Leosghost - 4:42 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
Simple..you email a jpeg to one of various companies( any subject , usually portraiture, weddings, children, pets etc )..they paint a picture /portrait in acrylics ( although always with enough "impasto" so as to mimic " ) oils"..and it is shipped back to you by air parcel..same service is available for pastels and other art media..
Usually with in 21 days of your customer placing the order..very many "portrait" artists working in the west, over/ via the internet, and offering "portrait services" do very little, if any of their own "work"..most is "farmed out" to China..
You can get landscapes, seascapes etc done from photos this way, western subjects, tourist subjects, still life, production line "Bob Ross" et al techniques, taken to the Nth level in China..by some skilled artists there..You can also "bulk order" like the supermarkets and the big box DIY outlets do for their "real genuine paintings" sections ..choose from 1000's of repro's of "old masters" or "abstract" or "impressionists" etc, choose your town, subject, period, style or artist..or send your own images for "production"..in the west the paint and canvas alone would cost you more than the price of a finished painting from a photo shipping included from these companies..
They ship millions out worldwide every year ..and hundreds of thousands are passed off as "painted by a local artist" or "all my own work", or "done by students",or "send me your portrait photo and I'll send you a picture that I painted from it" etc on the net or in galleries in Western countries..
Which is why, unless the OP has an "in" to the very best ones, or buys 2 or 3 container loads of them ( containers cost remarkably little to move by sea, you can pay more for clearing by the customs agent and shipping to you from the port of arrival, than for the entire sea voyage and the handling at each end on the docks )..the adspend (s)he has is likely to be burned away by "lookie lous" who can get one bigger from walmart etc ..frame included..for less than the OP is selling them..
The train on selling paintings on the internet left the station many years ago..although I do know of a French guy who sells "sheets of paper that he drips/ splashes wine onto" via a website who started on ebay..last time I heard he is still making around $100,000.00 or so per year from a small ( about 100 page ) site ..
Ships a single sheet of paper with the wine drips on ( charges about $5.00 to $10.00 a pop ) rolled up in a lightweight card board tube ( like in the middle of a roll of cooking foil ) or flat in an envelope..postage is about another $1.00 or $2.00 worldwide ( under 20gms most times )..
People buy them because they are from France,because it was French wine ( he says "vintage"..usually supermarket "filth" ) and then they give them away as presents "all the way from Paris France" or they frame them and put them in their kitchens etc..and impress their friends, with their "unique" item of "decor"..
Good business, no paid ads, WOMA, and a few articles in paper press, and on sites ( he made TV here at least twice )..a coupe of hours a day ( max ) dripping wine onto xerox paper..a hand written message on it..signature..and a trip to the post office once a week..all expenses are paypal and a $5.00 per month hosting account..and a ream of paper and envelopes..you get a lot of drips out of a .75 litre wine bottle ..even more out of a 5 litre plastic barrel of "house filth"..
Pays for the "good stuff" :)
That is one way of selling "art" on the web with very very low overheads..took him about 2 years to get it to a steady level..
There are other ways..be inventive..think outside the box..and avoid playing in the same sandpit where there are already established players..unless you can do it better or cheaper or faster..and we all know that you only get any two from three :)..
If your business is primarily driven via a site..it needs to be really good..not complex..but really good at attracting, enticing, presenting and selling ..and different in what it sells or how it does it from all the other ones out there..
That isn't explaining it in a "simpler" way ..but the details may be of use to the OP..:)