Rebecca Tolk

is a fine art photographer, fiber artist and fashion designer living and working in Houston, Texas. As a Washington, DC native she has traveled extensively throughout the east coast to create her artwork for over 25 years.

8 Ways You Can Start Investing in Fine Art Paintings Even if You Are Not Rich

If you thought collecting art was only for the rich, think again.

Investing in art is a popular way to grow your wealth while also investing in something that has proven to appreciate over time. Although the idea of investing in art may seem to be reserved for millionaire and billionaires, there are a number of ways that you can begin investing in fine art paintings even if you don't have a huge portfolio.


The first thing to do is invest in what you know and love. Investing should always begin by thinking about what interests you or what you know. If you find yourself saying, "I love looking at and buying art every time I go to the museum!" or "My home is full of beautiful paintings and sculptures - I just love all this art!", then you should look at adding additional pieces to your collection as an investment. You can even research ways that you can start investing in fine art paintings that you already own.


The next thing to do is educate yourself. I understand it may seem intimidating, but investing in fine art can be a great way for you to grow your wealth and diversify your investments because the prices of paintings tend to rise over time. Plus, if you decide along the way that this isn't for you, you can sell paintings you own without having to pay capital gains tax or any fees! That's a win-win situation.


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To begin your education on how to invest in fine art, read books about investing in art and talk to experts such as those at Western Investment Company. Also, look for helpful articles online and follow reputable people who share great information about art and investing in art on social media.


However, it can be difficult for an individual who does not have the funds to invest in expensive pieces of art or who may not know where and how they want to invest their money. This article will give you some ideas on ways you can start investing in fine art paintings even if you are not rich.

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What is Fine Art?


Fine art is a term that encompasses any visual artwork that has been created with the intent of being viewed by an audience. It can be anything from traditional paintings to sculptures or even drawings, but it all falls under the umbrella of art.


Fine art goes through many stages before it becomes what people see in museums and galleries. The piece begins as a concept, then moves on to sketches, clay models, bronze casts and finally the finished product which could be either oil paint on canvas or marble sculpture depending on what form it takes. This process requires knowledge about materials and techniques for different forms of fine art. For example, if you are painting then you must know something about watercolor paints or acrylics while if you are sculpting then you must know something about the material that is to be sculpted.


You don't need to have any formal education in fine art, but it certainly wouldn't hurt because there are certain techniques that each form of art uses which with this information you can gain a greater understanding of how your chosen artist created your particular piece.


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Ways to Start Investing in Art Without Having to Spend Much


You want to buy a piece of fine art because you want to have a beautiful painting or sculpture that will decorate your home and give it a sense of refinement. The difference between buying a piece for this purpose and just going out and finding one at a thrift store is that antique shops, thrift stores etc. sell used pieces which have been around the block a few times so to speak.


Other types of stores sell mass produced pieces which are meant to appeal to the masses because they are what most people would consider pretty or nice looking. These places are great if that is what you are looking for, but if you want something more exclusive then you will have to look elsewhere. Here are some tips on how you can find a piece of fine art that makes a statement and also fits within your budget.


1. Museums


Most museums have a gift shop at the end of the tour where visitors can purchase souvenirs if they wish to do so. You can look through these shops and see if there is anything interesting or appealing to you. Many times pieces are displayed without price tags so it can be hard to gauge what the piece would go for. This is not a problem because most people are just window shopping anyway.


If you have your heart set on something then ask one of the gift shop attendants if you could speak to someone who works there, but don't expect them to just tell you how much the piece is because they are usually not allowed to do so without authorization from the owner of said piece.


2. Private Dealers


Depending on where you live there may be a number of private dealers who sell fine art, but there are also other ways to find them if there aren't any in your area. You can go online and search for dealers in your city or state. Since most dealers are private they will have their own website where you can inquire about the piece if it is not on display, but many of them will also have a contact page or email address that you can use to ask questions about the piece.


Most reputable dealers will answer all inquiries about the price of their pieces and they won't try to haggle with you over the price. These people are in business because they know that their pieces are valuable which is why they sell them at high prices to begin with, but there are also some shady dealers who will make up ridiculous fees or refuse to tell you how much it costs. You don't need to deal with them so just go to another dealer.


3. Auctions


Another place you can go to get your hands on some high quality art is at auctions. Check your local paper or on the internet to see if there are any upcoming auctions that have pieces that interest you. A lot of times these things will be advertised further in advance so you don't need to worry about missing the big event.


Auctions allow collectors to acquire new works without having to pay exorbitant prices for them and they also benefit dealers who want to sell their pieces but have not had any luck doing so at galleries or on websites. It is also worth pointing out that the best auctions are the ones that have a reputation for being fair to both buyers and sellers.


Prices at auctions are not always cheaper than what you could find elsewhere, but they can definitely be a lot more expensive so if you have your heart set on something then this is a good place to go. You might have to pay a premium for it, but in the end it will probably be worth it because you will have a piece that is truly unique and one of a kind.


4. Collectibles


If you are familiar with the show Antiques Road Show then this tip should not be news to you because it is where they got most of their great pieces from. This show travels across the country and they visit different cities to give people free appraisals of their old collectibles. The only thing you need to do is check out the schedule on their website and then visit one of these events if you want to find some fine art for a good price.


This show has provided some great pieces throughout its history, but it is also worth noting that once in a while they will have an episode which features a piece of art that is not necessarily pleasant to look at, but it can be interesting nonetheless. It is one of the few shows where you can find both high and low quality pieces in just 45 minutes, which makes it a must watch for anyone who likes fine art or collectibles in general.


5. Start with Prints


Art prints are essentially an affordable way for anyone to start investing in fine art. While originals can be quite expensive, prints are usually much more reasonably priced and come at all different price points, depending on how large they are printed, the edition size or whether they are signed.


A print is usually a low-cost alternative that gives you access to the same art, without having to break the bank. While you can choose to purchase original artwork, prints are an easier (and safer) way to begin your investment journey. Whether you want something for your home or office, buying prints is a great way to diversify your portfolio with quality pieces without having to make an enormous financial commitment upfront.


Prints are a great way to start investing in art. They are usually much less expensive than original pieces and you can build up your collection as a beginner without needing a large budget. The other advantage is that prints will often appreciate in value as well.


Prints are available at every price point and make up the largest percentage of work sold by artists because they're less expensive than originals. Plus, there's no need for investment into an original piece - just buy a print!


6. Buy Directly from The Artist


This is one of the most important pieces of advice that anyone can give you when it comes to investing in art. Buying from an artist can help you get the best deal. When you buy direct from the artist, they won't charge any commissions. This means that you can pocket all of the profits when you resell it.


Many artists are now using technology to help them sell their art directly to customers over the internet. It costs nothing for you to check out online galleries, so take a moment today and see if there are any artists you like.


Artists who sell their work online do not usually charge commission. If you buy one of these paintings, it can be resold for a higher price because there is no middleman involved. There are many art galleries across the country that will purchase original works from emerging artists. The artist will then use the money to buy more materials.


To find out what an artist may be willing to accept for their paintings, talk with them first. Most artists are happy to discuss prices because it helps them understand your needs better. When you purchase directly from the artist, there are no commissions or markups involved so you can get a good deal since you won't have to pay a gallery to sell it for you.


Since the average painting weighs about 8-pounds, transporting them can be difficult without help from friends or family. If possible, try asking the artist if they will deliver or ship your purchase. There are many shipping companies that specialize in transporting art safely and securely. When you order art online, you are automatically given the shipping costs before making any purchases.


Investing in the artist is the best way to ensure that you will get a return on your investment because an artist's work tends to appreciate over time.


7. Find an Art Collector Friend


If you don't know any that are looking to sell some paintings, then you can befriend them. Tell them all the reasons why they should give you paintings for free and they might be willing to oblige.


Find a bunch of painters with their artwork on display at galleries or shops. They will be more than happy to give you all their paintings for free in exchange for giving praise to their talent.


If you are not so lucky as me, I suggest checking out scenes of downtown art scenes where there are usually tons of people gathered around the displays with tons of different types of paintings on them!


8. Check Online


A great way to start investing in paintings is by buying and selling them online. Websites allow you to buy and sell art without having to wandering around the streets looking at pieces of art. Reading reviews on different websites can help you pick a reliable site to work with. Here are some websites that I personally consider are reliable if you want to invest in paintings on a budget.


art.com


This website provides exposure for talented up-and-coming artists so if you are looking to buy less popular pieces then you might find something interesting here. Most of the artists that sell their work through this website do not have many pieces available in galleries or even online so it might be worth browsing just in case you find something unique that you like. They also have a referral program if you want help promoting your own art and getting the recognition that you deserve for creating such beautiful pieces of work, so be sure to check it out if you paint or simply appreciate fine art paintings.


artfacts.net


This is an auction website with over 100,000 items available. There are many categories to choose from so whatever kind of art you are looking for it will be easy to find. The website is easy to navigate and finding a piece you like should not be a problem. You can also sign up for an account in order to increase your chances of winning the auctions you want because some people get suspicious when they see someone bidding on all the items they have made available, but if you already have an account registered then there will be nothing unusual with your bidding patterns.


artnet.com


If you are serious about buying fine art, then this auction website is probably the best choice. It has over 25,000 paintings up for sale and it costs nothing to sign up for an account. The most impressive thing about them is that they have a section dedicated entirely to art auctions so if you want to bid on Rembrandt paintings or any other kind of fine art you will have the opportunity to do so. There are only a handful of websites that have this many pieces available for auction at one time so it really is something worth checking out if you are serious about making some good investments.


artprice.com


This website offers its services in over 25 categories so you will be able to find out who is bidding on what at any given time. They are also one of the few websites that have information about which artists are the most sought after right now, allowing you to make more informed decisions when it comes to your purchases. This does not mean you should rely only on them because their rankings might not be completely accurate, but they are still worth checking out if you want other opinions about popular artists and their value.


doyle.com


This website offers paintings by a large number of artists and they have a good selection available, including many that are not commonly found on other websites. The website is easy to navigate so finding the paintings you want should not be hard to do. They also offer free appraisal requests when you are looking for an expert to tell you how much a certain painting is worth so it might be worth checking out if you are planning on selling or purchasing any fine art paintings.


artbrokerage.com


This company was founded in 1993 and they have been selling fine art by famous artists ever since. They specialize in selling paintings from American painters but they also sell pieces from a large number of European artists as well, including Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. Their website is easy to navigate and offers free shipping on any painting that costs more than $10,000, which might be worth looking into if you are planning to add some famous works to your collection.


You can visit these websites before making any purchase decisions to get a better idea of how much various pieces cost, which could help you save money in the long run just by doing some online research. These sites also have different commission rates so it is worth checking them out as well depending on what type of art you select. If you find a good painter then they might even sell some original artwork or allow you to buy prints from them, which can let you start collecting for a low price and be the first step towards building an impressive collection.


The above are all possibilities when looking to buy fine art, but there are also a few other places where you can find pieces floating around. You could check out garage sales or antique shops, which is a good way to find some great stuff at very low prices. The only downside is that it can take a while for you to run across something of quality and the only way to enjoy your findings is if you have a private space where you can hang your newly acquired pieces. You could also look for them on classifieds websites.


In conclusion, there are a lot of options when it comes to buying fine art and some of them you might not have even known existed. You can always check out the internet because there are always pieces being sold there, but in terms of a more traditional method you might also want to consider going to auctions in order to get a good deal. There are dealers who will try to overcharge people for their work and then there are shady dealers who will refuse to tell you how much their pieces cost, but these problems can be avoided if you stick with the quality dealers so do not hesitate to ask them about prices whenever necessary.


Now that the new year is upon us it might behoove you to consider investing in fine art so at least you will know what some of your options are even if you don't go through with it.

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