sketch (H to 9B), sutable for general and expressive drawing. If you use a limited selection of pencils, choose your favorites from loose stock (which also reduces packaging). Conte Compressed Charcoals
Conte offers some of the best compressed charcoals available. There are many different shades and different a softness to choose from, all of which are guaranteed to produce a beautiful products. Artists who specialize in figure drawing especially love these charcoals. These charcoals are known for being very consistent and very easy to work with. Unfortunately, these cannot be bought individually. Only sets of 12 are available for purchase, each set being made up of pencils of a different softness from HB to 4B. Each box costs $21.25  Compressed charcoals are hard and not as soft as willow sticks.  I prefer the compressed charcoals.  I use biggie sketch paper from Michaels.  One thing is to not use acid based paper.  One of the biggest mistakes is using computer paper to draw and sketch on.  This paper contains acid which will turn the paper yellow in the long run. 


How should I price it?

One of the first big problems an artist will face, is pricing their artwork.  Most artists do art out of passion and interest.  Usually the artist will sell artwork to help create a career and market their art.  But how do you price it?  Usually the artist will inspect other artists prices to get a close idea.  Although, when an artist starts out, the artist will not be able to sell their art for hundreds or thousands like professional artists.  When I first started selling art I think my first few sales were nearly around $30- $100.  Keep in mind I was 10 years old when I had made my first sale.  Usually for comission jobs the artist will have a low price when they first start out.  As the artist becomes well known and sells more art, the prices of their art and comissions will also increase.  For comission jobs, tips sush as providing the buyer with free protective spray on their art or giving them a discount on material cost will help you sell more art.  Pricing comission can be confusing.  Usually the artist will charge a comission cost and the price will add up with additional costs such as materials, tax, framing, finishes, matting, and shipping.  You as the artist must infrom the buyer of these costs up front.  The best way to ensure saftey of your time and quality is to have each commission job pay a cost of 1/3 of the final price up front.  Also, ahve each buyer sign and read a contract that you ahve personally typed up.  Remember, be professional when pricing artwork and always give discounts and feel free to barter if you are an ammature artist.


  • Consider a degree in fine arts, art history or art administration if you are interested in becoming an art dealer. While there are no minimum education requirements to be considered an art dealer, education in the arts is highly desirable. The art world is an extremely complex field. Knowing about the subject is imperative.

  • Step 2

    Understand how the art market functions. Stay current on the value, prices and market fluctuations of the artwork you are interested in obtaining or selling. A good art dealer controls the market. By increasing the demand for what you are showing, you increase your profit.

  • Step 3

    Know why people buy art. People generally do not buy art because they fall in love with it and must own it. People buy art because they believe in its value and worth. Many people buy art as an investment. Part of an art dealer's job is like that of an investment banker. You need to know when to advise your patrons to buy and when not to buy artwork.

  • Step 4

    Develop a contact list that includes artists and patrons alike. Reputation is very important in the art world. Developing a loyal base of clients and artists is beneficial for sales and also for referrals regarding both artists and other buyers.

  • Step 5

    Visit unknown artists and discover new talent. Visit the galleries of established artists. Find artists to exhibit as the main function of selling art

  • Read more: How to Sell Art at an Art Gallery |


    I have a studio at home and it was not very difficult to do.  First step is to choose a location or empty room in the house.  I prefer to use a big room and usually the best rooms are non carpet rooms.  A garage is often a great place as well, or even a basement.  The only issue with basements include the follwoing: water damage, mold/mildew, and musty smells.  The other and more costly option is to add on to your house.  Once you ahve figured out the room and location, you will need to set up a floor plan.  Where you will hand your work on the walls and where you will set up your desks and work space.  For my studio I have 3 art tables that I work at, one where I will work using my pencila nd charcoal and one where I will work using paints.  There are many supplies you can make and buy.  You can buy or make art tables using stores or sites such as DIY.  For storing paints and materials, you can buy table and wall paint holders that will enable you to organize all of your paint.  You can also include table fans and table lights.  I ahve 6 fans in my studio.  Next step is to begin painting and drawing once you have finished building tables/desks and organizing your studio.  After finishing and framing art, hang them up around the walls to save space and show off your artworkto your friends. 


    7 tips for selling art online from

    Signing up with a bigger, well-known art website to help sell your art online is usually pretty easy and sometimes even free. But after a few months with no sales many of you will begin to ask one very important question:

    “How can I get buyers to find my art online?”

    You see, unlike the sign-up process, the whole art selling thing is definitely NOT a piece of cake. So instead of just waiting and hoping art collectors will find you, here are seven ways that you can start directing potential buyers to your artwork right now.

    1. Write better artwork descriptions.

    The best websites for selling your art will allow and even encourage you to write full descriptions for each artwork you upload, as well as a bio and artist statement.

    Not only should these paragraphs be easy to read and free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes, but they should also be optimized for search engines like Google and Yahoo.

    “Optimizing for search” just means using the same keywords in your descriptions and titles that art buyers use when searching for artwork online.

    Sounds easy, right? Well it is, sort of.

    If you’re interested, I’ve written several more in-depth articles about search engine optimization in EmptyEasel’s SEO for Artists section. But for now, here’s a quick example of how to optimize your artwork for search engines:

    (You’ll see that I’ve made the art-related keywords bold. None of the other words really help when it comes to searches.)

    Untitled Fragments is the seventh painting in my series of geometric abstract artworks. I used bold colors and powerful brush strokes, as I do in all my paintings, in order to create a lasting visual impression. Art buyers (and art lovers) will see symbolic references to prominent 20th century abstract painters like Piet Mondrian and Georges Braque as I offer homage to their artistic vision through my own art. This artwork is still for sale, so if you’d like to purchase the painting just click on the buy artwork button below.”

    With a little effort you can make your descriptions chock full of words that art buyers might be searching for. In this case, they’re not just about abstract paintings but also about buying art, similar artists, and so on.

    2. Be more social.

    Depending on the art website you signed up with, your use of keywords in descriptions may help a lot or not at all. One thing that’s almost sure to bring in traffic, however, is social networking. Here are some of the best ways to network and sell your art.

    Flickr - What can I say? There’s a lot of people browsing Flickr every day, and it has a great search function built right in. Sign up for a free account, put up some of your best artwork (properly tagged, of course) and place links to the website where your art is actually for sale. If you use Imagekind, I’d like to know how the whole Imagekind / Flickr partnership works out for you.

    Myspace - It’s not just for kids anymore. You’ll have the ability to send out public bulletins to promote your artwork, customize your page, make or join art groups, and add many, many friends who will hopefully become fans of your art (and maybe even buyers). Yes, MySpace is kind of. . . scummy. . . sometimes, but it’s still growing strong and it would be foolish to not use it.

    Facebook - Since you can now join Facebook based on location, I definitely see it becoming a great social networking site for local artists. Like MySpace you can create groups and add contacts, but you can also create events (art shows, perhaps?) and issue invitations with RSVP ability built in.

    Plus, if you’d like to advertise your art to a very specific group of people, Facebook now let’s you do that. Check out this article on advertising your art with Facebook for more information.

    YouTube - This might be a little tech-heavy for some artists, but just like Myspace it’s too big to ignore. If you have to, find a friend who posts videos regularly and enlist their help. Make a quick art demonstration or an artwork-in-progress video, and upload it to your own “channel.” Then just find a way to link directly from that page to your artwork.

    Dani over at makes good use of YouTube. Take a look at her channel and then give it a shot yourself.

    Forums - Any forum is great for networking, not just art forums. And while you’re there, always put a link to your artwork in the signature line of your posts. You might even consider joining some forums that have the same interests as you. Do you paint flowers? Join a botany forum. Horses? Find an equestrian group. If you plan on spamming people though, prepare to be banned. Only join forums that you’d enjoy whether you sold any art or not.

    The thing to realize with social networking sites is that you have to be willing to spend time talking, commenting, and getting involved. If you can do that, you’ll start to see some results. If you have fun in the meantime, that’s even better.

    3. Start an art blog.

    There are so many blogging options these days it’s almost too easy. I’d suggest if you don’t want to get your hands messy with all the hosting and other stuff. It’s free, and it only takes a few seconds to get started.

    Andrew Gibson is one good example of an artist using a blog to drive traffic to his online gallery, and here are 8 more reasons why you should start an art blog too.

    (By the way, if you want a more integrated solution, my own company offers a combined portfolio, blog AND PayPal all on your own domain.)

    4. Create an email newsletter for art lovers.

    Let people know they can get an email update whenever you finish another piece, and work on building long-term relationships with them through that periodic contact. If you’re already posting artwork on a blog it’s pretty easy to send emails automatically.

    All it takes is putting the subscription box in a prominent place and making sure people feel comfortable. Over time you can build up a large group of repeat buyers.

    I use Feedburner to send out an email every Sunday with information on upcoming articles. Check out my sign-up page to see how simple it is for people to subscribe.

    5. Advertise your art website (in print).

    When you’re printing business cards, postcards, flyers, or anything else, include the main website address where people can find and buy your art.

    Don’t be shy about promoting your website offline at all—in fact, it’s probably the surest way you can target your artwork to people that you know would want to buy your art.

    6. Team up with other artists.

    Find a few other artists and join forces. You could create a group blog or just commit to linking back and forth; either way everybody benefits.

    The Daily Painters are a group of artists who did just that, and they seem to be doing all right. If you’re concerned about losing traffic to your partners, don’t be. The way the internet works, you can often multiply traffic with each new member, not just add a bit.

    7. Stick to it for at least 6 months.

    This whole process isn’t necessarily easy, but it will work over time. Don’t get disappointed in a week or a month when nothing seems to have changed. After six months, take a look back.

    If you make up your mind to do even half of what I’ve suggested in this article, after six months you should definitely be seeing some improvements.


    Shipping Your Art To The Customer: 

    This article is from: (

    I found packaging artwork one of the most challenging aspects of selling art - particularly when it's going overseas - and worked hard to find out more about the best ways to do it! I also know I'm far from alone in finding post and packaging to be "a big black hole" in my knowledge base when starting out.

    However, presentation and safe delivery really matter in getting work to where it needs to go in good condition - and achieving repeat custom.

    Making a Mark: Packaging and posting artwork
    Some guidelines on packaging and posting
    Post Office - advice on wrapping and packing
    Wrapping and packing - Make sure your items are packed safely and securely
    Some general tips for safe and secure packaging
    Post Office - mail advice
    Advice from the Post Office about packing and mailing

    HOW TO: Ship giclee prints / drawings / works on paper 

    I've personally received these from some of the best - and it's very interesting to see how others package their work! ;)

    Some ship flat and some ship rolled. On the whole it seems to be the size and shape and whether or not they are matted which seems to determine whether they are flat or rolled. Larger/odd shapes seem to come rolled and without mats. All prints seem to come without mats.

    If shipping flat then my practice is as follows:
    • wrap a sheet of glassine around a drawing and tape glassine together so it does not move
    • use a robust but lightweight form of support to avoid bending and/or postman who can't or won't read 'Do not bend' stickers (they don't and never assume they do - you MUST pack on the basis that they won't). I tend to use two lightweight sheets of foamcore either side taped together. Sheets of corrugated card can also work well.
    • If you are sending a small consignment of drawings for framing (for an exhibition) then the boxes that Amazon books come in work extremely well!
    • slip the package inside a plastic bag (helps to make it waterproof)
    • you should now have a rigid waterproof pack - now choose a suitable envelope. My preference is for padded with bubble wrap lining or a waterproof envelope for larger works and the manilla with board envelopes for smaller ones.
    • make sure you fill/seal the envelope so that the inner package cannot move around. Movement is what damages corners and leads to packages coming apart!

    HOW TO: Ship framed and/or glazed works 

    Personally I think it's a huge and expensive mistake to ship framed works. Only frame shops make money from frames. Plus the shipping becomes very complex and you're probably shipping a frame which they want to change anyway!


    One of my framers says most of his business comes from people who are having frames replaced!

    Plus the money customers save on having the frame shipped could be spent on a nicer frame at their end - do you need any more reasons?

    Never ever assume that people packing your work to send it back again will take the same care as you do. Take away the anxiety by providing them with the materials which make it easy for them to do a good job.

    If you must ship framed/glazed works...........
    • keep all the strong boxes sent to you which used to house art materials and other stuff. You will need them if you are going to construct your own box.
    • Airfloat Strongbox is used by a lot of people in the USA. I think it's often a preferred solution by many who ship work to exhibitions/competitions when they know it may well need to come back again - but be packed by somebody else. It has the advantage of being capable of reuse. Opinions differ as to whether or not they consider them expensive - and I guess this probably relates to your perspective on how many times each one gets used.
    • Airfloat Glass Skin - if you must ship glazed work then you must also to take extra precautions. I've witnessed the unpacking of a work where the box had been wrecked. The frame had some mild damage but the real damage came from the glazing having broken and the glass then rattled around next to the surface of the picture - and damaged it. It's preferable to use perspex - and many competitive exhibitions refuse to accept works glazed in glass.
    • Air cushions - you may have received goods sent with air cushions but my check round indicates that these are only going to be available to those companies handling lots of packages who can invest in the machinery and supplies. Looks nice - but there are alternatives.
    • edge guards and corner protectors are very useful for frames which must be stored stacked prior to an exhibition. However not all galleries will allow you to keep them on - they take up space!
    • my framer always wraps the frames of my works for competition submission in cling film - using one of these

    HOW TO: label a package 

    • Check the address you are sending to - and check again after you've created the label
    • Remove all old labels from the external shipping package (or make sure they are completely deleted)
    • Place the label in a prominent position. Do not place it over a seam or at the place where you close the package
    • Place an additional label on the inside of the package - just in case the external package gets damaged or the label becomes detached.
    • To be extra safe, create a second label and put it on the other side of the package.
    • Make sure that a return address label is created and inserted inside the package in case the item needs to be returned.
    • If you are shipping internationally, make sure the 'To' and 'From' addresses are clearly marked but make 'To' is much more prominent.

    HOW TO: Create a package for artwork 

    • Wrap all pictures individually. Glassine is a good choice for all pastels and pencils works
    • Make sure all artwork is cushioned in some way to protect it - and also to make sure it can't move within the package( use bubble wrap, cardboard, polystyrene packaging etc)
    • Make sure artwork is contained within a waterproof sealed envelope. Mail in many areas leave parcels to be picked up in areas which are exposed to the elements - and your package may become vulnerable to rain or snow.
    • Make sure you fill any voids or open spaces before sealing the package to avoid any exceissive movement in transit(eg If an envelope is too big, try folding it over and taping it down)
    • Use strong, wide packaging tape to seal the shipment and any vulnerable edges (envelopes and paper packages often come apart at the edge if they contain a weighty item which is moving around)
    • Brown paper and string is NOT recommended. Use modern packaging materials

    HOW TO: Protect and cushion artworks 

    Many shipping firms recommend that, in order to protect artwork and prevent damage to other shipments you should leave at least two inches of cushioning
    - between fragile materials and
    - between materials and the outside of the box.

    Options for cushioning fragile/valuable items include:
    • Crumpled Paper - this is suitable for items which are light and not fragile.
    • Bubble Pack - this is frequently used to to protect lightweight fragile and/or valuable items from damage. It can also be reused if removed carefully.
    • Foam Core and still cardboard liners are useful for protecting flat artworks such as matted drawings
    • Polystyrene forms: Polystyrene can be used to create different small forms which can then be used to fill voids simply and easily. Beware - this is a one-way only option. They far too annoying to remove and reuse easily!
    • Foam and Corrugated Liners: Protect heavier works with liners that have some resilience and depth.

    Protective Packaging - what I use 

    Remember to recycle!

    Protective packing I use includes:

    * bubble wrap - good for cushioning. Bubble wrap can be recycled if you are careful when unpacking - although almost always in smaller pieces.
    * board backed manilla envelopes - useful for smaller pieces. Less good for larger sizes
    * polythene envelopes - good for keeping work dry - but needs internal stiffening of some sort
    * bubble envelopes - useful and provides some cushioning but also needs a stiffener
    * poster tubes - are sold for larger/odd shaped works which are sent rolled
    * foam core in various sizes and thicknesses is light and robust - use for backing sheets or to provide a sandwich inside which the work(s) go. If taking a a sandwich approach then tape the foam core sheets together.
    * sheets of corrugated cardboard. This comes in different thicknesses. I prefer foam core as I'm always worried about what would happen if the cardboard got wet.
    * small self-assembly mailing boxes - these come in varying sizes and are best for 3D works or small consignments. Pack to fill and make sure works do not move.
    * book boxesIf you buy books on the internet, some of them come in very robust packaging - which can then be recycled

    Types of packaging - inside the external packaging 

    Art Supplies from Daniel Smith - clear art bags
    Archival clear art bags
    Clear Plastic Boxes Acid Free Boxes for Gifts, Photos
    Crystal clear pvc plastic boxes are acid free and perfect for cards, envelopes, gifts or photo storage. Other styles are hanging, pillow, and cube. Stores flat, easy to fold.
    Crystal Clear Plastic Bags, Reclosable Poly Bags, Photo Sleeves, Hanging Bags
    Crystal clear poly bags for merchandise such as jewelry or protecting cards, photos. Poly envelopes and acid free zip lock plastic bags are reclosable and come in several sizes and styles for optionally hanging.

    External packaging 

    Foam Core Board
    Foam Core Board It has a white, rigid polystyrene foam centre, with smooth white paper laminated onto both faces. This board is very light, very stiff and very flat.
    Royal Mail - shop
    Bubble envelopes - protective packaging for valuable and delicate articles
    Royal mail - shop
    Polythene envelopes - the lightweight waterproof alternative to paper envelopes
    Royal Mail
    White and Manilla Envelopes in various sizes
    Art Packaging Shipping Crating Air Float Systems Boxes
    Strongbox® : Airfloat Systems Online Shop
    Airfloat Systems Online Shop : Strongbox®

    Plywood strength without the weight.

    Ship your important pieces in a Strongbox by Airfloat,the protective solution to shipping framed art. Your art is safely encased in three layers of protection - two layers of convoluted foam and one layer of Perf-Pack foam. Customize the Perf-Pack layer to your specifications in a matter of minutes. Simply remove perforated squares to form an opening that precisely encases your treasure. These multiple layers work together to provide superior shock absorption, guarding your art from bumps and scrapes during shipping.

    Strongbox is available with Puncture Guard liners, providing the strength of plywood without the weight.
    Printpad : Airfloat Systems Online Shop
    Airfloat Systems Online Shop : Printpad
    Eliminate the worry of damaged prints with protective PrintPads from Airfloat. An Airfloat PrintPad is a container within a container, which means your print is nestled inside multiple layers of protection. PrintPads come in the following sizes: 17" x 22", 24" x 34" and 32" x 45". And you can customize your package further with adjustable corner triangles that create a snug fit for your shipment.

    Reusable PrintPads feature optional Puncture Guard liners that add even more protection for your art.

    HOW TO: Ship your work to art exhibitions 

    Q: What's a "Handling Fee" and what does this fee cover?

    A: Handling fees are standard and charged by many major exhibits in the country. Th reality is that most galleries simply do not have the storage space nor the staff to handle lots of artwork before or after an exhibition.

    Fees tend to directly to the cartage company which unpacks the artwork, stores the box, delivers the painting to the gallery, retrieves them from the gallery, and repacks them for shipping back to the artists.

    Some exhibitions require artists to pay this fee. This is sometimes paid direct to the cartage company.

    Note that not all cartage companies offer an unpacking and packing service.

    Q. Do exhibition organisers provide information about shipping my artwork?

    A: They should do. Well organised exhibition hosts will post detailed information and instructions about shipping your artwork after the selected artists have been notified. This may come with the selection notice and is often also repeated on the relevant website. Make sure you read ALL the small print at least twice!

    Q. Which shipping company is the best one to use for shipping fine art?

    A: Selecting a courier/shipper is an important decision. Research the terms, conditions and tariffs - and read the small print. Ask your fellow artists what shipping company they use and which they recommend and which ones they've had bad experiences with.

    There is no one right decision - it depends on where you're located, where the exhibition is located and the precise requirements for drop-off and pick-up.

    Q. When should I send my artwork for the exhibition?

    A: Exhibition organisers generally give you
    - either a precise date
    - or a "window" of acceptable shipping and receiving dates.

    It depends on the gallery and receiving arrangements. Be sure to research shipping methods early, so you will be prepared if the shipping window is a short one and/or a precise date for receipt.

    Q. On average, what does it cost to ship my artwork to an exhibition?

    A: It is impossible to determine the average because shipping costs are based on the size of the box, its weight and the shipping distance. Insuring your work - during transit and while at an exhibition - will also add to your costs.

    Make sure you do some advance research before you are notified that your work has been accepted. You may incur additional costs if you have a professional mailing service pack and ship your piece.

    Q. What type of container will best protect my artwork during shipping?

    A: A number of national art societies and exhibitions in the USA recommend using an Airfloat reusable shipping box (see links to website on this page). These boxes are made especially for the transportation of fine art.

    Taping all the edges with extra clear or beige shipping tape will help your box last longer and protect it during shipping.

    Q. What is the most common damage done to artwork when it is being shipped?

    A: The most common problem happens when the artwork has not been secured properly to the mat prior to framing. During shipping, the artwork shifts and the painting may drop behind the mat.

    Remind your framer to use strong hinges to secure your work and, if necessary, put a piece of masking tape at the bottom of your piece to prevent it from falling down behind the mat.

    Other problems can occur when frames have not been assembled properly or secured tightly in the corners. This can mean that the Plexiglas or glass becomes loosen and may smash and damage your artwork.

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