I'm unsure if this is the same for everyone but I really struggled in the beginning to decide what I should paint.
I call myself a "flibbertigibbet with a brush" for that very reason. Early on I painted everything from apples, bunnies lost in woods, abstract trees, cartoons and children's books. Had no idea and no consistency at all.
Later I started painting still life, and loved it! But I had such strong reactions from people I stopped. These are now what I call the 'Marmite' of art. You either love it or hate it.
One piece of information that did direct me was this article that I found many moons ago which helped to explain why some things sold better than others. This led me to try landscapes. Or at least to try and paint things that are in the top 5.
According to a Art Business Today survey in 2003 - These were the top 10 best-selling subjects for painting in the UK.
- Traditional Landscapes
- Local views
- Modern or semi-abstract landscapes
- Figure studies (excluding nudes)
- Seascapes, harbour and beach scenes
- Impressionistic landscapes
I was shocked by these findings. I thought nudes would be right up there.
The next problem is to then decide if this should then direct you just because you want to improve your chances of selling. Or to let your own desire for personal artistic development guide you. Choices, choices.