How Much Should An Arist Charge For A Painting?


11 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
What's with this 10 cents business? Price your art according to what you think you should be earning. If no one's buying it, you'll just have to lower your price. Try and establish the sizes you'll be working with and stick to them to simplify your life. For example, if you sell a 8x10 in piece at $100, charge $150 for a 9x12 piece. $200 for 16x20, $250 for 18x24, $300 for 20x30... Again, these are examples. Just keep painting. The more you work, the more your skill grows, the greater the rewards.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Thank you Taiji. I am a young artist and I am very conflicted as to how to go about pricing my works. On the one hand, I am quick handed.. In my classes in the university I studied and practiced art in I was one of the top artists in my classes with the curse of efficiency...My art is not thoughtless or rushed, it is just that it takes me less time to do what it would take one of my peers longer to do.  In no way is this bragging. I feel as though hourly rates would work against me if I were to charge accordingly... Some of my favourite peices took half the time of my least favourites... So would I charge less for one I was extremely proud of simply because it took less hours to create it and was created in a moment of inspiration.. And have to charge more for one that I spent years on perfecting with no happy result? Now that I am experimenting with abstraction, should it be valued less or more than a representative work that took me longer but required less creativity?? I've spent over $40,000  and 4 years following my passion and talent, and had I spent that time in another field I would be set up with a dependable and profitable career... Not blushing at my patrons when the issue of price arises. I havent made any copies, so I've sold nothing but originals, paintings that the patrons were beaming with pride and excitement over... What merits value in art that makes it worth more than just the cost of the supplies? Chic exhibits? Articles by art critics who have been deemed important and intelligent by a higher institution? How can you put a price on a creation that does not ' do ' anything in a tangible sense? Seriously, I would like to know...

I sold a 35x 35 painting for 400 bucks. The patron was in love with it and couldnt stop talking about it, but also took forever to pay the meager 400 dollars. Was that Too much  or shockingly low? I have a university degree to do This. Most of my peers have yet to sell a painting.. But if they did.. Would it be 400 or 4000?

Random tangent complete. But heres another mind bite:
A carpenter builds a deck. Its beautiful. He loves what he does... He gets to spend the day in the sun working with his hands. He's fully certified and quite talented as the deck proves. His work does not fix the sink or the car or your teeth, its lovely and it is specifically for you to enjoy.  Just because he enjoys what he does and it comes natural to him to put one together does not mean you don't have to pay him. Not everyone can afford a deck, not everyone can afford an original painting.. They don't blush when they give you the final bill for the deck, we shouldnt blush when we give them the bill for the art.

.. Now if I can actually Do that. :P
Bem Art Profile
Bem Art answered
My sister, a professional artist, explained her calculation.  Supplies and materials usually take 50% of the price of the work (gasoline used to drive to locations, advertising, materials, cost of renting space, utilities, licenses, web costs, postal costs, frame, etc.).  The government usually takes 30% in taxes etc., for the self-employed.  That leaves the artist with a 'salary' of 20%.  So, if it takes 20 hours to paint, frame, and market your painting and you charge $400 -- your salary is 20% of $400 = $80.  You'll be making $4 an hour.  If it takes you 10 hours (remember ALL the time you spend, not just the time spent painting), you'll make $8 an hour.  A gallery does the marketing, advertising, and selling portion (50% commission), so painters sometimes feel this is worth the trade off.  They get to paint more, and spend less time on marketing.  However, they'll often charge the gallery the cost of materials so that the commission is more reasonable.  Hope this helps.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A gallery owner once told me a good method of pricing work.  He said artists deserve to get paid at least half of what a plumber makes an hour so as an example let's say if a plumber gets $40/hr, give yourself $20/hr pay.  To find your total cost, #1: Add up the total hrs spent on a piece. #2: Add in cost of supplies.  #3: Add in if a gallery, manager, etc is taking a percentage.  #4: If you're an established artist whose work is becoming in demand, then bump up your prices accordingly. NOW you have what your selling price should be.

Size does not matter; it's quality, not quantity.  The reason larger pieces tend to get priced more is because more supplies are needed to complete the work (more paint for a larger canvas/panel, etc.) and the cost of supplies will be factored into the above formula.

If you're still not sure what would be a fair price, then visit galleries that show up & coming artists.  See whose work is honestly of the same calibur as your work and then what it is selling for...then price around the same.  Bear in mind that gallery work will be priced to give 30-50% to the gallery so if you're selling directly to a patron, price accordingly.
Helastair Vexed Profile
Helastair Vexed answered
There's no absolute rule for this, but to get a guide for the minimum worth of your work, try adding up the cost of your materials, and then adding on the money you would have made if you had spent the time you took over the piece working at a minimum wage job. You'll be surprised how much this comes to.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
If as you say... there is no rule... someone should start one. As an artist I refuse to value my contribution to society as minimal. Minimum wage is for unskilled labor. Artists have serious skills. Perhaps if we stopped branding ourselves as; fortunate to work at something we love... and stop acting like it is noble to be a starving artist... and that is an honor to have our work purchased at all...we could demand fair compensation without choking on our words. Are you one of the best artists in your community? Do you get paid what the 10th best plumber in your community gets paid? Do you believe society will benefit more from the unique perspective of your plumber or from you? I have been to museums in numerous countries. Among the precious and revered articles within them... preserved for the ages to admire and be inspired by... I have seen very little plumbing. I have seen lots of art... art celebrated as examples of the crowning achievements of humanity. Valuable stuff.
I am tired of hearing "it depends". Of course it depends. It depends first and foremost on what you truly believe. And it depends on how passionately you pass on that belief. We are creative people... capable of inspiring others to see things they could not otherwise see... to stop them long enough to ponder, to wonder and to shape what may be a better world. We do valuable work. Few who have changed history have been inspired by their plumber. So, the next time someone asks what you charge for the work you do... do not hesitate to tell them... "As an artist...only as much as the average plumber". A bargain!
Lets make it an absolute rule. Pass it on.
And... I apologize to plumbers everywhere. Although, I am willing to bet it was an artist who created the plumbing you sit on every day.
Rachel Sharp Profile
Rachel Sharp answered
This is an issue that artists struggle with. There is a great range of prices on artwork. The field of art is not so easily regulated as some other markets. Therefore, whereas it's pretty easy to arrive at an average salary for a job like administration, it is difficult to know how much artists are usually paid.

Competition has greatly affected the market. Reproductions are easy to obtain and cost much less than an original. As well, it is becoming increasingly easy to produce quality reproductions with even a home computer. However, for this reason, originals are perhas even more valuable. They also are a more sound investment, because there is only one of each original artwork.

A mistake that a lot of artists make is to price their work too low. In reality, works should reflect the amount of hours spent as well as material. A price that reflects that you value your work will in turn make buyers value it!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I've never been good at math...but are you sure that's right?

Wouldn't it be 80 inches x $.10 = $8.00  ?
Gina Diaz Profile
Gina Diaz answered

In my opinion a painting is a one time work of art. It cannot be redone the same way anyway. There can be differences of the same painting even from the same artist. The price should vary according to the time and work spent on the piece rather than its size.

Tricia Waite Profile
Tricia Waite answered
I was thinking along the lines of this.
You have a painting have a flat rate for the each sizes ( small paintings smaller rate bigger paintings bigger rate)  of painting then what medium  it is.. Then for how much details there is in a painting....
Fryda Fernandez Profile
Fryda Fernandez answered
Hi, I am an artist too and I have the same conflict as you. Actually I stopped painting and trying to sell my art work too. I considerate very rude to price my art work depending on the size of a canva. Is like downsizing your talent and self-esteem, I rater keep my art to my self. In my opinion you should price your art work depending on what you painted on the canva and how long did it take you. Eyyy what if on a 5"x5" you painted a really complicated figure and not just because is that size you have to sell it at 10 cents the inch. That is 5 insulting bucks.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The rate for a new artist is 10 cents an each.   If you have a canvas that is 8 X 10, then
measure the canvas, take the length X the width in inches,  the sum in inches of the length X width X 10 cents.
8 x 10 canvas     8 X 10 = 80,   80 inches X 10 cents = $ 80.00.  I hope this helps.
Of course, as you get better know you can go up on your price or if the market is really good your price should rise also.

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