Quantity of canvases to start a gallery here

I sell in a gallery locally and am thinking of selling on-line here at DPW. How many canvases would be a good number (quantity) to start posting art here at DPW. Since all my work is in my local gallery I would need to start new smaller canvases for posting here. How many paintings did you start with here at DPW?

It doesn’t matter how many you have to start with, you can start with just a few or one. Only one painting per day can be posted on the “front page” anyway. Start with what you have and if you paint frequently your Gallery will fill up quickly. Best of luck to you!

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Since DPW is in precipitous decline it would probably be best not to make any large monetary commitment, or really even have any positive expectations, unless you are bringing a fan base with you to the site, until you have a chance to observe the response to your work over time.

Please don’t say that or discourage someone new. Currently there are 75 active auctions. Some people still sell nearly everything they post. There will always be fluctuations.

Good work still sells, but I think the DPW market has been impacted by the number of people selling decent work for next to nothing. That practice devalues everyone’s work. I also think a lot of newer members have unreasonable expectations.


I wanted to offer a data-based counterpoint to the claim that “DPW is in precipitous decline.”

Here are some sales figures for the entire membership for this and for last year:

Per Month Average Number of Works of Art Sold

2014 913 works per month (1,253 avg. # of members)
2015 1,189 works per month (1,472 avg. # of members)

Per Month Average $ Total for Works of Art Sold

2014 $92,021 per month (1,253 avg. # of members)
2015 $106,888 per month (1,472 avg. # of members)

From the above, we can see that each member is averaging 0.80 works sold per month this year over 0.73 last year. Keep in mind that this is an average over all our artists, even the ones who do not post work often.

Instead of declining, DPW is holding steady despite the growth in membership. Further, the average price per work of art sold in 2014 was $101, while this year, so far, it is a close $90.

Connie is absolutely right, there will always be fluctuations over time, and sales are not going to be equal between artists. Yes, some artists do not sell well on DPW and some may even see their sales decline over time for whatever reason, however many artist continue to do well on DPW and even do better over time.

Building a following online is hard work and takes time. Because of this, we keep DPW membership affordable and purposefully do not increase its cost as we continue to add new features to help you sell, such as adding custom DPW Gallery store and print pages.

Here’s a short list of ways to build an online following:

  • paint often to improve your skill and the quality of your work
  • paint often to gain exposure by being on our front “What’s New” page
  • enter our DPW monthly contests - the 3 place and 12 judges picks all become featured artists for a month
  • start a blog or a Facebook page where buyers can go to “hear your voice”

David Marine
Developer and Owner of DPW


Very glad to hear the numbers David! I have sold on several different sites so I do have experience selling online. In all of those other places I pay a LOT more in commissions and fees! VERY low cost for the most bang is on DPW! I have improved greatly in work and sales following David’s list above.

Thank you for the encouraging words and insight from your experience. David thank you for the data which is really helpful and impressive too!

Thanks for the info Dave thats great. Are most of sales auctions? Just curious as to how buy it now sales do.

Joe, about 40%, on average, are DPW auction sales. The rest are through direct purchase, PayPal links.

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Thank you David, for the facts that you have provided here. It is a challenge to sell consistently without keeping prices low, perhaps lower than they should be. This becomes even more of a challenge when you begin selling work in gallery’s and shows because of the importance of maintaining pricing that is somewhat consistent. I have found that I can continue to create smaller “daily” pieces which are often studies or ideas for larger, more completed pieces, to post here on DPW. Having this exposure affords me the opportunity to attract potential buyers to my own online gallery and blog. I am always surprised by the number of people who comment that my work “should sell for much more” yet never sign on and place a bid. I guess it all comes back to the economics of “willing and able”. I don’t think any of us exuberantly sell our work for less than we would like to receive but find that we need to price our work at a level where it will actually sell. That being said, I believe the benefits of being a member of DPW go far beyond the ability to sell a piece of artwork. Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. Keep up the good work. I, for one, appreciate it very much.


I love DPW! It’s been the best website for me. I don’t sell much on DPW - but that’s not the point for me. I’m so grateful when someone notices and comments on my work - it makes my day. DPW keeps me painting pure and simple. David goes out of his way to answer questions and offer help.
I sell mostly through a local gallery and small local shows - I show in restaurants, where ever there’s an opportunity. I know it may not be a famous gallery but I love to paint and it’s better than stuffing my work under my bed.
DPW is user friendly too. I remember when I was setting up my blog and David helped me with Feedburner - I didn’t have a clue. He didn’t have to help me but he did! I couldn’t have done any of this without DPW and David Marine.
I celebrated my 3rd anniversary on Saturday, November 7th and I couldn’t be happier. PAINT ON! MB Warner


I also have found DPW to be very friendly and helpful. Compared to everything else I have worked on in my life, I have found painting to be the most intense and absorbing experience. I have to paint for myself or I would be paralysed with uncertainty, BUT there is not much point unless the work connects to others as well. DPW gives me direct feedback that I would never get if I had my paintings in gallery or more likely, they just piled up on a shelf in my studio. When someone comments, or a painting gets more views than other paintings that I have done, or someone plunks their hard earned cash for one, I can tell how well I am connecting. DPW has given me a way of showing my work to a lot of artists as well as potential buyers, and not just to my family (they’r biased). The process is a complex one of judging for myself how well I am achieving what I am trying to accomplish, at the same time trying to communicate with others. Doing it daily gets me practice and motivation. Thanks DPW.


The best way to work with DPWs is to paint often and post often. If you are painting small paintings almost daily it takes no time at all to have a good gallery showing. If you can not paint daily, get a good small collection of small paintings done say 7 to 10, then post a one a couple days a week, giving you some time to get more painted. Posting one painting a day is a great way to go, because only one will be shared daily from the site through email to members.

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Peter, I know David has already addressed the data re DPW sales, and I hope you don’t mind if I make some comments re your Gallery. Your work is wonderful. You are very talented. But DPW has many wonderful artists so yes, we compete for the customer’s choice of art to buy. You say “unless you bring a fan base with you”. Since ALL of your works except one are SOLD I’m curious why you feel negative about DPW. Did you bring your own fan base or sell elsewhere or has DPW been the doorway to all your sales?

If you feel you are not getting the traffic, here may be why:
No link to a blog where people can get to know you.
No info on your Gallery Artist page. Art is personal. Buyers want to know something about you.
No link to a Facebook page. Facebook offers a great way to let people know about your art.
Google “Artists Helping Artists” and listen to the podcasts on marketing. I work full time so have not implemented much but there is a business side to this business. Best of luck.


Hi Elizabeth,

First of all I do not " feel negative " about DPW per se. I like the site. It is well designed and well managed. However I am an observer and a maker not a cheerleader. Art as painting is an image and an emotion. Some works are posted for auction with a starting bid of one dollar yet they do not sell. Price is not the sole issue. Initially buyers are drawn to work they find evocative and compelling yet it also needs to satisfy their personal concept of worth and price. Once an artist is better known to a group of viewers a certain trust is established. This takes time and does not develop in the same manner for every artist.The art must speak rather than me. An excess of explanation for me feels like a sales pitch and since I have the utmost respect for the potential buyer I will always do the best work of which I am capable using the best of materials without any pressure to purchase. Whether any of us like the surmise, art is worth what someone will pay for it contingent upon a host of extenuating conditions.


Those are my sentiments exactly. I do think that the number of people, many who are creating very nice work, selling that work for next to nothing devalues everyone’s work. It’s truly a shame and disheartening. That being said good work does still sell, but there does seem to be a slump. I do know artists who started on DPW that had to move on because they could not get their very reasonable price on the site, but do well in other venues. For the price and the connection to other artists it is certainly worth it to give it a go. I’m one of those who is taking a break. Which doesn’t mean I won’t be back.