Learn to Paint a Pika and Bumblebee Step-by-Step!
- 2 hours on-demand video
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.Try Udemy for Business
- Students will develop a broader understanding of painting techniques and developing a painting through common stages. The student will also have a painting to enjoy and hang on their wall!
- Students will learn how to frame, market, sell and ship their paintings to customers.
- No prior artistic experience necessary. Instruction given is great for all levels of artistic abilities.
- Tools required:
- 11x14 in Canvas
- 3 brushes (Large flat, medium flat, small round)
- Acrylic paint in these colors (Bright Red, Bright Yellow, Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White, Ivory Black)
- Table easel
- Artist palette, plastic or wooden
- Glass of water
Learn to paint an adorable pika and bumblebee step by step!
Watch as I do each step, then pause the video and complete the step before moving on. Rewatch any section and take it all at your own pace!
Hang and show off your beautiful painting when you are finished. Takes about 2 hours to complete!
Use your own art supplies. You will need:
11x14 in canvas
3 brushes (large flat, medium flat, small round)
Acrylic paint (bright red, bright yellow, pthalo blue, ultramarine blue, ivory black, titanium white)
Have a glass of water and paper towel available for cleaning your brushes.
Instructed by James Corwin
Additional material included!!
Learn how to frame your painting!
Learn how to price and sell your artwork for extra income.
And learn how to ship it safely to customers!
- Any artist who would like to create a painting in 2 hours or less. This course simplifies the painting into steps so that anyone can paint it from start to finish.
- An artist who is interested in selling their artwork for extra income.
Learn to paint a pika and bumblebee step by step!
Watch as I do each step, then pause the video and complete the step before moving on. Rewatch any section and take it all at your own pace!
Use all your own art supplies
Have a glass of water and paper towel available for cleaning your brushes.
Instructed by James Corwin
Choosing a frame for your art
Choosing the right frame is one of the most critical aspects of the painting process. It can make or break your paintings, regardless of how good it is. A painting married to the perfect frame will enhance your painting beyond its original state to a masterpiece sure to move a viewer to a purchase.
Subconsciously a buyer can recognize the quality of a good frame or a mis-matched frame whether or not they are educated on framing. A frame must be of quality and bring out important aspects of the painting to increase the quality of the painting itself. A well matched frame can certainly bring a poorly executed painting to a that of interest and appeal, the same as a bad frame can bring a stellar painting to an unacceptable painting, without a sale.
What does a well matched frame look like?
A well known artist told me that the day he invested in quality frames for his work was the day his paintings began to sell, and sell well! I took his advice and experienced the same amazing results. Not only did my paintings sell frequently, I could raise my prices considerably because a quality frame commands a higher price just by its look and appeal.
I believe quality frames to be those made of quality materials such as wood, and metals, even precious metals like gold, silver and bronze. They are often handmade by master craftsman and a product of their own design and ingenuity. This means the frame is custom made and moldings can not be found elsewhere. They are made in-house. Staining and inlays are all hand-carved. It is a work of art in-itself.
A custom frame can be made to match a painting. The artisan can manipulate the colors and design to meet the requirements of the painting. This is truly one-of-kind and compliments a painting so well it deserves a high price tag and it will sell! Make sure to explain to the customer that the frame is custom made to the painting and one-of-a-kind.
If you decide to outfit your paintings with custom made frames, which I highly recommend, it will cost more than the traditional framing store and mass-produced moldings, but not much more. I believe the prices to be very competitive and typically they give a 50% discount (wholesale price) to the artists. Later you can mark up your painting 100% to receive the cost of the frame back twice its amount (the true value of the frame).
If you choose mass-produced moldings via a frame shop often the framer can help you choose a frame design to match your painting. If they are competent they will identify the colors and subject that need to be enhanced in the painting and pair a frame accurately. However, I have found most to be incompetent and I get frustrated choosing a frame that hardly meets my paintings needs. I end up paying extra for fillets as accents to bring out colors. At this point the price is sometimes more than a custom made painting. I would much rather sit down with my master craftsman and tell him my needs before hand and let him design the frame around my painting. It takes longer (3-4 weeks), but not as long as that painting will sit on the wall before it sells with a bad frame on it!
Ready made frames are the worse. I know their cheap price tag is appealing, but you will not be able to sell your paintings for more money. It is like putting a brand new engine in a rusty old cheap car, you just can’t ask for a higher price. Sure it will run and drive, but the a buyer can still recognize the quality of the rusted old vehicle, and will not pay more, probably even if it had a luxury sports car engine in it. A cheap frame hides the true value of your beautiful art. Let your painting breathe! Even if you think the quality of the frame is nice, how well does it actually match your painting?
Here is what to look for in the frame to enhance your painting.
Choose a frame made of solid wood, not plastic (yes, they make plastic frames made to look like wood). Wood is traditional and fits most paintings well. The profile should not distract from the painting and lead the viewer into the painting, not pull them out. Frames with too much frill and carvings can be distracting and pull the viewer out, same as a frame that is flat can fail to pull the viewer in. Often, the carving and profile should mimic patterns within the painting. If shapes are soft and rounded, so should the frame be. If shapes are jagged and sharp, so should the frame be.
Colors within the frame should subtly bring out colors within the painting. But choose your colors wisely. Dark dominant colors will be pronounced with a dark frame, but also make your brights brighter. If you want less contrast, choose a more neutral frame. You can also choose frames with a inner bead or lining of color. This can be gold or silver, or even a color found within the painting. This is a popular choice and can really enhance important aspects within the painting. For example a matte black frame with a gold lining is often a nice compliment to landscape paintings as the black enhances the saturation of the colors within the painting and the contrast in the value scale. The gold enhances the light painted within the landscape.
Metal frames are typically paired with more modern/contemporary and abstract art and designed to be floater frames. This can be good pairings, but make sure the colors enhance the painting. A shiny metallic frame could distract from the painting.
Frame size is also important. The width of your frame should be balanced with the painting size. Though, a very small painting should be paired with a wide frame as it will create the appearance of a much larger painting and the buyer will receive more value in their purchase of a small painting. Very large paintings can be slimmed down with a thin floater/box frame. It depends on your statement as well. If your painting is grand in subject matter, perhaps it requires a grand, elaborate frame that is wide and heavy.
Don’t expect to nail your pairing on the first pick. Like a good marriage, it takes time to find the perfect partner. Place several different styles of frames on your art. You will know when the chemistry is made. It will just look right.
Purchasing high-quality frames at first can be intimidating especially if you have several paintings to frame all at once and a tight budget. Get some help from family and friends or the bank to invest in your frames. It is one of the most important investments you can make in your art business. The frames WILL sell your paintings!! They will sell them better than simply the painting itself and the best sales person. A bad frame just creates bad art.
Too often I see artists slap a cheap frame on their beautiful artwork and attach a high price tag to it with high hopes for its sale. It sits for months without any action. I am sad to see this because their beautiful artwork deserves a beautiful showcase. The frame is the house for your painting and the higher quality it is, the more enticing your painting becomes because people want the best and are willing to pay for the best! Let your art be the best it can be!
How to Price your Art
One of the biggest questions in the art business is how to price your art. Accurately pricing your art takes a lot of consideration and analysis which I will break down for you.
There are various methods used by artists when pricing their art. You may be familiar with pricing based on the amount of hours put into the artwork, or based on square area of the surface, or pricing based on similar artist’s work and reputation, or even pricing cherry-picked from the sky without validation. All of which have their benefits, however the method that will secure longevity and fairness in your pricing structure and build repoire with your collectors is to carefully create a tiered pricing structure based on the surface area of your artwork.
Choosing to apply a number to the each square inch of your artwork ensures that the pricing remains consistent regardless of the amount of hours you put into it.
Let’s take a look at pricing your art based on the time it takes to complete. Perhaps you have created an hourly rate at which you work. This rate is determined by 4 factors: 1. The cost of materials, 2. Your overhead costs, 3. Living expenses, and 4. Your hourly wage. Say for example you are creating a 16x20 painting that takes 20 hours to complete.
You figure your cost of materials are $325
- $15 canvas
$7 estimated paint used
$3 depreciation on brushes
And your monthly overhead costs are $380
- $300 studio rent
You work 40 hours per week X 4 weeks = 160 hours of work
$380/160 hours = $2.38 per hour overhead
In this case you need to make $47.60 for the 20 hours of painting to cover the overhead costs used.
These costs are tax deductible.
You are making on a living on this painting, so the price must also cover your monthly living expenses.
You have a $1200 home mortgage
Home insurance and taxes are $200
Utilities for your home are $200
You also have health insurance premiums at $400
Car payments, gas, and insurance are $600
Food is $200
This totals to $2800 per month/160 work hours per month = $17.50 per hour.
You decide your hourly wage needs to be $19.88 to cover all your expenses including overhead of $2.38.
20 hours of painting X $19.88 is $397.60 + $325 materials cost = $722.60
Next you must markup your price 100% because the average a gallery takes 50% of the sale price. Your final price on your 16x20 painting should be $1445.20 or rounded up to to $1450 for an appealing sales price.
Your objective is to get paid for those 160 hours you work. And this is just to cover expenses! To create a sustainable business, you must also pay yourself a salary so you aren't broke every month and your business must turn over a profit. Understand your business is not you, it is a completely separate entity that requires nurturing. You are not your business’s money. I suggest you create a separate checking account for your art business and add its profits there. Any future business purchase you make will be withdrawn from this account and not your personal account.
Next we must determine your salary and your business’s salary.
You decide to create these financial goals to achieve the lifestyle you desire, you must earn:
- $1000 savings ($500 personal, $500 retirement)
$500 Travel to be used monthly or saved for a larger trip
$200 Entertainment/social events
$150 Everything else
Total of $1850 gives you ease and flexibility each month and contributes to your retirement.
Finally your business needs to grow and have a savings account for future expenses in the following categories.
- $500 savings
$400 booth fees/exhibit fees
$500 framing/casting for sculpture
$200 Misc. (printers, computers, lighting, exhibiting equipement, etc)
Total of $2000 gives the business the cash flow it needs to be sustainable and provide the financial resources to weather any economic downturn.
Combined you must bring in an additional $3850 per month to actually make a healthy living on your art. Now, let’s calculate your hourly wage to accomplish this.
$2800 + $3850 = $6650/160 hours = $41.56 per hour
20 hours of painting X $41.56 is $831.25 + $325 materials cost = $1156.25
Your painting in a gallery will need to be priced at $2312.50 or $2300 for an appealing sales price.
You will need to create AND sell 6 of these 16x20 paintings each month to meet your monthly financial obligations. Sound doable? Most likely not, this is where restructuring our work for maximum output and efficiency is so important and I will explain this throughout the course.
If you only want to cover expenses you can price your art to do so ($1450 per piece) and later scale up. This is inevitably how most artists will begin their career. Don’t expect to pay yourself a salary in the beginning. You will want to reinvest all your profits back into the business to make it grow.
What if my painting isn’t selling in a gallery? Can I price it at half the cost? I would still cover all my expenses?…The answer here is yes and no. You must create consistency in your pricing, meaning all paintings must then be this cost and not jump between full price and half price.
Would it be fair for a collector to come to you and pay half the price for the same painting someone else payed twice as much for in a gallery? Consistency in your pricing is important in creating fairness among your collectors and building longevity. Pricing your art is scalable and will rise with time and recognition. However, when prices vary drastically on each painting, it is difficult for anyone, including yourself to gain a grasp of your artwork’s true value.
Here is why the hourly wage per painting does not work. It does not create consistency in your pricing.
Say for example the 16x20 painting you created in 20 hours, next takes 35 hours to complete and the following only 12 hours. The times vary because the subject matter was perhaps less detailed in the later. You know you must earn $41.56 per hour.
Here is how they each price out.
- Painting 1: $2300
- Painting 2: $3550
- Painting 3: $1650
Can you see how just a few hours of difference in your painting time can drastically effect your prices? No one can know whether your painting is only worth $1650 or worth $3550, which is over twice as much! With so much variance in your pricing an educated collector would wait for prices to stabilize before investing your art. Or it would leave those collectors who already invested in you confused and possibly angry if they purchased a painting twice as much as the one you sell next. That is like seeing your stock price in the market drop 50%!
For sculptures and irregular art I would recommend pricing on hourly wage and expenses. This works for sculptures because there will be a limited edition casted with consistent pricing on each casting. Because of its irregularity in size, weight and shape, it is much easier to price based on time it took to complete as each piece is entirely different, you can’t compare.
How do I create consistency in my prices?
The best way to create consistency in your art is to create a tiered pricing structure based on the square surface area of your artwork. In a tiered system artwork that is smaller in size is higher in price per square inch than larger paintings. This is because time and materials cost (framing/casting) are often similar in price for smaller artwork as it is for big pieces. For example a frame for a 9x12 painting can cost $250 or instead $350 for a 24x36. It would make sense to paint the bigger painting as the framing cost is comparable but the sale price is higher. You also need to make a living on the smaller paintings, if priced too low, they won’t even be worth your time. Consequently if you price a large painting the same as a 9x12 (i.e. $12 per square inch), it may be considered way over priced for your market, if you are just starting. Let’s look at this in example with the 16x20 painting we have been working on.
First we need to research our market and find the true value of our art that places us competitively among other artists. This ‘sweet spot’ takes time to discover and it is where your artwork consistently sells at the same prices and is neither overpriced in its market or underpriced… both of which are detrimental to your business.
Let’s average the three prices from earlier:
- Painting 1: $2300
- Painting 2: $3550
Painting 3: $1650
$7500/3 = $2500 average
We figure we need to bring in around $2500 for our 16x20 paintings. This means that every 16x20 painting we create will be priced at $2500 regardless of how many hours are put into it.
Calculate the price for all the painting sizes using our $41.56 hourly wage to determine the average prices based on size.
The smallest size is a 8x10
She averages 10 hours per 8x10 painting for $415.60
Cost of materials and a frame is typically $175
Total average sale price of $1181.20 or $1200
The largest painting is a 36x48
She averages 80 hours per 36x48 painting for $3324.80
Cost of materials and a frame is typically $750
Total average sale price of $8149.60 or $8150
Though after some research, we find our market can only support around $800 as an average sale price for our 8x10 paintings. Understand a market can vary on many factors including its demographics, artwork style, materials, subject matter, and your name recognition. If your painting is very contemporary work perhaps you could command higher prices for an 8x10 in New York City, but if you are painting pastural landscapes, they may only be able to sell for $800 in a local downtown gallery of Vermont, for example. However, maybe you do find that larger landscape paintings at the 36x48 size in this local town in Vermont are priced around $10,000. You decide to raise her price slightly from $8150 to meet the market.
How to create a tiered pricing system
When creating a tiered pricing system it is important to classify 3-4 groups of 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional art into a small, medium and large group. The pricing per square inch will stay the same among that group and then decrease as the paintings get larger.
Create your first tiered group by calculating your smallest painting, the 8x10 at $800. The price per square inch is $10. The square area is calculated by multiplying the length by its width (8x10 = 80 in2). This means every painting within the smallest group size is priced at $10 per square inch. Prices have been rounded to create an irresistible sales price.
Next you will create another column for prices within the medium size range. Doing your math and research determine the average value per square inch to charge. Most likely this will be a smaller number than the first group. Do this for your largest paintings as well, again it should be an even smaller number per square inch.
Averaging your work hours still creates a balance. Imagine you spent 60 hours on one complicated 16x20 painting that sold for $2500. You are only earning your $41.60 wage. But then the next 16x20 painting takes only 15 hours because it was a much simpler idea to complete. You will still price it at $2500 but you made considerably more per hour ($166.66!) than the first painting! As you create your more art you begin to get more savvy at predicting how long a painting will take you and therefore aim to work on faster paintings because you get paid way more!
Consistency in your art also makes it easier to quote prices on your artwork. When you know the price per each size you can quickly let a customer know what the price is and then move them into a sale. This is especially important when someone quotes you for a commission. If you were pricing on hours, you have no idea how long the commission will take you, therefore it is impossible to give an accurate quote, except to say you charge $41.60 per hour. People want to know the final price.
Competitive and Comparable Pricing
When researching your market and determining your pricing, you want to be competitive. Your art will compete for buyers who are similar in style, subject matter and recognition. To be competitive you can either be priced slightly under their evaluation to grab up market share and the customers who prefer quality art for the most affordable price. This is typically everyone’s first thought. Or you you can price slightly above the competition and brand yourself as the best money can buy. You are selling quality fine art and there are a lot of people who will pay for the best. Both make you competitive. Being in the middle among everyone is not competitive. You want to dominate. Go for being the best! Don’t undersell yourself and be the cheapest in the market. Sure it might be more appealing, but you don’t want to carry that reputation.
Comparable pricing is important to uncover in your research as well. How do your prices compare to other artists like you? If you are technically advanced in your artistic skills but just starting your art career, it is okay to make the leap to higher prices because you are comparing yourself to a similar market. Sure name recognition is important, but most people buy art because they like it, not because of the name. Most of my sales are made to people who have never heard from me, but they see the value in the art that I do and I compared myself to other artists who are just as talented at painting wildlife. So begin to discover other art like yours and see what prices they are selling at in your market. It may be easy for you to scale your prices up, or in some cases down.
Raise your prices over time
Slowly raise your prices over time. There are many factors that contribute to your increased prices. Auction records can raise your prices especially if the piece consistently sells for over the asking price. This is an indicator that the market values your art more than you do. Consistent and frequent gallery sales can indicate a demand for your work. You can raise your prices slightly without affecting the demand. Artists on average raise their prices 10% per year. You will also be raising your prices with name recognition and to be competitive within your market as you improve. Also the economy plays an important role in your numbers. In a good economy it is easier to raise your prices higher and faster than in a down-turned economy. Also inflation over time will increase the pricing of your art.
Where to start
Do the math to start and determine what you need to make on every painting. Then research your market and other artists who create art similar to yours. How well are they selling? What galleries are they in? What are their prices? By analyzing the market you can compare your pricing and determine how competitive you want your art to be. Don’t be too quick to overprice, however. This is easy for most artists and they target way higher than their market and discover their art doesn’t sell. It is very bad to lower your prices especially if you have already sold a few. You will want to start low and raise your prices with time. You will soon discover if your pieces sell quickly you may want to raise them a little more. If they don’t sell at all, perhaps you are too high.
Selling your Art through Sales Channels
Get your art listed on as many sales channels as you can! In this busy online world today it is so difficult to break through all the noise and images and be seen, let alone get a sale! Offering your artwork on numerous sales channels increases your brand awareness and opportunities for sales.
What are Sales Channels?
Sales channels are websites where you can create a profile account and list your products for sale. The website brings in the traffic to your page through their advertising and credibility. You pay a small fee for this service. Examples of sales channels are Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, Fineartamerica, etc. All these sites allow you to upload a product and sell directly to their customers.
Sales channels such as Amazon and Ebay can be very broad and sell every type of product. Your artwork would be categorized. Other websites are niche based such as Etsy for handmade goods or Wayfair for furniture. Become aware of all the sales channels as you will want to upload your products to them. Not only does it increase your potential for sales, it broadens your brand.
Other sites such as Facebook or even Pinterest allow you to sell products with a buy button that directs you to either your checkout page on your website or their integrated system. If you build a website with Shopify you can easily connect all your products to these top sales channels and it will set it up for checkout. Instantly after you upload a product it gets listed on the sales channels. This takes a lot of time out of manually listing them to each site.
When creating your profile use a similar style and voice to your personal website. You want to keep your brand universal and recognizable. Some sales channels offer more customizable features than others, but almost all allow you share your background story. This is a good place to upload your artist statement.
It will take time to create accounts and upload images to these channels. Keep a record of them so you can continually keep them updated. It is easy to forget which ones your on, believe me. Obviously you will find which ones perform better than others and you will want to devote more of your attention to these. Cultivate the sales where it is working. Use as many as you can. These also create back links for your website which builds SEO! You want your art seen. Devoting the time to this will put you well beyond other artists who are only focused on being seen through Facebook and Instagram.
Once a sale comes through you will receive an exciting notification from the site. They have already processed all the payments for you and you receive a deposit in your bank account a few days later. It is your responsibility to fulfill the order. It sure relieves a lot of stress of going out and finding the buyer yourself or paying lots of dollars in advertising!
Shipping your Artwork
Eventually you will encounter the mundane process of shipping your artwork. Whether it be shipping prints to customers or artwork to galleries, I never enjoy visiting the shipping store. It takes time out of my busy day. I suppose I am grateful that visiting the shipping store means I am generating sales and delivering product to happy customers.
It is important to find a good carrier for a competitive price. I use UPS because they have been the most reliable and cheapest carrier for me. I am sure there are independent companies that are cheaper, but I choose a widely accepted shipper. USPS used to be my shipper until they started damaging my products, losing my shipment, shipping to wrong addresses, and late deliveries. UPS has always been on-time and only have I filed a claim for a damaged print. They refunded me with the $100 insurance and the cost of shipping. I put a little money into my pocket from this claim.
Proper packaging is important to avoid damages to your precious artwork. I avoid paying the exorbitant fees that UPS charges for packaging products. So learn to do it yourself and buy your own boxes and packaging material. The shipping stores usually sell boxes or there are many websites that sell artwork shipping boxes. I am fortunate that my printing company ships my prints to me in these boxes. After I sign the print, I close the print back up in the box and ship it back out. Your local office store will sell bubble wrap and other packing materials.
Pack your artwork securely. Make sure all sides are padded. Packages are jostled and thrown around during shipment. If you are worried about damages to your artwork you can request shipping insurance to cover the full value of your art. Usually it is $1 per $100 value. If you have a $2000 painting, then you will be paying $20 in insurance. It is cheaper for you to just package it very well. But it is not a bad idea to purchase the insurance anyways… I never do because I have insurance from a private company that covers my damages or lost artwork. Tape up the box well! Nowadays you don’t need to handwrite the address on the box. You can show the shipper the address it needs to go and they will print it on a sticker.
Prices for shipping can be expensive. Either charge your customer shipping or factor the cost into your product price and charge free shipping. Many of the sales channels and Shopify allow you to create estimated shipping charges if you know the measurements and weight of your packaged product. It will calculate these based on the customers address and charge them accordingly. I always found this too take too much time to put together and never fully accurate… mostly because I never knew how much my box would weigh or its size before I shipped it. So I always charge free shipping. My profit margins are high enough that it doesn’t affect my profits too much and it is more appealing for customers when checking out. For example I always hate when I am paying $300 for a product and at checkout they charge $60 for shipping. I don’t want to pay $360, I want to pay $300. The buyer for your art will feel the same way and probably abandon their shopping cart.
When shipping large framed paintings you will most likely need to crate it. This is the safest option. When a painting weighs more (i.e. 40lbs) and can’t fit into a cardboard box, it should be crated. A special wooden crate is built to fit the painting. A shipper can build a crate for you. The cost will be very high. Or you can request your custom framer or even a woodworking shop to build you a crate. The cost of building a crate will cost $100+ however the shipping charges will be slightly reduced as you are going freight. The cost per lbs is greatly reduced and you won’t be too shocked when quoted a price. It costs about the same to ship an 8lb box to the United Kingdom as it does to ship an 80lb crate to across the United States. Eventually you will be crating and shipping paintings to customers, galleries and shows. Find a reliable business or friend to help you build the crates. The shipper will come to your residence or business and pick it up.
You can charge the customer for these additional shipping charges. When selling a high priced piece of art, they customer usually doesn’t mind paying the additional few hundred dollars to get it home. Galleries will pay for shipping of any artwork sold within their store also some good galleries will pay to have your artwork shipped from your studio to them! Though you should most likely accept that you will be paying these fees or driving to wherever they are and delivering a load of artwork.