How to Make Sure You are Buying Original Art

Collecting art is a passionate hobby for some people. Other people are in the business. Both groups of people have the tricky task of finding authentic art pieces. A fantastic art collection will always attract people to view and buy from you.

Reputed art collectors like Charles Saatchi have helped preserve some of the best art. You might be someone who wants to do your part as an art lover. But how can one recognize the original piece? I have, over time, learned to tell original art and knock-offs apart. Here are some simple steps I follow to ascertain that a piece of art is original.

Artist’s Signature

This is the easiest and fastest way to identify an original piece of art. In my experience, I noticed that the majority of the artists leave a mark on their paintings and other art pieces that can be used to identify them. Most of these signatures are either done using paint or handwritten on the painting. I always match these signatures with the original signature to see whether they are a perfect match. I also check the signature positioning of other paintings done by the same artist. If any of these conditions fail, I presume the piece of art is fake and leave it.

Use a Magnifying Glass

Technology has made it easier for corrupt business people to make duplicate paintings. In turn, this has made it very difficult for us to identify original art. I often use a magnifying glass to check whether a piece of art is print generated or original. This is how I do this simple exercise: I place my magnifying glass on top of a picture, and, if I notice small dots on the picture, then the picture is fake. In most cases, these dots normally have a perfect arrangement.

Textured Surface

Paintings have a rough texture due to the paint used to make them. Once I knew this fact about paintings, I decided to always feel the texture of all art pieces before buying them. Paintings with a smooth surface are often generated and fake. I’m here advising you to pick paintings that will have paint waves when you feel them with your hand.

Rough Edges

This is a check that I normally perform on canvas paintings. This is because canvas painters do not do retouches on uneven bits on a painting’s edges. This single factor makes canvas paintings contain uneven borders. Perfect edges on a canvas painting are a tell-tale sign that the painting might be fake.

Brush Bristles

This is another method I use that can be used by a beginner in this job. Replicas are made in a hurry and often have simple rookie mistakes. Original pieces of art do not have brush bristles on them. This is because they are made by experts who make sure that every single detail on the painting is perfect. I have a few instances where I have noticed brush bristles on some paintings. You should leave such a painting just like I always do since there are very high chances of it being fake.

Get A Painting Expert

This is the way to go if you are interested in acquiring art but lack the experience to determine its originality. I hired a painting expert to help me buy my first pieces of art before I became an expert. I now use some of the methods I watched him identify original paintings.


This is the first thing that I do when I want to buy a painting. I do not like going to an art show to just buy a piece of art without having a specific one in mind. In most cases, I find myself looking for paintings created by famous and excellent painters. In case you’re planning to increase your Contemporary Art Collection, make sure to go through all of these tips along with doing your own bit of research. Artists have one special thing that they do on all their paintings, a trademark or a signature. They often place these items in a specific position in their paintings. I’m always cautious about paintings that have different trademarks compared to other paintings by the same artist.

Turn the Painting Over

This helps in analyzing the material used to make a certain piece of art. I have always used a painting’s material to determine its age. Materials used in paintings always have a certain feel and look that helps me to determine whether the painting is a duplicate or an original.

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