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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Painting Business from Home

Start a Painting Business

What you will be doing.  Painting is a form of art expression that brightens up the world.  There are different forms of painting from portraits to landscapes.  A portrait captures the essence of a person better than a photograph. 

Portrait painters can work from life or from photographs.  If you sit for a portrait, several meetings may be required to finish the work.  A photograph on the other hand, may require the customer to take periodic looks at the portrait to make sure that the artist’s work is satisfactory. 

As a portrait painter, your work will come from word of mouth.  Coaxing friends and family members to sit for you, will yield sample portraits to show at other venues. 

How to start.  If you plan on starting a business of any kind, check with the courthouse to see what licenses and permits are needed.  You will need to purchase canvases and supplies.  Some painters may do preliminary drawings of their subjects.   

An area of your home will need to be used as your portrait studio.  You will have all of the props, drop cloths, and lighting equipment set up here for the portrait sittings.  The studio should have a door so that other family members won’t disturb you while you are working. 

Starting costs.  Painting supplies can be expensive.  If painting is your hobby, you may have the paints and other supplies needed.  Typically, you will not have the various canvases, frames, and supplies for doing portraits unless you have done them before.  These alone could run you into the thousands of dollars. 

Deciding what size portraits you will offer, and if you will do framing will help decide what needs to be purchased.  Larger canvases will cost more and framing will too.  Have a plan.  Knowing how you will construct your portrait painting business ahead of time will keep you focused. 

Also needed in the home office are a computer, printer, fax machine, and telephone.  If you plan on painting portraits from photographs, you may need software to enhance or enlarge the picture for better visualization.  The computer will also be used for bookkeeping, order tracking, and invoices. 

Skills needed.  Well, you will need to be an excellent painter.  Painting portraits takes skill and attention to detail.  Knowing the subtleties of shading and light are important. 

Painters should be comfortable with the public.  You will need to clearly communicate with your subject about everything from the clothing they wear to the position they pose in.  If the customer doesn’t feel comfortable with you, they won’t use your service again. 

Marketing.  This is important to your business.  Customers want to see finished works.  Go one better and demonstrate a work in progress.  At a flea market or trade show, have a friend or family member pose while you paint their portrait on the spot.  This will get people to sign up for an initial sitting at your studio.   

Pass out flyers and hang them up in grocery stores, daycare centers, hospitals, and the like.  Advertise in local newspapers and trade news.  Your business can grow into wedding portraits or commissioned portraits for local businesses, schools, and other corporations.  The possibilities are endless once your work gains a following. 

Portraits are a great gift.  They are more expensive than photographs but they will last forever.  A portrait painting business is a way to do something you love and make big profits in the process.

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