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Investment in art is nothing new. Investors have always backed artists they thought had commercial potential, and the value of masterpiece works is always supported by those with investment interests in art at auction. Many art collectors and investors see it as a good means of generating a return, in a subject they are passionate and knowledgeable about. If an art investment goes well, it can be a good financial move for the investor concerned. But if you are an amateur art investor, how can you be sure you are making wise decisions?

Oil on canvas is one of the most popular forms of art, as popularized by a number of artists including
oil on canvas by Stephen Dent. There are a few things to look for when you are considering buying a painting as an investment – these won’t guarantee you will make a profit, but they can help prevent you from backing the wrong painting.

The artist plays a big role in the value of a painting, both now and in the future. Some artists are making a name for themselves, while others have a more established following. There are tiers of artists – while this is not necessarily rigidly defined, paintings tend to cluster around similar value ranges. This means there is art available for almost any budget, big or small, for investment purposes.

Your job is to identify the right artist at the right price. If you are close to the scene, you can get a better feel for which artists are most likely to increase their profile (and hence the value of your investment cash).

Any painting you buy as an investment piece has to be genuine. Verified pieces that come with authentication from the artist are always worth far more as a result. Nobody wants to buy a fake, no matter how good it looks. Thus, if you can get evidence that your painting is authentic, you will be able to safeguard your investment for the future. It should also be in good condition, as bidders will take this into account should you come to cash in on your investment at auction at some future point.

There are two broad means of investing in oil paintings. The first is to choose works by established artists, which it will be hoped will increase in value over the years to come. The second is to back a new or emerging artist. This can be the more volatile choice, but the rewards for this type of investment can be much more significant.

Much of
art investment comes down to having a good eye for what you are buying. This can take years to develop, and no-one can expect to be entirely knowledgeable overnight. The more you read about art, paintings and art investment, the better you will become. With experience, it can be possible to pick out the most promising paintings and artists available to you. Until then, investors need to be sure they are buying low-risk, smaller scale investments while they learn how the investment process works.