Unusual animal paintings for sale cheap on eBay


(UPDATE: It looks like these artists are copying the work of Donald Roller Wilson!)

Someone from China is selling a large number of original oil paintings of monkeys and dogs like the one shown here on eBay. The "Buy It Now" prices range from around $20 up to $100.

Take a look at this one. It's 24-inches by 36-inches and costs $100. It must've taken many days to paint!

Here are a few of my favorites: flying pickle, nostril smoker, giant pickle. (Via PCL Linkdump)


  1. They don’t seem to be listed as originals:

    Item Specifics – Paintings
    Original/ Reproduction:

  2. @4 Good call. I’m betting these are original reproduction paintings. A hand painted copy of an original. I think BB had a post awhile back about an entire town in China devoted to making hand painted reproductions of popular art for US sale.

  3. Very strange. I can’t be sure is these are copies of actual Wilson paintings as they don’t seem to be featured on his site, but they are DEFINITELY in his style…looks a little fishy to me.

  4. Having been to China, I know first hand of the “art student show,” a common scam on tourists. The “artists” walk around a tourist attraction and rope tourists into going to their “art show,” which consists of meticulously painted copies of other people’s art, which of course they will say and do anything to sell to you. So, yes, it is very possible these are copies of art by Wilson, although still hand-painted by some poor shlub in a factory in China.

  5. Please post your findings if anyone has bought one and received it. I’d get one if I knew it was an actual painting.

  6. If you like this work do yourself a favor and get on DRW’s email list. The man is a seriously funny, oddball writer and IMHO, something of a national treasure. Also, Roller’s got several prints (produced by Nash Editions, so they’re pretty much the best reproductions possible) available for under a $1000 each. Not cheap, but certainly infinitely better than buying a crappy knockoff.

  7. There seems to be a template as some of the images repeat
    see Item number: 310103876672
    Item number: 310071907959

  8. Marvelous illustrations, but they are most likely not really oil on canvas. Textured prints can be as convincing as the “artists” selling them.

  9. I’ve bought four “original” “oil on canvas” paintings from China on eBay (my mom likes pictures with lighthouses and snowmen in them, not easy to find) — three were actually hand painted oil on canvas and not bad. One was one of those crappy Giclée prints that they sell at malls.

    Some places even have systems where you send in a photo and say you want the painting done in the style of (Cézanne, Titian, Van Gogh etc.) and they will paint it for you. I’ve always wanted to try that and see what I would get back.

  10. I don’t condone this as the original artist is likely getting nothing for it.

    As for those places where you can send in photos and have them painted, I always thought it would be cool to do a unique composition in maya/photoshop and have it hand painted. Many of the most famous artists today (Koons, Murakami) don’t paint thier compositions. Of course, if it was any good I would likely find it on ebay soon after.

  11. Awesome: Donald Roller Wilson. Not awesome: shilling factory made rip-offs to under-discerning and over-consumptive fools.

    I know it’s not an art blog, but if you’re going to do it at least try. Ethic is aesthetic.

  12. Arkizzle, I’m fine, thanks. I’m in Michigan, so it’s sorta like living on Walton’s Mountain, but without the charm.

  13. StickyFinger

    under-discerning and over-consumptive fools

    In that respect, is there any difference between this and a poster of a famous work? (royalties aside)

  14. Without question, these are ripoffs of Roller’s work. Details/colors/etc. are changed, but every piece you see is a more-or-less identical composition that Roller did at one time or another. He’s been painting these subjects for decades, most of the animal portraits were done starting in the 80’s. Each animal is a unique character in a long narrative.
    By the late 80’s his paintings were fetching five (in some cases even six) figures -many selling before he had even finished them- and were voraciously collected by celebs like Frank Zappa, Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, etc.
    …disclaimer: My family and I actually knew Roller quite well when I was a kid. He is a unique personality and talent, as well as a superb craftsman.

  15. Walton’s Mountain, but without the charm.

    So.. good thing / bad thing? :D
    Glad you’re well anyway.


    No there’s not much difference, I guess. Likely I overreacted; there are a ton of truly awesome Chinese painters deserved of publicity. But I shouldn’t hold everyone else to my level of art snobbery. Just Caveat emptor.

  17. Although the Chinese art scene (centered in Beijing) has been taking off over the past few years, I’m not sure there are all that many Chinese artists who actually create paintings of their own composition.

    Creativity is not a strong point of East Asian cultures in general (several factors involved, especially the school system). So Chinese painters often do reproductions, or works in someone else’s style. In art stores you can see the same paintings over and over again. There’s an entire city in southern China devoted to reproducing western art.

    While painters here may not be overly creative, that’s not to say they aren’t talented. It’s quite common that painters can work in a wide variety of styles, doing a Vermeer today and a Pollack tomorrow. Or fifty copies of the same painting, all in one batch.

  18. I wish I could see more of the ones that were bought via buy it now. You can tell some of the artists are way better than the others, some have way less detail or only copy a portion of the painting. You’ll see the same painting done AMAZINGLY and then … not so much. I think i’m going to get one.

  19. #23 – WHAT ARE FACTS and ethics to BB commenters, mere obstacles to expression of obliviousness!
    …he said sarcastically

  20. For some of the paintings I’ve seen come out of these studios I’d guess they have printed a good quality (?) image onto canvas and hand painted on a little texture using something like clear acrylic gel medium. People who don’t know what a real painting is like probably don’t care. They are mostly interested in the image and the cheap price.

  21. #32 – You can see some of the ones that have already sold if you look at the seller’s feedback page. Do a search for the auction number that’s in the comments. They disappear after a few months, but you can at least see some of the older ones.

  22. I became intrigued with Donald Roller Wilson while attending the University of Arkansas in the early 1990’s (he lives in Fayetteville, AR). The images on eBay and even on Wilson’s personal site don’t do justice to his art. In real life, it’s amazingly vivid, from the glass to the water droplets to the glossy pickles to the cigarettes and their smoke. Back in 1990 or 1991, I bought one of Wilson’s books for a friend’s birthday and, on a whim, dropped by Wilson’s house to see if he would sign it for my friend. His wife answered the door and said she would take care of things if I would leave the book with her. I returned the next day, and Wilson had written a brief cordial note for my friend wishing him a happy birthday. I just thought I’d pass along my little anecdote to add to the conversation. Amazing artist, and apparently a nice guy.

  23. Was in NYC recently and stopped by a gallery that sells DRW’s work… she had no idea about this organized thievery. Quite a shocker for her.

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