Do you believe these are oil paintings?


Grumbler in Training
May 7, 2006
Dublin, Ireland
Hi all,

Resently a lot of people have come too me to stretch "oils" an canvas that they bought at the door. I have also seen them on ebay starting from £1.
I am convinced that they are produced using some type of textured printing process, but have no proof or explanation of the method used.

Have anyone else come across these, and what are your opinions on them





They are probably produced someplace like China by artists on a kind of assembly line for about 1/10 of their selling price. They have a master image to work from, and reproduce it all day long.

As for ebay, the real price is in the shipping.
Since you seem to have two of the same scene, can you compare them to see if they are really identical? These look very much like "assembly line" paintings. Here in the states they appear at hotel "Weekend Art Sales" featuring "sofa size paintings" starting at $19.95!
(Of course, they actually make their money selling the ready-made frames.)
I have come across them. Customers get them from other parts of the world on vacation.

I have never considered that they could be a printing process. I'll check out the next one that comes in. You could be correct, a new twist on production painting.
Not to be playing "DEVIL'S ADVOCATE" but even if they are some assemble line or production method and they are in deed oil pigment applied with a brush on Canvas ,doesn't that still make them "OIL PAINTINGS"?

Now if your askig are they ORIGINALS or Valuable that may require a differnt annalisis.

I have seen some OIL PAINTINGS done on the beach of Cozumel ,Mexico that were done with the artist fingers in a matter of minutes and they had a strikeing similarity to many that where done earlier but they were OIL PAINTINGS and ON Canvas ( or scraps of it).

This is sort of like the thread about the Papyrus Paintings From EGYPT. They are real but they are cranked out ( most in duplicate form,even though there are hundreds of images to choose from) nut they are real Papyrus paintings and they do originate from Egypt.Only thing is they can be bought in a lot of USA flea markets for just afew dollars US.

On a differnt but related topic does the fact that the art is digitally produced make Giclees worthless or cheap? and can't they be Originals also? ( although rarely are)
I understand many of these production-line oil paintings are each painted by several people. One does all the skies, another the buildings, another all the trees, etc. One continue canvas-on-a-roll type thing, then cut apart when they're "finished". The signature is actually a code for what day the were painted, or something like that, not of the artist..Interesting!

Still orginal oil paintings, no two are EXACTLY the same. Customers have brought them from China, Paris, Mexico, their home towns, all over the world!
..doesn't that still make them "OIL PAINTINGS"?

Sure. But I don't think the original post was a value or artistic judgement, just wondering whether a painting or printing process.

BTW, is the one at the top a group of aliens in evening gowns?

They would cost a lot more if they were textured reproductions.

Assembly line oil paintings. Worthless, but yes, GENUINE ORIGINAL OIL PAINTINGS.

Better than a Kinkade "original"

Note: They use cheap paint, and have been known to fade.
Does the framing cost less for this than say, an "original"?
Every couple of years a group of young people wielding cardboard portfolios full of these things emerges and criss-crosses the area claiming to be "art students" selling these to help pay for their studies or to start a new gallery. Curiously, they don't claim to have created these masterpieces themselves.
And yes, Bob, if someone brings one in for framing I will design the job just as though it were a valuable original. You'd be surprised how good some of them will look framed nicely. Besides, since they "only" spent $25 to $50 on the art, they have money left to put into framing.
:cool: Rick matters not if we like the art. If the customer wants to frame a scribble drawing by their 1 year old nephew in a $ 500.00 frame it must be important to them or they wouldn't spend the $$$ to frame it nicely...just be sure to get a deposit!

Dave Makielski
I have the exact same painting here at the shop shown in the lower photo. We bought some of these canvases on eBay and the Van Gogh knock off was sent as a "freebie". Close inspection shows it as an acrylic; I don't smell oil paint, there are no signs on the back of the canvas to indicate any oil residue and the texture is too "plastic". Just my humble assessment.
A lot of my clients like the painting and we've received positive comments. However, it is still here and hasn't sold yet...hhmmmmm
We call them "Hong Kong Oils" our fun game is to ask the customer how much they paid and what storey they got (never letting on exactly what we know, they think they got a great deal, good on them- we'll frame it...), the art student storey is common, mostly from Canada or Isreal for some reason. The highest price I have heard was $800 and the lowest $40 - in both instances the customers were happy with their deal and were under the impression that they had paid for the "Cost of Materials" used in the creation of the piece.

I have two right in front of me now, one of which I have framed at least 5 times (and I hardly ever get into the workshop and do the real work!!!).
These are (and have been for 20 years that I know of) sold in huge quantities at the shows such as Decor, Frame-O-Rama, etc. Our booth in Atlanta last year was in plain sight of several vendors of such wares and they were seldom quiet. Some people would buy literally hundreds of them. I bought one to frame and donate for a local fundraising event. I think I paid around $20 for it - it brought $250.
Many of those production line paintings are rip-offs of paintings done by living working artists. Several of my artist friends have found copies of their paintings listed on e-bay. These foreign artist(s) will find the images on the artist's web site and paint copies. It's a shame.

We have an operator in the area that has 8 stores in the malls and does around a gajillion dollars a year.

Sometimes, one gets out of his stores unframed. When they bring it in, the first words out of our mouths better be "Wow, that looks great. I know just the perfect frame"

At the shows, we routinely see a ton of framers walking out with large rolls of these babies
I've framed a ton of these--Most people haven't paid much, and are even willing to use stickyboard instead of stretchers to avoid that cost.

My most awkward moment with them came a month ago. A customer who goes to a reputable art show in New Jersey brough 3 of these to me intermixed with the "real" art. Talked to me about the nice Italian woman who does them, and marveled at the detail. I bit my tongue nearly in half. They had the blue canvas and everything. I was so tempted to say something, but I didn't. Was I wrong?
I guess I'm confused, again. Are these a lessor product than say a Portal poster? I read story after story on here about people turning a Portal poster into a $4,582 frame job. I would think even a worthless piece of toilet paper like these paintings should fetch a $22,840 frame job?

I like these. What I dislike about them the most is the obvious copyright violations. There is really no good reason why the exporters couldn't at least come up with origional designs in the vein of popular art.

Bob, you know why framers keep buying them? I do!

Carry on.
Hey Jay-Sure, I know. Because consumers buy them in droves

When one thinks of all the self-imposed limitations we place on consumers, it's a wonder we sell anything at all.

Wouldn't it simply be easier to work a little more diligently on finding out what consumers really want to buy instead of always injecting our personal biases. There always seem to be chronic group that always wishes to recite a ton of reasons why something is so unworthy

And, it often is something that is a big seller
I repaired loose corners on one this week. It was in a 3" gold frame with a liner, and looked pretty good, actually. The sticker on the back of that original oil on canvas said "Made in China".

The customer bought at Sofa Express for $50.00, marked down from $100 (Wow! half price!) because of the loose corners and dents/scratches in the moulding. We both chuckled at the fact that my repairs cost her more than the framed original painting.

Within five miles of my shop, every day, probably ten -- maybe twenty -- of these imported, original oils on canvas sell in all kinds of stores around here, for prices lower than my cost would be for the mouldings -- never mind the costs for the painting, stretching, and fitting.