Should I Paint the Sides of My Canvas?

Should I Paint the Sides of My Canvas?

 “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it’s selling.” – Peter Drucker –

Many artists are trying to sell work, which in my opinion as a specialist in Visual Communication, is incomplete. If you’re going to paint a boxed canvas, there’s a front AND four sides. Why would you ignore the sides and not give them the same amount of love as the front?

If you’re trying to attract a mate, or sell a product or a painting, one has to display yourself or an item in the best possible light. It’s called ‘Marketing-101’. You can’t assume a prospective partner will see your ‘inner beauty’, or for that matter, assume the client is going to frame your canvas. You only have one chance to create a great first impression.


A hung boxed canvas appears 3-D on a wall. At some angles, you may only be able to see one side, so make it interesting, like a teaser. Entice the viewer to look at the front. This does not mean a slap of colour on the sides, without using masking tape to protect the front, but rather ‘wrap’ or hug your whole painting around the sides with as much detail and finesse as the front. If ‘floating’ frames are chosen – one can still see the sides, so they should be painted.


Take pride in your creation. Finish it. CLICK HERE. Present it. Sell it!

You may already be selling your ‘unfinished’ paintings for R20 000 or more. Fantastic! But how many more would you sell, if you actually completed them? I have often fallen in love with a painting and then been put off by the presentation. I’ve had this discussion with many other artists and would-be buyers and they all agree, so I’m not the only pernickety one. 🙂

When buying houses, it’s about the site: location, location, location, but when buying art, it’s about appreciating the visual: presentation, presentation, presentation.

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  •  “Show value, create an experience and always strive to exceed your customers’ expectations.” – Shep Hyken
  •  “Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.” – Seth Godin

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