"Years ago, I would often paint portraits of children at the railway station," Gujarat-based artist Rakesh Patel said, mulling over the past and how it led to his success in the field of contemporary art.

"If it was not for the online medium, I could never imagine a day when my art would be sold in London," said the artist, who is well known for his portraits and for effectively capturing human emotions.

Selling his art online for over 10 years now, Patel said that despite being virtual, the medium has been a boon for many beginners in the art field. "Beginners find it very difficult to exhibit their works at a gallery – not many manage to gather the required resources . But the online galleries are such a huge platform that even accomplished artists prefer to sell their works through them," Patel told IANS.

Saffronart is one such major player.

"Saffronart, a big player in the Indian online art market, has been in the field for over 15 years," its co-founder, Dinesh Vazirani, told IANS, adding: "People are now very comfortable buying online. That has helped us sell over 20,000 artworks to over 8,000 customers since our inception."

The company’s artworks range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $2.5 million dollars.

"The global online art market is worth over $2.4 billion (more than Rs.15,000 crore). Indian art needs much more representation on this vast digital platform – which is only picking up gradually," said Kiran Wood, who with her husband Tim Wood left London for Delhi to start fullpictureart.com