After You Finish a Painting - Then What?

 On The Road To Halsey © Beth Cole Acrylic on Canvas 36 x 36

On The Road To Halsey © Beth Cole Acrylic on Canvas 36 x 36

It has taken me a while to figure out what to do after I finish a painting. After experimenting with various workflows, this is my current process.

  1. I use Word to create a file for the painting. It includes the name of the painting, an inventory number. I use year/month/# of painting within the month/medium, so for example the 3rd pastel of March this year would be 3163P. You can use any type of numbering system you like. I also include a short description of the painting that can be used whenever you post online or show it in a gallery. This is something I learned from reading Art-Write by Vicki Krohn Amorose. Writing about your art is a good habit in which to get into – it helps to invite the viewer into the painting.
  2. After I finish this file, I save it in a folder on my computer. I have organized my folders like such: Art/Word/Art Descriptions
  3. Next I take a photo of the art. I have a music stand on which I place the art in a room with good natural light. The music stand helps me keep the art at eye level so I can get a good photo.
  4. After taking the photo, I bring it into Photoshop, crop it and make any edits needed (i.e. light adjustments to be sure the photo looks as close as possible to the original). Then I save the file on my computer as such: Art/images/Landscape/March2016. The file name includes the name of the piece and the number, i.e. DeepWater3161O.
  5. I list the painting on my website and in Artwork Archive, a new tool I have discovered that helps keep my inventory organized online. I am only in one gallery now, but as my journey progresses, Lord willing, I will be ready to manage work that is in more than one gallery. You can sign up for a free trial of Artwork Archive here.
  6. I share the painting on my Facebook page and Instagram. I have shown phases of the painting on Instagram, but I might do that less as I don't believe people read. I have had great response and encouragement from Instagram.

What does your process look like?