Painting With Watercolors Goals for 2013

My Painting With Watercolors website has been up and running now for about  two years and I thought I would make my first post for the New Year one which lays out the goals I have for my website.

Painting with Watercolors initially started as a support site for my weekly watercolor painting students. However over the last couple of years it has grown well beyond that with about 300 people visiting the site each day from over 100 different countries. It has been a lot of fun for me to see it grow like this and I like getting feedback from watercolor artists, both beginners and others, about the site.

McCarrs Creek with sail boats watercolor painting. Lots of wet on wet reflections.
McCarrs Creek with sail boats watercolor painting

Currently there are 21 watercolor demonstrations on the site of which 19 are step by step demos and two are video demos (one watercolor painting and other Pen and Ink). In addition to the demonstrations there are many other articles on watercolor painting techniques and various tips which I hope are of benefit.

I have also appreciated the regular downloads of the demos which have contributed greatly to supporting this site.

OK , so much for the past, what is in store for 2013?

Well I would like to create more step by step demonstrations, hopefully pushing the number to over 30 by the end of this year.

I am keen to try and further develop this community of watercolor painting enthusiasts by setting up a Forum on the site which will enable others to more easily communicate with myself and other like minded people. This will be very much dependent on how well I can keep the spam under control – my previous effort did not go so well but I have learnt a lot since then.

I am in the process of redesigning the site to incorporate this forum feature and hope to have it up and running by the end of January 2013.

Finally, I intend to produce more video demonstrations, most of these will be on a paid basis but some will also be free. In either case they are not expected to be very expensive. My idea is to produce watercolor painting demonstrations similar to what occurs in my weekly class. In this way they should help anyone trying to learn how to paint with watercolor paint but are not able to attend a regular class.

I have a few other ideas on how to develop the site but they may not occur so I will not list them here.

To finish off I would like to wish you all a wonderful 2013 and hope you achieve all you set out to do for the year.

Happy watercolor painting!

Joe Cartwright

Creating your own artist’s online portfolio website

Online Portfolio Websites

Gone are the days when you had to be a computer guru to create simple web sites, there are many useful sites online which show you “how to make a website”. Just Google that term and up they come. These sites either show you how to build a website or can direct you to others who do. There is a lot of freely available software on the web such as WordPress which allow you to build a site with website templates. This is a WordPress website. There are plenty of other free website maker sites on the world wide web that can help you build your online portfolio art gallery.

You still have to pay for the hosting and registration of your url (your website name) but the development of the site is much simpler with these web design packages.

Before you start creating a website use the internet to look for website ideas by looking at artistic websites which appeal to you. There is nothing wrong with this and it will help you quickly clarify what you would like in your own website.

If you still don’t see yourself as a website builder but would prefer to have someone else create a site for you then just search for “cheap websites” and you will find a whole bunch of people who offer low cost web site construction some of which you can then update yourself.

Now days it is relatively inexpensive to set up a web presence through your own web site.

Ideally your should have your own url such as my own www.joecartwright.com.au. This is something like your own home address on the internet and as its popularity develops it will become part of your brand as an artist and a very useful marketing tool.

If you do not want to go to the expense of creating a site or having one created for you, there are a number of other options to enable you to easily establish a web presence.

One such site is Redbubble; which allows you to promote your work on their site, mainly for sales as cards, prints and posters, etc.

After signing up with them (its free) you are able to very quickly and easily post your artwork on a page on their website and develop this to a full online portfolio, this is what mine looks like: Joe Cartwright on RedBubble. It is a very easy process and does not cost anything while offering the opportunity to sell some of your work. You are also able to use a site like Redbubble to communicate with and get feedback from other artists on the World Wide Web. Another similar website for artists is FineArtAmerica.com.

Artist’s Blogs

Other free options are to create a blog with services like Google’s Blogger. These free services may not allow you to create award winning websites but they can still create some quite impressive ones very quickly. Give them a go as they are free and you have nothing to lose. They also provide you with the opportunity to trial what you can personally do with the internet before you go ahead and create a website with your own unique url. Blogs can be run in conjunction with your online artist’s portfolio web site as a blog allows you to communicate quickly with those interested in your artwork and activities. I have a Blogger blog if you would like to look at it at: Joe Cartwright’s Watercolor Blog.

I hope you found this article of some benefit. It was not designed to show you how to create a website; the internet is loaded with that information, but to give you an idea of some of the potential benefits as an artist of having one.

Websites for Artists

The benefits of websites for artists

Websites for artists provide a number of useful benefits:

  • They give you a quick convenient way to set up an online art gallery.
  • With your own website you can be in total control as to what to put on it and how your work and content is to be displayed.
  • You can create a professional looking online portfolio. Online portfolios can be used to showcase your work to potential real world art galleries, also for exhibitions which are by invitation only, you can often refer them to your site rather than have to put together a full proposal requesting an invitation to exhibit.
  • Online portfolio websites allow you the ability to offer paintings for sale.
  • You can set them up to sell your paintings directly from your site or you can provide a contact form for potential customers to discuss a purchase or a viewing of your artwork – which could hopefully lead to purchase.
  • For commissions I often refer clients to my website to get an idea of the type of painting they are after. This makes the process of producing a painting that they will be happy with much easier.
  • Your artwork can be online, and hence being seen the viewing public, almost as soon as it is completed.
  • You can continue to show work, long after it is removed from a gallery. You decide when to stop displaying it.
  • Effective websites for artists allow you to promote your upcoming exhibitions and events.
  • People can also remain in contact with you through opt in mailing lists; this can help to reduce postage costs and virtually pay for your site in postage savings alone.
  • Websites present your work to the whole world. With payments services like PayPal it is now very easy to get paid, from virtually any country, if someone purchases your watercolor painting or other artwork over the internet. If sales are a bit slow in your country it does not mean they have to be slow in other countries. As people become more and more comfortable with purchasing online, these types of sales will continue to increase.
  • By creating a website you can offer other services to potential clients. I run regular watercolor painting classes and watercolor workshops, these are promoted on separate pages of my online gallery website and a significant proportion of my new students come from this channel.

Continue to: Creating your own artist’s online portfolio website