How to Buy Affordable Modern Paintings

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How to Buy Affordable Modern Paintings

Buying art as part of a growing collection or as a home decoration is an enjoyable pursuit for many people in the UK. In terms of modern paintings, due to the countless offerings available from a whole host of sources, it is wise to browse and shop on eBay as this is the platform that many sellers use to list their items.

This guide will look at some of the buying considerations for buying a modern art painting and how to go about buying one from eBay.

Definition of Modern Paintings

It is hard to classify certain art pieces into a definitive category. Some of the categories that modern paintings fall into include:

Modern Art – Modern art is regarded as works created from roughly the 1860’s up until the 1970’s. It connotations are with moving away from the traditional and conventional forms of art where new techniques and creative processes can be explored. The subdivisions that make up the whole modern art movement are extensive and incorporate many different styles.

Postmodern Art – The natural reaction to modernistic art came in a style known as postmodern art. Again the definition is a broad one but is based around the notion of creating a painting for the sake of originality and authenticity.

Contemporary Art – This is a term used for art pieces that are produced at the present time although some definitions identify it as any art piece since the end of the Second World War. Many movements such as classical realism and abstract expressionism are examples of contemporary art paintings.

Types of Modern Paintings

The boundless nature of all art forms has led there to be many movements over the years which can appeal to some more than others. In terms of modern paintings, there are different styles to consider before making a purchase; the table below will look at only a few of them and provide a quick description.


Art Type







An abstract art painting has been defined as one that does not tend to represent a being of the natural world – be it a human, animal, landscape, etc. It depends on the different use of brushstrokes in terms of their colour, shape and size to portray the artists’ intention.



A common type of painting that people enjoy is the traditional portrait. Again they can appear in different guises to suit the preference of the buyer. Some will depict a person in realistic details whilst others may portray humans in a more creative and conceptual fashion.

Art Deco

Art deco is a 20th century art form associated with the technological advancements of the 1920’s and 30’s in America and Europe. Its main attribute is its interest in glamour and exuberance, making its range of subject matter popular across the UK for people who want to add a bit of flair to their homes.


Pop Art

Emerging in the mid 20th century, pop art paintings came to represent the rise of popular culture. Many modernistic features are included in the paintings appealing to the mass culture market, touching on themes as advertising and well known brands. Andy Warhol paintings are commonly associated with pop art.


Unsurprisingly, realist art pieces depict existent aspects of real life such as humans, buildings and landscapes. The main consideration is based around the desire to represent the subject in as much details as possible, highlighting the skills of the artist.

Buying Considerations for Modern Paintings

  • Consider how much is to be spent overall on the painting; evaluate all the options on the high street and online. eBay has many auctions that start from as little as 1p excluding delivery charges. Many Buy It Now items can also be purchased for low amounts under £10.
  • Whereabouts the painting will be positioned in the home is another major consideration. Think about the space it will go into and if it will fit well. When reviewing the painting then make sure to check out the length and height values and plan accordingly. Also look at the colour scheme of the room, for example such things as the carpet, wall paint colour and furniture, and decide if the painting will match. Consider the size and appearance of the frame as well in respect to this.
  • Where to buy from is another consideration to think about. eBay has thousands of modern paintings listed in every style and format imaginable which make it a good place to start a search. Buying online is also advantageous as the painting will be delivered to the front door and save the hassle of transporting it as carefully as possible in a car or public transport.

Searching for Affordable Modern Paintings on eBay

As there are so many types of modern painting on eBay, it is not conceivable to look through all of them to make an informed buying decision. Only if the exact copy of a painting or the specific artist is known make using the keyword search bar useful.

If not then browse by categories is the best way to go about selecting the most desired paintings. Items are entered into eBay by the sellers themselves so the same kind of painting may potentially listed in various ways and therefore in various categories, thus making them hard to find. For modern art paintings then check out the following categories before refining the search using the preference menu:

-  Paintings

-  Modern

-  Contemporary Paintings

Preference Menu

When a suitable category has been found then the preference menu on the left-hand side of the results page can help to narrow down the listings from the many that appear.

-  To pinpoint the listings that are within a reasonable price range then it is possible to select a maximum price range for the desired painting. This will exclude the paintings that are on the expensive side.

-  Another good tip to find paintings at a low rate is to try and take advantage of the auction facility, where sellers may have intentionally listed their item at a small price to entice more bids. If these bids don’t come however then the painting can potentially be won at a price much smaller than would be found from other internet outlets or high-street shops.

-  The preference menu can also be used to narrow the listings down in terms of the buying format, location and condition. There is also the chance to select listings within a certain distance of your location – something useful if wanting the review the painting first-hand before it has been bought or collecting it afterwards.

Staying Safe on eBay

The main worry of some eBay users have is the thought of receiving counterfeit items from fraudulent sellers. With paintings this worry can be amplified with the existence of fakes sometimes infiltrating the current market.

Below are some tips of how to stay safe on eBay and avoid potential scams or fake paintings.

  • Genuine emails will always come through eBay themselves and never straight to your inbox. If an email is received claiming to be from eBay then make sure exactly the same message is displayed in the Messages section of ‘My eBay.’ This is important to remember as clicking on sham links or even entering personal details via these fake emails can have detrimental effects.
  • When coming to make a payment, Paypal is the preferred method of most genuine eBayers. Aswell as being free to use, it is a safe and easy service and is also necessary when coming to reclaim any lost money through eBay Buyer Protection. Try and avoid money transfer companies such as Western Union or MoneyGram if possible which can also cost to use. 
  • Click on the seller’s profile and review their history. Look at their rating score and feedback comments; of course any seriously negative reviews should ring alarm bells. The competitive nature of eBay now means that sellers will strive to maintain a 100% rating. Anything much lower than this may not be an ideal seller.
  • If the painting is second-hand then the seller should know a lot about it. Check the item description to see if the information provided appears to be genuinely written and sufficiently detailed. A good tip is to ask the seller a question if any details are unclear or to simply build a degree of trust with them.
  • Check out the other items that the seller has listed. See if these are listed in a genuine manner also to further explore their authenticity. Further modern art paintings can be explored this way also.
  • Check the photograph provided to see if they are genuine and a good representation of the painting. Some sellers may sneakily only take pictures that show their items in a good light. In the case of paintings, they may have missed out potential scratches or smudges that can affect their appearance and value. Look out for sellers who have taken photos from different angles of the whole painting; request them to do so by contacting them if they haven’t.
  • If and when a transaction has been completed successfully and both parties are happy, then make sure to add the seller to your favourites list. Using them to complete future transactions can be made more confidently this way.


For art enthusiasts, modern paintings are commonly found in homes up and down the UK. They come in a whole host of different designs to suit different homes or personal tastes. When coming to buy then do research of the market and then check out eBay to find the most suitable modern painting at the best price possible.

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