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Questions to ask

Here are some questions to ask when you buy original art:

Is it acceptably within my budget?

Establishing a budget you are comfortable with is important of course and this will also help you to focus on artist's work you can afford. If you'd like a rough idea of how much to spend, I've heard people suggest spending half of one month's income over a one year period on one quality piece of original art.

Is the original art in keeping with where it will be displayed?

Size, colour, tones (light and dark), textures, composition etc. are properties to consider for the art to work well within it's intended space.

Is the artwork created in the same style as the artist's other work?

This will help you clarify whether you would consider a 'one off', in a different style or if you'd rather stick to the artist's signature style.

Is the original painting or drawing signed?

An original artwork by the artist should be signed and will probably be dated, possibly titled as well.

Does it come with a certificate of authenticity or record of provenance if not new?

A useful document proving ownership and authenticity. Not all galleries offer this though and some collectors simply rely on the artist's signature to show authenticity

Does the artist or gallery offer a 'cooling off' period once you have bought your original art?

If you buy online, it can be difficult to make a decision about a work of art you've never seen, so it makes sense to be able to see it with your own eyes at home and to be allowed to return it if it isn't as you expected.

Is delivery included in the price?

It is worth checking beforehand as many galleries can charge extra for delivery. The larger the work is, the pricier delivery. So its something to factor in.