Need opinions about website

edited January 20 in General Discussion
Hi all
I'm pretty much at the same stage of my art journey as @marinos_88. I would like to build a body of oil work that could be displayed in some time. I've put together a little googlesite to be able to show my work so far, which I will implement as I go. Would you guys be kind enough to take a peek and tell me if it could be perceived as a good portfolio presentation in case I show it to anyone out there ? I'm not web designer so I did what I could with a free option... I'm wondering also about wether leaving the sketchbook work ?

So far I've been working  with oils only on canvas paper, from A3 to A2 sizes. I'm thinking about moving to linen canvas.

Thanks for your feedback.


  • The site looks really good.

    As for supports, I doubt paper will be good for selling, unless you mount it for the sale. Stretched canvas - traditional, so most will accept that. But importance of rigid support has been discussed a milion times. Buyers will probably not care though. I've seen people buying unstretched works , standard cityscapes, at tourist spots for like 120 euros. I guess stretching and framing may cost even more.
  • Thanks for the feedback @outremer yes canvas question has been discussed over and over  :) I'm thinking going with prestretched ones to start, in bundle when discounted.

  • edited January 20
    Bundles? I've seen those only for no name stuff, and bought some too. Supermarkets like Aldi sell them, or art supply stores sell their store brand in bundles sometimes. Single items can be good, but on average the quality is miserable to lowest acceptable. I will never touch those except for studies. But for studies there is paper or loose canvas.
  • @outremer Ha ok! Yes it was probably the local store brand... I'll have to look for good brand available in France or europe then, the brand recommanded by mark seems good but too much import taxes! There should be plenty of info about that in the forum, I'll look it up.
  • @adridri it looks good for a basic site.
    Have you thought about putting a bit of info about yourself on it too ?
  • edited January 20
    Store brand served me good though, on one occasion. When I had to go through customs with my painting.

    - How much have you paid for that?
    - It's my work.
    - Yours? Hmmmm... Turn it please.

    Then after reading the typical cheap stuff imprint on the back like "wow price, perfect for HOBBYISTS!!!"

    - Okay, that can go.
  • Adrien,

    Interesting topic
    i think that's a good website because it's simple. 
    I like simple when i navigate on a webpage. 
    Maybe you should showcase only your best work. That's prob gonna happen overtime i suppose. 

  • @outremer lol ! I'll remember that story!

    @MichaelD I thought about it, it's a good idea! I'll implement that !
  • @Marinos_88 yes your right, some older sketches will ultimately disappear. I'm not in advertising anything right now so I don't expect anybody to find my site soon.
  • Website, good start. 

    Generally need to add personality to your site and improve the display of your paintings.

    Here's my suggestions. Some may not be possible on your host🤞

    1. Need a mini biography about you, what materials you use, what inspires you, whether you do commissions...

    2. Contact screen is off-putting. Need your email address, mobile number and preferably a physical address. I'm not into Instagram but do you have an 'address'? Showing this in addition to the logo would help.

    3. The images are very small and I cannot zoom them to a bigger size. Also you need to have your street scene (background image) as a painting.

    4. I would prefer to see paintings as groups of thumbnails rather than a scrolling gallery. This would also allow you to write about them. For example "Spanish countryside. A series of plein air gouache sketches completed around Zaragoza..."

    5. I seem to remember that you're in Paris. You do lovely atmospheric paintings of it. That's a real selling point. "Paris" is a global brand, closely linked to art. People go on holiday there and might want to buy a painting while there or when they get home.

    Finally, here's a link to an artist local to me in the UK.

    I'm not linked with him in any way. I add this purely to demonstrate some of my suggestions.
  • @heartofengland great suggestions ! I'll take them into account. Btw I love the work of the artist you shared. He is very good, and I love his style and subject matter!
  • @heartofengland, that site is indeed a good one.  Some things I like about it (apart from the great artworks) are the clarity of each paintings description, size, price etc....  I like that the sold paintings have a price. 
     I have read that sold paintings should be removed as having a picture of them is an invitation to treat which is no longer available and buyers may feel they have missed out on the best painting. 
     What I read said, if you want sold paintings displayed; have them on a page dedicated to sold paintings.   Not sure if this is true or relevant?
  • Love it. Simple, accessible, tells the story at a glance. A graphic designer at work taught me that any page (including an email) should give you the same message if you glance than if you read everything. It's a very powerful principle and I use it for all communications. People today click to and click away very quickly - but immediately on your page we can see several artworks and more without scrolling, new screens... if we are interested, yes, we dig further. Good job.
  • I have had a good look around your website and I really like it.  It has given me some ideas for when my family member has time to help me start a website for myself.

    Two things I will point out from my experience,  Bearing in mind, these points may be meaningless and just highlight my inept navigation of sites, and not reflect on your website at all.

    1. The drop down bars and your name are difficult to see in part against the light background.   Perhaps if they were dropped down the page to have the dark tree fully behind would help?

    2  Silly me, but I spent a while trying to click on the paintings on the home page to enlarge them, only to later see the drop box bars on the top left of the page.

    I hope you get lost of interest generated by the site.   It looks very professional.

  • Hi @toujours
    " I like that the sold paintings have a price."
    Yup. His prices are higher than last year. Encourages me to buy.

    "having a picture of them is an invitation to treat which is no longer available and buyers may feel they have missed out on the best painting. "
    Retailers rely on this buy-it-now-or-miss-out... 'sale ends Tuesday' 'last one in stoc'. It forces people to make a buy decision AND generates a sense of urgency.

    If someone sees a sold painting of yours they like then maybe that's the basis of a commission.

    Mixing sold & unsold may give comfort to a potential buyer for a variety of reasons. This may be why used car lots put "SOLD" in windscreens (even if not sold) and estate agents (realtors?) do the the same for properties in their shop windows.
  • Adrien,  =)

    A very nice online presentation, and your skills and the breadth of your artworks stand triumphant in themselves—and including the digital corner. Did the charcoal get your fingers dirty?

    Otherwise. au-delà de l'excellence.

    In the interests of honesty, I'm rather afraid I had to beg the support of Google to secure a translation of those final words.  :)

    Very best rgds, Duncan 
  • edited January 23
    Thanks all for your comments and gentle thoughts.
    I have updated the website with all your recommendations and operated some visual changes. Mostly I changed for a lighter background. I think it looks nicer.

    @toujours I changed the menu to an horizontal one, does that work better from you viewpoint?
    @MichaelD @heartofengland about clicking on a painting to enlarge, I found an option (not very customable) do that in the oil landscape section using google drive. Does that work better?
    I have also added an "about me" section.
    @Abstraction interesting principle, worth keeping in mind for future communications. Thanks for sharing !
    @MoleMan Your french is flawless! Thanks for the kind words.  Not only did I make myself dirty, but I found charcoal on every door and walls in my appartment. That thing is like sand, it gets everywhere!

  • edited January 23

    You have made some great changes since I first looked.

    Good that you have added an `about me` page, but and this is just my personal take, I would keep it shorter than that if possible. Again that just personal, so, of course, keep it as it is if you prefer it.

    I love the painting you have chosen for your main page, thats a good opener.

    Ive had my site up a couple of years now. Its the free one with Weebly and I pay about 50 quid a year to keep it registered.
  • @MichaelD you are right, I shortened it a bit.
    I love your site. The out to lunch painting made me laugh ! You have a great sense of composition and I like your subject matter.
  • I know nothing about producing a website but I think your site is looking good, @adrdri. The changes you've made look great. The lighter background looks much better. And you chose a good painting as the hero image. The link to Instagram is a good idea, too.

    Now that you've got it up and running and looking good, it will be a simple matter of adding more artworks as you produce them.  :)
  • @tassieguy Thanks, as you said, only is left to fill it up, the easiest part.
    btwI sometimes miss you messages because you seem to systematically leave an i out of my pseudo, maybe some writting automatism :)
  • It looks really good now.

    And the next milestone for you to plan: decide on the audience and if you plan to be active locally, you'll need the content to be in French of course.
  • @outremer oh yeah, people speak french around here. I should go out more :p
  • @adridri, thank you dry much and im glad you liked the `Out to lunch`. I gifted that to someone who has bought/collected a few of my pieces.
  • A big step forward.

    The Google zoom thing worked well. Does Google set the filename that's visible? Is there any way to fix it so that there's a painting title rather than just numbers.

    Contact page. One slight adjustment, probably a translation thing. "If you need..." is a harsh way of giving your email. It's almost like saying "For emergency use only". "If you enjoy my work, want to discuss a commission or simply have a question then feel free to email me." is a more positive, open phrasing.

    There are probably ways that you can see to develop and improve it. The main thing though is that your work looks really great. 
  • @heartofengland yep, I thought asking an artist for a commission resulted from an urgent crave for art, that's why the 'need' :p I'll change that !
    The name file is just the output of the phone app I use to make the thin white frame. I'll change that as well, I did not notice. thanks!
    I will probably optimize little things now progressively as I go.
  • Adrien, I was a little taken aback by your re-working of your 'about' page. What happened to your Sorbonne reference? Your footing in academia? Your provenance? Agree entirely with @MichaelD's suggestion of introducing a bio page, and I think self-modesty is worth a great deal more than words.

    Nonetheless, I think also that if you are decided to describe yourself—yourself as a person—via your website, a little learning about the man will perhaps touch more people more strongly than describing your painter attitudes and directions might achieve.

    I'm not trying to persuade your thinking in any way, I'm minded simply to encourage you to reconsider your self-description.

    If you choose to, I'll make a deal with you, a promise—or make a contract with you, if you prefer—and in the interests of fairness. If you promise to reconsider (and perhaps quietly talk to yourself) the written expression of your bio webpage, my side of that equation will be a solid promise to you.

    @Abstraction is already on a promise for something which might speak to his appreciation of his personal ancestry, and I was intending to deliver that to him privately. If you will sidestep the kind commenting in this ongoing conversation, and trust to your own thinking, I promise you I will publish my abomination publicly to this venue, and invite unkind discussion. I don't much know about chemistry—or mechanical coupling in gold nanoparticles—but I do know how to glue gold leaf (badly) around a badly painted painting.  ;)

    I think your sketches (re your opening post mention) matter, and deserve appreciation—and for certain yours earn it. Although you could, perhaps, when you feel you are confident you have an ample portfolio or, a market stall, if that is your heading, demote them a little to accommodate.

    I see your portraiture skills as being astounding. well worth the dirty fingertips, carbon or paint contaminating doors and walls, and well worth pushing to somewhere near the front of the queue.

    With kindest regards, Duncan
  • edited January 24
    @MoleMan well, you do really take the time each time to give others your time and consideration, and your comments on everyones work are always thoughtfull and make me smile. You found my thesis papers 😁 these were some years back. You do know how to do your litterature survey !

    About the bio, quite honestly, I don't have a strong opinion of how it should be, and I seem to easily lean on one side or the other when someone give his opinion, and quite afraid to appear presomptuous. Ok I'll give it a second thought, make it a bit more personal. Thank you for your input and your time browsing my modest contribution. 

    You got me curious of what you have going on there  :)
  • @MoleMan funny enough, I was about to ask about your literary background but doing some research about your first interactions with this place gave me my answer in the Cezanne post. I am not the only one appreciating you way with words apparently. Since I'm curious about yourself, may I ask you if you still paint? You seem very enclined to help out others but I don't think you ever posted one of your work here am I right? Any chance we can have a look at your work somewhere ?
  • I think your site looks very good @adridri.
    @MichaelD, your site looks really great as well.

    May I ask you both, did you take the pictures yourself that are posted on your sites? 
  • @whunt thanks. Yes the pictures are taken with the paint still fresh, with a good cellphone under sunlight. I might need to retake these once varnished.
  • "About the bio, quite honestly, I don't have a strong opinion of how it should be, and I seem to easily lean on one side or the other when someone give his opinion, and quite afraid to appear presomptuous."

    Good news, it's not either-or for detail. Use paragraphs.

    Put a summary in paragraph 1. Everybody will read this.

    Put more detail in following paragraphs. You lose readers at paragraph 2 and more at paragraph 3 etc. The most interested will read everything. 

    Finally, end with a "call to action" as the marketing people call it. For example... "If you've read this far and want to talk some more then email me at [email protected]"
  • Thank you @whunt, yes I took all photos myself earlier ones with my Fuji x-E1 and then mostly with the camera on my iPad Pro.
  • I noticed @MichaelD, there isn’t a paragraph at the bottom of the pages stating that the images are ‘copyright protected’ while @adridri pages do. 
    Just curious as to what the difference is regarding this. 
  • Both websites seem to have good photos of your original works. When I go to art festivals, it’s common to see artists selling copies of their work sometimes in various sizes, matted and clear wrapped available for purchase at very reasonable rates compared to the original. 

    I’m curious if anyone here does this. I realize that there must be some hefty costs involved with this and is a bit of a gamble on selling the copies to regain the investment. 

    On your websites, is there an opportunity to sell ‘copies’ as well as the ‘original’?

  • edited January 25
    @whunt thank you for pointing that out.

    It’s usually on my main page but I must have lost it when I last added image.

    I have sorted it.

    Regarding copies, I have had a few ask about prints and I looked into it.

    For me it’s not economically viable.

    Essentially it would mean paying for a a certain number of prints that may or may not be sold.

    I may look at it again in future

  • Concerning the copyright claim on the website, is this something you just add to discourage possible unauthorized use of your images or is there some kind of legal process you have to go through or registration of some kind? 
  • @whunt

    Under UK copyright law you are automatically the owner of copyright in any work you produce
    You get copyright protection automatically - you don't have to apply or pay a fee. There isn't a register of copyright works in the UK. You automatically get copyright protection when you create: original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including illustration and photography.
  • edited January 25
    One possibility is a print on demand service. The buyer can order directly from the service and receive it at home, so you don't have to plan a stock of unsold prints, or even handle the prints. They get a share however. I thought about that, but I just loose interest when it comes to try to sell something, I don't have the soul of a market man...
    The copyright claim is not worth anything, it is just put there by everyone but I'm not even sure it means anything or refers to any law in particular in the current form its written in. It just seem to be a common practice to discourage pepole to use your work against your will, but in the end of the day, your image is still freely available and downloadable...

  • @adridri, yes there is that, I too am not ambitious enough to want to go through the trouble of marketing prints.
    I dont spend enough of my time painting as it is  :)
  • MichaelD said:
    @adridri, yes there is that, I too am not ambitious enough to want to go through the trouble of marketing prints.
    I dont spend enough of my time painting as it is  :)
    I think it is more a question of how (whether, and where) you choose to deliver your intimacies. I don't think there is any real intimacy or value in a remotely produced print, but there is perhaps a deep value in a handmade-by-hand painting, it is more personal. If you need to sell something and for whatever reason, then sell the real thing.

    Kind rgds, Duncan
  • @MoleMan

    I agree Duncan, well said.
  • edited January 27
    I could never get the idea of selling such prints, and even inventing a special term for them as if "print" is not what is being sold. To avoid the shame of not selling the real thing? I somehow think that audience for those prints will be just happy with a framed photo bought on sale at IKEA. I may be wrong of course. I am reading a book right now where Renoir is quoted as harshly opposing lithography copies by saying that it will diminish the value of fine art.
  • edited January 27
    "I don't think there is any real intimacy or value in a remotely produced print"

    Stand in the buyer's shoes.

    I admire the work of an artist, follow their development and want to give them practical support. Unfortunately I cannot afford £?k for an original but am pleased that the artist is making it pay. Also, I'm on the other side of the world and anything on the wall gets trashed because of my 4 year old scribbler / damp flat / cat.

    Prints would be a cherished possession.
  • @MoleMan @heartofengland damned I agree with you both. I'll take the secure option and won't take a definite position in that matter  :)
  • I always thought printed reproductions were only made of famous (usually dead) artists masterpieces because it was not possible for the public or ordinary people to own an original by that artist. When I was a kid at school we had VVG reproductions on the classroom wall and I was fascinated by them. Of course, they were cheap and tacky copies, but I guess they were better than nothing.

    To get good quality giclee prints made can be quite expensive. Probably better to spend the money on more paint and canvas. :)

  • tassieguy 
     Probably better to spend the money on more paint and canvas. :)

    Canvas delivery for a Mr Seascape Painter...?
    Yeah can you get them off quickly, there's a tanker of moody grey paint due anytime.😆
  • edited January 27
    Oh, I wish I had that much canvas. I'd have enough for a lifetime of painting.   And enough left over to make a tent. :)
  • tassieguy said:
    Oh, I wish I had that much canvas. I'd have enough for a lifetime of painting.   And enough left over to make a tent. :)
    Perhaps, instead of a town; you could paint the tent red.....?
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